Title: Thunderlight, Book Two
Author: Adrienne Woods
Series: The Dragonian Series
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 20 November 2014
Vibrant, scale swathed wings… Abilities that can be harnessed by a chosen few… Dragons…
All this may seem like old news, but for seventeen year-old Elena Watkins the world of Paegeia is not finished revealing all its secrets. During a summer break intended for relaxation, she discovers that her harrowing adventure to retrieve the King of Lion sword wasn’t the destiny foretold by the cryptic Viden, a dragon with the ability to see a person’s true fate. The words inked onto the page of the mysterious Book of Shadows remains black and Elena must return to Dragonia Academy to discover their true meaning. Upon her return to the magnificent castle she has to face a challenge of a different kind, keeping her boyfriend Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of Tith and love of her life, away from the dangerous new student, Paul Sutton. As a Wyvern, Paul has made it his mission to claim Elena as his rider but he is proving to be more perilous than at first glance. Everyone knew that Wyverns were bad news, and just as evil as the darkness that lurked inside Blake Leaf, the Rubicon forced to fight against his inner nature every day. But Elena can see a small light lurking in the darkness, a destiny still unfulfilled; to prove that Wyverns can be claimed. Will Lucian’s dark secret about Wyverns and Elena’s need to prove their true nature cause their love to be torn apart? And which of Elena’s friends will be sacrificed this time if she is wrong?
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Many have probably wondered why I chose to write about dragons. Well it's simple, if they were real, I think they would've been the most amazing creatures ever. Yes, there will be dark evil dragons like the Chromatics who might try to destroy human kind and the world, but I truly believe in the good too. The Metallics would have been there too.
I've read so many dragon novels and all of them are so unique in their own way. My favorite was Eragon. I just love how they brought Saphira to life. Why they didn't turn more of those novels into movies, I don't know.
I obviously had to do so much research. I found amazing sites about dragons all over the net and I made up my own names for the different species there were to make them my own. Names are one of my strong points when it comes to being creative and before I knew it, an entire dragon race was born. I had plenty of beta readers telling me there were too many breeds, but c'mon how am I going to kill off a breed? All of them were unique and I just couldn't do it. So I took the chance and I kept all ten.
The Rubicon, the name I got from my favorite red wine. Yes, people Meerlust Rubicon is a wine, was my own creation. A dragon like that doesn't exist, but he does in my world. In every story good overpowers evil and I just had to be different, so that is why the Rubicon is created for destruction but there is always hope in worst case scenarios, so I had to give him some hope, some sort of light that it will be a hard fight to try and overcome his evil.
The Thunderlight, a dragon that makes her appearance in Book two, is also my own creation. To be honest, I delved into dragons so much that I'm sure ten more breeds could be created from all the dragon knowledge I gained. But it would be too much, even I know that.
Dragons are something that’s really close to my heart. I've always loved them and I totally freak out when a movie turns them into reality with special effects. I think they would've been majestic and very noble creatures and one fact that I loved, gained from a website about Dragons, was that they actually taught human how to speak. How awesome is that?
So the question remains, if dragons were real and you had the gene, what type of dragon would you've been?
Me, I have no freaking idea, probably one that loves to tell stories and who loves to soar through the sky - A swallow Annex, perhaps.
The voice over the speaker introduced all the players on the team. There were four humans gliding on their raiders. Four dragons, a Copper-Horn, a Fire-Tail, a Moon-Bolt and a Night Villain, flew out from an opening in the cave wall and hovered in the air below their human team members.
The next team, the “Yellow Hornets,” flew in from above our heads and the crowd painted and dressed in yellow blew on their horns. Around me yellow flags flapped in the wind created by the beating of the dragons’ wings.
They came to a halt opposite the “Sapphires” and the voice introduced all of the players. One dragon blew a fire bolt into the crowd as a cheer rose, but an invisible wall blocked it before it could do any damage. The crowd rooted as the Sun-Blast dug in and dove into the air.
Another team, this time wearing blue and black uniforms was introduced as “The Blue Raiders”. I noticed as each team received their introduction that the dragons all had abilities and almost every team had a fire-breather and a Swallow Annex.
