Hey all… we’re just 24 days (and counting) away from my first major release in twenty months (and three days from the cover reveal and opening of preorders). I’m thrilled to bring The Dragon Eater (Tharassas Cycle Book 1) to you, thanks to Steven Radecki and Water Dragon Publishing.
Each week I’ll share something special about the book, and an excerpt. This week, it’s some “concept” art of Aik I commissioned from the amazing L.J. Phillips.
In the first excerpt, you met Raven the thief (and titular Dragon Eater). In the second excerpt, I introduced Aik, Raven’s loyal friend (and inconveniently for a thief, part of the Gullton city Guard). In the third one, it was their friend Silya, an aspiring Hencha Queen who has a long history with our other two protagonists. Last week, I brought you Spin, the snarky AI that accounts for much of the science part of this sci-fantasy.
This week, I have a deleted scene for you, a flashback to when Aik saved Raven’s… hand.
The cover reveal/preorder date is February 23rd, and the book officially goes on sale on March 16th.
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Read on for the blurb and an excerpt.
Raven’s a thief who just swallowed a dragon. A small one, sure, but now his arms are growing scales, the local wildlife is acting up, and his snarky AI familiar is no help whatsoever.
Raven’s best friend Aik is a guardsman carrying a torch for the thief. A pickpocket and a guard? Never going to happen. And Aik’s ex-fiancé Silya, an initiate priestess in the midst of a magical crisis, hates Raven with the heat of a thousand suns.
This unlikely team must work together to face strange beasts, alien artifacts, and a world-altering threat. If they don’t figure out what to do soon, it might just be the end of everything.
Things are about to get messy.
Aik stood at the door to the Courthouse, held back by his own conflicting emotions.
He’d woken up that morning with the full intention of going with Silya to the funeral. She needed his support—her own mother wasn’t coming, a harsh blow on such a difficult day. Silya had adored her father, and placing his ashes in the Wall of the Dead would be one of the hardest things she’d ever done.
And yet here I am. Gods curse you, Raven. Aik shook his head and let out a sigh.
He pulled open the heavy flopwood door and entered the court.
Crime was low in Gullton thanks to the Guard, and the Thieves’ Guild, if it actually existed, kept a low profile. But when someone was caught, justice was swift.
The courtroom was empty today save for the advocate and defendant and the judge, who sat on a large wooden chair behind an equally massive desk, both stained blood-red. Aik recognized Raven even at a distance, his shoulders slouched and his shock of dark hair even more of a mess than before. He was shaking like a leaf. If Jer hadn’t told me…
“In the case of Gullton vs. Rav’Orn, I find the defendant guilty of petty theft and general public indecency…”
Oh gods, Raven, what did you do this time? He could lose a hand over this. Or worse.
“And I hereby sentence you to—”
“Your Maister, if I might interject?” Aik strode up the aisle, trying to project confidence. He was a rookie in the Guard, but his dress uniform gave him the appearance of authority. Or so he hoped.
The judge looked up at the newcomer, his thick eyebrows knitted together in a scowl that transformed his while face. “And you are…?”
“Mas Aiken Erio, guardsman in training and friend to the defendant.”
“Welcome to the court, Mas Erio. I was just about to pronounce judgement. Do you have information relevant to the case?”
Aik glanced at the advocate. Mim Ell’Esyn was all but useless in these cases. Most of the advocates were. They were rare enough that they served at most a handful of times a year—most of the time, Mim Esyn was a baker selling her bread in the Open Market. She winked at him.
Aik frowned and turned back to the judge. “I am here to serve as a character witness and beg the Court’s mercy for this thief…” Aik squinted to read the hand-lettered name plate on the desk in front of the judge. “… Mas Ost.”