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Category Archives: Dragon’s Bane

When Gaerbith Met Kieran

Struggling to complete this scene. I’ve already composed the first paragraphs of a scene that comes later, involving these characters, but am not sure how to proceed with this fight scene. It should be intense, I think, but witty.

Perhaps I am asking too much of it.

From the Plains rose a smudge of green that grew or shrank depending on the swell of the land as they travelled. Days later, it revealed itself as trees, and in two more days, the trees revealed their size, giants standing arm-in-arm.

Yanámari halted her mount on a grassy rise and looked East. “The Guardians.”

Gaerbith nudged his horse up the slope and joined her. Thick limbs intertwined, and massive trunks were separated only by the shadows between them. Somewhere beyond them light flashed, perhaps sun reflecting from the glass observatory built by King Meresh in long ages past. How had it survived the war and all the centuries after?

“The House of the Sky,” Gaerbith said, clasping Yanámari’s hand. “Home to your mother’s ancestors.”

“That blood is too remote to claim any kinship here.”

“Still. Almost home.”

By nightfall, they rested in a hollow among the tangled roots of the guardians. Fallen branches provided enough fuel for a fire in a small pit dug where the Plains sidled up to the trees, and a tiny brook trickled out from the shadows as if it had been awaiting their arrival before springing up from the ground. Gaerbith and Yanámari sipped handfuls from the rill spilling over tumbled stones, and the horses drank from the little pool it formed before disappearing into the tall, waving grass. Animals shuffled and snuffled somewhere beyond the Guardians—familiar night noises—but when a sudden silence fell, both horses lifted their heads, chins dripping, and pointed noses and ears toward the darkness.

A faint shrr of cloth against cloth sounded a moment before the quiet firmness of a careful footfall.

Reaching over his shoulder, Gaerbith gripped the hilt of his sword. “Come, you. No skulking. Show your face.”

He did not expect the answering chuckle, or the pleasant low voice that accompanied it. “That sword is nigh man-tall. Exchange it for a stave, and we will have fine sport.”

A thick staff flew from the shadows. Gaerbith caught it more by instinct than sight.

 

c2017, KB, for Dragon’s Bane, a novel

 

The connection between these two guys is a minor plot twist — revealed to the reader earlier in the story, but not yet known to Kieran. And, at this moment, not known to either guy, because Gaerbith does not yet know it’s Kieran who is challenging him.

 

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Dragon’s Bane Update

Dragon’s Bane Update

First, a bit of housekeeping: The recent Goodreads giveaway was a success. Not quite as many participants as the 2015 giveaway, there were still a large number of entrants interested in Dragon’s Rook. The winners are Jessica from the Netherlands, and Sheila from New Mexico. Signed paperback copies have been mailed, and should arrive soon.

Second, questions have been asked by readers concerning the availability of Dragon’s Bane, the second half of The Lost Sword duology. They have served as prods to speed up the completion of the story:

1) I just finished Dragon’s Rook and loved it. Any news on when the sequel will be available for purchase? I can’t wait!

(T)hank you for the kind review! We writers pour pieces — minutes, hours, years — of our lives into our work, so when readers receive it well, we are encouraged to continue.

As for when Dragon’s Bane will be available, I had hoped it would be completed and published by January 2016, but life matters took me away from it for a long while. (I won’t bore you with the details.) However, I hope to have it ready soon.

Today’s revisions included (SPOILER ALERT) a reunion scene between two characters who each thought the other was dead. 🙂

2) I just finished Dragon’s Rook, really liked it. I was wondering when the sequel is coming?

First, thank you for reading the book!

Second, I’m pleased that you enjoyed it.

Third, I wanted the book completed and published this year. However, due to life circumstances, my writing has been quite slow. Dragon’s Bane is about one-third complete, and there are copious notes regarding unwritten scenes.

The ending scene was written about fifteen years ago — believe it or not! — but it may change. I’m exploring a couple of potential plot twists that never occurred to me during the writing of the first book, but which may deepen the story even further.

Below is a taste, a scene from the first third of the book, a confrontation between Lady Yanámari and her mother, Queen Una:

The eyes widened, the fury grew, and as it did, Queen Una fully materialized, her form solid, even the tiny creases around her eyes and mouth delineated. She released Yanámari and stepped back, lifting her arms from her sides and lowering her head, looking at Yanámari from beneath dark brows.

