Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.
What To Look For in a Dragon: The Crucial Choice
Of course, choosing a dragon is a huge deal for riders—how could it not be? Riders are very picky about what they want in a mount, and the two must be able to work cooperatively as a team in the air. One foul up could mean the difference between life and death. But what to the riders actually look for?
Stamina and speed are the first two things all riders desire in their dragon. While flying in combat, they need their mount to be as swift as possible for as long as possible in order to give them the greatest advantage over their enemies. Intelligence and experience are also highly sought after, and often riders within families will pass the same dragon down to their newest generation. For that same reason, highly experienced, older dragons will fetch a much higher price than a young, “greener” one if a retiring rider chose to sell his mount.
There really isn’t much difference in the body-types of males and females, so gender doesn’t play much of a role when choosing a mount. Both can grow to be sizable and very strong. Both have the ability to breathe flame, and the potential to be a real terror on the battlefield. When it comes to purchasing or selling a dragon, however, females tend to fetch a much higher price—especially if they have a good reputation on the battlefield. Their potential to produce offspring that can be sold off to other riders makes them even more valuable.
Dragons come in wide a variety of colors, patterns, and body-types. For instance, Mavrik is blue, with large plated scales, and black horns and claws. But Nova is brown, gold, and black, with a scaling pattern like a boa constrictor. As best the dragonriders can tell, the patterns and colors of a dragon depend on that of its parents. Color doesn’t carry much weight when choosing a dragon, though, as the riders are far more worried with size, strength, and personality to tell them which will make the best possible mount. But there are some colors that are more prized than others. Striped patterns are always desired because they are unique and rare. Bright, flashy colors are also more sought after.
In the end, a rider will choose a dragon that is best suited to his individual needs and skillset. He may end up paying a great deal for it, but when faced with the horror and brutality of war, a rider will never regret going the extra mile for a mount that could potentially save his life. In Fledgling, we will only scratch the surface of how important this balance truly is. But as we continue our journey through the Dragonrider Chronicles, readers will see more varieties of dragons and how they work together with their riders in combat.
Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn May 31, 2014
· Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (INT)
· Five (5) winners will receive a paperback copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (US/Canada)
· One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)