One boy must earn the trust of a blind dragon and hunt down an elusive sorceress before she can rekindle the war that nearly destroyed their world.
As the Kingdom of Maldobar emerges victorious from the brutal invasion of the Tibran Empire, much of the land is left in utter ruin. With his home destroyed and family gone, 16-year-old Thatcher Renley has no one left to turn to. And when he’s mistaken for a Tibran soldier and banished to a wartime prison camp, Thatcher knows his only hope for freedom lies in appealing to Queen Jenna directly.
But getting out of the prison camp might be the least of his worries— especially after he stumbles across a feral dragon locked in an iron cell.
As far as dragons go, Fornax is a lost cause. The battle that killed his rider also left him blind and too aggressive for any knight to control. But Thatcher can’t deny feeling drawn to the beast. Does he have what it takes to calm Fornax and join the proud ranks of Maldobar’s dragonriders? Only time will tell. And with a bloodthirsty Tibran witch threatening to rekindle the chaos of war, everyone’s time may be running out.
My breath caught at the sight of him. I’d never seen his whole body before. He was big, even for a male dragon, but his body was sleek and streamlined. His brilliant orange scales shimmered the same color as flame. The same black stripes that adorned his head also covered the rest of his body and reminded me of a jungle cat. The black spines that ran down his back were long and lethally sharp like barbs of solid obsidian.
He blinked at me, nostrils puffing as he homed in on the scent of the meat at my feet. He gobbled it up quickly, and I gave him a few more just for good measure. After all, this next part was bound to be tricky.
I made a long blast with the whistle, going up in pitch at the end. Fornax grumbled with uncertainty as he pointed his snout toward the open door behind me. No doubt he could smell the fresh air coming in from outside. I gave the signal again.
This time, he chirped and lowered his head before flattening out against the ground. The spiked end of his long tail swished, eyes tracking the sound of my footfalls as I walked a complete circle around him. That was our most recent accomplishment, and frankly, it still terrified me. One wrong step, one bad second, and he could end me. But we had to build trust—mutual trust, that is.
It was nothing compared to what came next, though.
I rewarded him with a few more scraps of meat, and then gave the signal for him to lie down again. While he was busy eating, I moved slowly back out into the hall. Hefting his saddle onto my back, I approached and laid it out on the floor next to him.
Fornax’s nostrils worked furiously as he drank in the familiar scent of the leather. I wondered if it still smelled like his rider … or his blood. Fornax’s ears slicked back and his scaly hide began to shiver as a low growl kindled in his throat.
“It’s okay,” I said, keeping my tone calm.
His growling quieted a little.
I couldn’t rush this part. He had to become calm again in
the presence of that saddle before I could do anything else. After nearly an hour and several more chunks of meat, his growling finally went silent. He was back to chirping and yipping, eager to do more tricks in hopes of another bite.
Only … now it was time for a completely new one.
Taking a step closer, I gave the lie down command once more, just to be sure he remembered what I wanted. I clenched my teeth, squeezing my hand into a fist to try to stop it from shaking as I reached out toward his head. The wind of his breath blasted through my fingers as I inched closer. Five inches.
Then three. Then one.
Then my fingertips brushed his snout.
The author will be raffling off a signed copy of Hunter and Swag during the book tour! (US Only)
About the Author
Nicole is an award-winning, #1 international bestselling author from North Alabama. With a passion for relatable, authentic characters and exciting, fast-paced plots, Nicole is best known for her series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES. Other published works include THE DRAGONRIDER LEGACY SERIES, SPIRITS OF CHAOS SERIES, MAD MAGIC SAGA, and THE DRAGONRIDER HERITAGE SERIES (Coming Winter 2020)
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|11/16/2020||Two Chicks on Books||Interview|
|11/17/2020||Hurn Publications||Instagram Stop|
|11/18/2020||The Momma Spot for both||Review|
|11/18/2020||The Momma Spot for both||Instagram Stop|
|11/19/2020||A Dream Within A Dream||Guest Post|
|11/20/2020||PopTheButterfly Reads||Instagram Stop|
|11/23/2020||BookHounds YA||Instagram Stop|
|11/25/2020||The Reading Wordsmith||Review|
|11/26/2020||Jaime’s World||Guest Post|
|11/27/2020||Two Points of Interest||Review|
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