A Dragon for William
A Dragon for William
Cover design by Katie Anderson

Though busy writing science fiction novels, I found myself missing Marrowdell. Plus I’d owed a brave little boy a story. Here it is, following right after the events in A Play of Shadow.

The troubled young truthseer, Werfol Westietas, misses Marrowdell. He dreams of a dragon and writes a secret story. But near the Verge, secrets hold magic, and a young boy’s longing might open the door to peril for all.

Read an Excerpt

Night’s Edge Series

A Turn of Light
Night’s Edge #1
Night’s Edge #2
Night’s Edge #3

Excerpt from “A Dragon for William”

Prologue

Last Summer, Within the World of Crows and Barons…

“It’s done, then.” Chancellor Rober Milne lowered his face into the palm of one hand. “We’re done.” The other hand waved in midair. “Vorkoun.”

Emon Westietas kept his expression composed, though the crow on his shoulder gave an impatient flutter. Scatterwit was right. Ancestors Desperate and Dire, they needed more from the person in charge of the city to survive this perilous folly of Ordo’s. More from them all. “Much will change—” he began.

Milne dropped his hand to glare at him. “Baron Westietas, are you one to find beauty in ruin? The prince has ceded everything to our enemy–our homes and businesses, our holy places and schools—the blood in our veins and for what?! The Eld’s bloody train!”

He let the echoes of the shout settle, granting Milne’s fury its due, then gave a little shrug, holding in his own. The treaty had split their city, the portion south of the Lilem River reverting to Ansnor, north remaining Vorkoun and of Rhoth. It would be an uneasy partnership, if it worked at all.

“A train which needs rails and bridges. People trained to operate and repair it.” He paused, cupped hand palm up. “And a train sent into Ansnor for minerals won’t travel there empty. Goods and people. Trade, Chancellor, every bit funneled through our city.”

The official eased back in his chair. Aggrieved, yes, but listening. You didn’t administrate a city like Vorkoun without a certain flexibility of thought. “I’m well aware you study such mechanicals, Emon,” he replied at last. “You suggest we’ll see benefits but how, I ask you, with Ansnor set to take ownership? Already, our streets fill with soldiers who don’t know what peace looks like. Each day, more residents pack to leave and I can’t blame them.”

What had Lila said? Give Vorkoun a chance to survive. Find an option. A way to make peace work for all.

Surprising words, from his most unpeaceful partner. Or unsurprising, given Lila’s other aspect: the mother of their sons, determined to carve them a future. Sons newly returned to him, a family restored.

He hardly dared close his eyes at night, in case he lost them again.

And wouldn’t. Emon clicked his tongue softly. Scatterwit flapped into the open window and perched on the sill, a black shadow. A witness, that too.

“That’s why I’m here, Rober.” The baron set his portfolio on the table. “I’ve an idea.”

***

Four Hundred and Seventy Years ago, Within the World of Toads and Dragons…

There was magic, enough. Beings who used it, or were it, or both. There was sky and earth and seasons, of a sort, though it didn’t snow. How could it? Water stayed where it was summoned, in fountains and wells, and what rained from sky to earth in its seasons was mimrol. Silver and warm, mimrol carved rivers and filled lakes, spreading magic as it flowed.

Dragons hunted the air, kruar the ground, and toads, though cousins, stayed out of sight. Terst farmed and built, bringing peace where it could flourish, and avoided dragons and kruar too. All had their place, whatever they thought of it, or if they even did.

But there were those, the sei, who thought a great deal. Sei pondered what was beyond the ken of others, being as curious as they were powerful, and one fateful day the sei wondered…was there more?

And one day wondered…could they touch it?

And all would have remained as it was, with magic enough and peace, but on a day when the light of an unseen sun dimmed, on a day when anything seemed possible, one sei reached from the world of dragons and toads, into that of crows and barons…

Tearing both worlds open.

Making both worlds bleed.

Spilling magic.

The sei mended that tear, as best it could. Used itself like thread. Held on, accepting that penance.

While dragons and toads, as well as kruar and terst, explored what the sei had wrought.

***

Today…

There’s a world of crows and barons.

There’s a world of dragons and toads.

Writhing through both is the edge where they meet, for the sei holds, still.

Magic, wild and potent, lives there. And the sei remain…curious.

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