Two more teams, the “Red Crusaders” and “Black Leapers” were introduced to roaring cheers from the crowd. Last was the “Green Masquerades” and I was excited that it was finally our turn to cheer.
Four humans dived out on their boards to a roar of applause. The one in front made a loop on the raider and was followed by a couple more.
“That’s Blaze, she’s so amazing on that raider of hers!” Sammy yelled into my ear.
“That’s a girl?” I yelled back.
Sammy’s dimples dented deep into her cheeks. “It’s not just men participating. She’s been the captain of her team for the past four years,” she yelled. “She’s tried every year to get Blake on the team but the Council doesn’t want to budge, he can’t even participate in his human form.”
“Multiple abilities, who knows.”
That is so unfair. He’s not allowed to do anything. No fun. No wonder he did messed up things.
The booming voice introduced the four humans. Blaze Trulip was the captain just as Sammy had said. She wasn’t afraid of anything, and she played the duty of soldier, which meant that she could be everywhere, score, defend, attack and help keep the other team from scoring. The guy next to her was Wilson DJ, who was introduced as the keeper. Richard, the diver, was one of the scorers with Baba Johnson. He bowed on his board which made the crowd cheer the loudest. The four dragons were Kyle, the Snow Dragon, Peter, the Sun-Blast, Dez, the Copper-Horn and Fick, the Green Vapor. They were the four attackers.
Once the team introductions were made the five referees were introduced. They wore black pants with boots and white and black striped shirts. They each had flying goggles and a baseball cap on their heads.
Sir Robert and George growled at the same time when Peter McIntosh was introduced as one of the referees this year. “He’s a cheat,” George yelled.
Clearly half the crowd didn’t like this Peter McIntosh dude, but he handled it well as the crowd booed at him and he bowed as deep as he could.
“The Yellow Hornets are going to win this year for sure,” Sammy said. “He used to be their coach.”
I shook my head. I’d never been into sports, exactly for that one reason. Dad hated it when they cheated at football. This would have been a game we could enjoy together. I could just imagine how he would’ve explained this one to me. I smiled as I imagined him babbling excitedly about scorers and attackers, the words coming from his mouth fast while he crouched on the couch, like he did whenever he got excited when his favorite football team was about to score.
He must have missed this, I thought painfully. Knowing my father, this was definitely his sport. He used to yell at what patsies the quarterbacks and football players were whenever he used to watch the Sunday games. I still didn’t know what a patsy was, but the way he used it, it had to be something lame.
I cheered along with Sammy and everyone else when the teams left the arena. The Yellow Hornets and Sapphires stayed behind for tonight’s game.
The players each took their places in the field, if you could call it that. The two keepers stood in front of the two bells and we were in the perfect spot as each bell faced us on opposite sides. The rest of the players stood in a row in front of the keepers. They looked so small seeing them there, but the big screens captured each of their faces in turn.
One of the referees, not the McIntosh dude, was chosen as the main ref for this game. The other four stood on the sidelines. When the whistle blew the four dragons dove down with the scorer and the two soldiers. Their main target was a huge axe that dangled in the air a few yards below them.
Fire, frost, and acid balls flew through the air in rapid succession. All of them bounced off the invisible shield that protected the crowd and everyone cheered again as one of the humans on the yellow team got to the axe first. His goal was to hit the huge bell on the opposite side. He ducked and dove on his board, and missed a couple of fire bolts, as a frost ball smashed into snowflakes right behind him.
The crowd hailed and it turned into what I knew as a wave. It was so fun to participate as it came our way.
When the man with the axe realized he was trapped, he threw it through the air to one of his teammates.
Seeing an opportunity, one scorer from the Sapphire team went for it, and grabbed the axe before the other yellow scorer caught it. The Sapphire crowd jumped up in their seats and yelled with fists pumping in the air.
By the sound of Sammy’s rooting, I knew we were cheering for the “Sapphires” tonight.
The scorer, which I assumed was Luke, twirled around on his board, ducking and diving through a couple of bolts and with a loud ‘gong’, he hit the bell with the axe. An animation of a dragon jumping up and down with a huge ‘3’ flickering behind him, appeared on all the big screens.