As the queen opened her mouth to speak, Yanámari laughed. The sight was too comical: flowing black garments, menacing stare, threatening posture. A bit too much like the Hôk Nar Brethren. In the past two days, she had seen more amazing things than this.

Beside, what true power resorted to manipulation and magic?

There was something external about magic, as if the one who practiced it and the one upon whom it was practiced were both tools of a capricious power that must be cajoled and lured with secret rites and careful spells. Is that where her mother had been all these years? Learning the dark arts? What an absurd expenditure of time.

Where was she when I was a child and longed for a mother? When I might have loved her?

But there was no hope of traveling that road—the cart had already passed.

(c2016, KB)

For more information or to read reviews, visit keananbrand.com.

 

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Book Giveaway

UPDATE (10/2/15): I apparently don’t know the difference between “September” and “October”. 😉

So, here are the new dates: Enter from October 4 (Sunday) through October 12 (Monday) for a chance to win a free signed copy of Dragon’s Rook.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dragon's Rook by Keanan Brand

Dragon’s Rook

by Keanan Brand

Giveaway ends October 12, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/156711

 

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Filthy Lucre

Filthy lucre” is an Old World, Bible-language insult regarding ill-gotten money. Some folks think money itself is evil. Some, as do I, think the love of money is the real evil.

Yet, however one may view it, money has become a necessity.

Therefore, allowing readers keep a couple extra bucks in their pockets, the e-book price for the novel, Dragon’s Rook, has been reduced to $2.99 (US). Yay!

Dragon's_Rook_Cover_Keanan_Brand_Susan_TrouttComprised of Dragon’s Rook (2015) and Dragon’s Bane (2016), The Lost Sword is a slightly different slant on epic fantasy. It has a grand scope, yes, and there are swords and dragons, prophecies and portents, chosen heroes and dastardly villains, but there are subtler themes underlying the tale: what is courage, honor, free will, servitude, freedom? What is faith, trust, love? How does one live one’s own life despite the expectations of others or the calling of a being greater than oneself? How does one live for oneself, and yet live for the sake of others?

The story is rife with questions — most culled from my own struggles with similar issues — and there are rarely easy answers. (Which is a bit like talking to the Voice, the deity character who does not always reply when the mortals ask more information of Him than He has already given. 😉 )

At the risk of spoiling the second book, “the chosen ones” may not all survive or be in charge at the end. Their task may be far different than everyone — including the immortal Keepers — anticipates. That part of the tale has yet to be written, and I am pondering several different possibilities. However, readers can be assured the ending will not be dark but filled with hope, and it will fit the story that led up to it. That is a certainty.*

Captain Gaerbith is heir to a secret: the location of a lost sword he cannot touch. In a village far from the battlefield, Kieran the blacksmith remembers nothing before the day when, as a young boy, he was found beside a dead man, a dagger in hand.

Maggie is a healer’s apprentice, and earns her way as a laundress. Her shadowed past and crippled hand make her an object of suspicion and ridicule. Far to the north, the king’s daughter—Yanámari—plots to escape the royal city and her father’s iron control.

Etherium, the one metal capable of harming Dragons, can be wielded only by a true descendant of Kel High King. King Morfran seeks a Kellish smith who can recreate the lost sword, false proof of Morfran’s right to the throne.

Forces are aligning, old prophecies are fulfilling, and in the east a fire glows in Dragon’s Rook.

Dragon’s Bane is coming together nicely, and should be released next year. Dragon’s Rook is currently available from these e-book vendors:

Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Kobo
iBooks (iTunes)
PageFoundry (now Inktera)
Scribd
Oyster
Smashwords**

The paperback is available via Amazon or CreateSpace for $17.99 (US). I am pleased with the look and feel of the print version. The dragon eye is almost 3D — well done, Suzan! — and the matte finish is soft, buttery, mimicking the texture of the leather background image.

* Anyone else a bit weary of “gritty” fantasy, pessimistic dystopia, and other bleak tales?
** Go here for a special Smashwords discount, available through August 31, 2015.

 

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