Everyone I’d come with tonight whistled and yelled wildly.
Luke’s human team members congratulated him with high fives, slaps and everything you could think of to say well done.
I laughed as one of them bumped him with their head.
After the celebration was over, the players went back to their positions and the whistle blew once again.
The Yellow Hornets scored next and then the Sapphires were on fire, scoring three times in a row. Each time that animated dragon would come back, announcing the total points of the team who’d just scored. I now understood why Sammy was so crazy about Luke; he was really fast and always had a smile on his face.
As the game progressed, the crowd drew in a collective breath as a fire bolt headed for one of the human players. It was too late to block it and the fire bolt struck the player. One of his teammates caught him as his board came smashing against the shield protecting us from the action. His teammate dropped him off at a Swallow Annex standing off to the side, who I assumed was there for medical reasons.
“This is why this game is really dangerous. You’ve got to pay attention,” Sammy said without taking her eyes of the commotion.
The crowd cheered when the player got up, but he was way too disoriented to carry on and they had to make do without him.
The game started again when the Yellow Hornets scored another point.
Dragons flew in all kinds of directions, using their abilities on one another, while the scorers tried to gain extra points.
Suddenly, the crowd went completely silent as all the dragons in the arena froze in mid-air. As if on strings, they all turned their heads in unison in our direction and came charging at us with a venomous look in their fiery eyes.
ANGER, BETRAYAL, AND HATE turned my stomach to acid. It consumed my mind and I watched as bottles, papers and books on the desk flew off and crashed to the floor.
A maid rushed to my side. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes reflected fear in their watery depths. The dustpan in her hand trembled as she started to sweep up the jagged shards of glass. Rising, she began to straighten the books that had fallen to the floor in a heap. Every few seconds her eyes darted nervously in my direction as if a mere breath would make me lash out at her with my outstretched hand.
I touched her face gently until my hand reached her neck, tightening slowly as my anger began to rise once again. My grip tightened around her soft, shapely neck as I lifted her up from her position at my feet until her face was level with mine. Listening carefully I heard her heart fluttering like a bird trapped inside a cage.
“How did I become this way?” I spoke, giving voice to my reality softly.
She just stared at me with round, brown unblinking eyes. Her eyes were sunken deep into the surface of her face and her cheek bones were sharply defined.
Looking at her sullen face made me feel worse. I lifted up my other hand and struck the woman hard across her cheek.
A cry left her mouth and I threw her from me as if she weighed nothing. She skidded across the floor landing in a heap against a wall of cold, unforgiving stone. If I was a dragon I would blast fire, reduce this wretched place to a pile of insignificant ashes.
Two other maids, hearing the startled cry, rushed into the room. Their eyes were wide as they took in the room and the immobile heap near the far wall. “Sorry, m’lord,” the older one said, her voice slightly trembling. “She’s new, we will train her better.”
They picked up the maid who had come to and was sobbing. She clutched the side of her face, covering the huge, red handprint where I’d struck her.
I nodded. The old maid knew her place well, although I still didn’t care for her name, she knew where she stood.
I plunged myself down onto the chair and closed my eyes. A silent roar growled inside of me lighting a fire of rage deep in my core.
The girl had made it.
The Rubicon saved her life, so a part of him was still fighting me. I could still see her eyes searching mine. They bore into my soul, seeking answers. How was this possible! The wall wouldn’t allow any human to go to the other side.
Albert’s laughter echoed inside the castle; a startling reminder that good would always win. He would pay dearly for this. I would find a way, and I promised myself she wouldn’t live much longer.
I pushed myself up from the chair and rubbed my face hard. The emotion of my anger escaped my lips making a sickening sound. Rage that emanated from deep within me overpowered the haunting laughter and echoed throughout the entire castle.
“Master,” Cain’s voice interrupted my thoughts.
“Speak, my loyal servant,” I said out loud. “What is the news?”
“Everything is in place. We won’t fail you,” his voice said in my head.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and let it out hard. “We’ll see.”
Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girls night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person. Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series. There will be four books in total, including a further two to three books, which will be stories that take place within the Dragonian series. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid 2015. She also writes in different genres, and her woman’s fiction, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be published under a pseudonym. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016.
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