Best of Texas Book Award Winner for Fantasy Series: The Dragonlord Trilogy by C. M. Bratton

 

Because when I finally did wake up… everything changed. And I have learned to fight since then.

The Dragonlord Trilogy by Catherine Green has received the Best in Texas Book Award for Fantasy Series. The award is presented by the Texas Association of Authors.

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The Story:

Now in a single volume – THE DRAGONLORD TRILOGY!

Sea: the Cold Below – Dragonkind is at an end. In a desperate attempt to save the survivors, a new spell is created, one that will allow dragons to live on – at great cost to all the races of the Pact…

Centuries later, Rothsarien of Clan Acamarian has a problem: his older brother. Wrethrian has created a mountain stronghold where the inhabitants worship him – against every law of the Pact. When Rothsarien goes to investigate on behalf of his clan leader father, he finds far more than he expected in the form of an imprisoned sythren. The young Rothsarien refuses to make a fateful choice until vision-riddled Wrethrian decides destiny cannot be avoided, no matter the price… no matter the sacrifice.

Sky: the Flight Above – Twenty years have passed since Rothsarien’s agonizing loss. He has spent the intervening time fueling his hatred and stoking his rage… Across the sea on a guarded continent, the young boy Alari grows into a man, gaining the title of Dragonlord along the way. Yet he suffers from a mysterious illness that leeches his strength and hurts those around him. When Alari’s sickness permanently damages the daughter of one of the family allies, he must go forth and hunt two dragons in recompense.

At the same time, Rothsarien travels forth in search of the ancient enemies of his kind. Alari and Rothsarien head inevitably towards each other, setting the stage for a battle neither one can prepare for… yet neither one can win…

Inferno: the War Between – War is at hand, a war none of the Pact expected.

A war with ancient enemies long-thought defeated. A war none now alive know how to win. Blood fills the land, blood of the innocent slain in revenge for a grievance long-since harbored. The more Rothsarien flies to aid the Clans, the more destruction he encounters. Meanwhile, back on his mountain, Wrethrian’s long-held plans come to fruition… and much loss.

But there is still a chance, buried beneath the sea. A slim chance held in the hands of the dying Lethien. But can he survive the inferno in his blood long enough to complete the purpose for which he was born, or will the world be destroyed by the enraged, relentless fire of the Exiled?

Prelude:

I never thought of myself as much of a fighter. The many scars twining over my body prove that more eloquently – or perhaps I should say brutally – than any descriptions I might give. I was always meek and submissive, giving in to every rough handling, every bruise, every groping hand, and every laceration. I never argued when others tried to protect me. I didn’t argue when I grew too old to hide behind them.

I didn’t protest when they took my parents and slowly cut off every finger, every toe, every piece they could…

Their screams remained buried inside me, silenced by a soul-deep shock that only slowly, turns later, began to peel away. I didn’t know how to fight back, nor had I ever tried to lead anyone. Even as that carefree, silly child I vaguely recall from before the Takeover, I’d always followed others around – my friends, my mother, my sisters, the servants. I didn’t like making decisions. Doing something, anything, always seemed to be just enough.

When the draonds came on their deadly gavus, fueling their deadforce powers on our blood and pain, I just ran to where I was told. When I was found by a few servants, I followed them blindly. When they stripped me and covered my small body in rough linen, when they quickly cut off all of my hair and rubbed dirt into my hands, I stood and said nothing. I didn’t even cry. I was a shell, a form that gave them hope, or at least a reason to believe that they were resisting our new Overlords.

But turns passed, and as I grew, nothing changed. I stayed blank and the smell of dried blood became commonplace. When my faithful friends grew too weak to stand in front and take the lash for me, when the constant abuse had worn them down, I gently pushed them aside. I welcomed the pain, the blood, the weakness, and the raw sound of my voice. It was the only thing that ever proved to me that I was still alive.

No, I was never one to even try and pretend to be strong. I was always one of the first ones to start crying out, to beg for mercy, to scream myself voiceless at the uncaring sky. The servants used to think that I was just soft from my early years of pampering. I always whimpered. I always cried. I never fought back in any way. My old maids and stewards eventually began to despise my unrelenting weakness.

I didn’t care. At least they had something to cling to.

But I… I had lost everyone.

It’s no wonder, really, I forgot most of who I was.

I suppose giving in so completely to my captivity is the biggest excuse I will ever give myself for letting everything go on so long without caring, for being so afraid and tired, for merely going through the motions. I played a role, and in the turns that wore on, I’d simply wiped aside the memories of all the sacrifices my people had made to keep me safe. I gave in to despair. I let myself slide into nothing, pushing away the memories and helplessness that I was ashamed to carry inside me.

Not the most worthy excuse. Not anything to prove other critics wrong.  If anything, I encourage such accusations. I had given up. I failed them.

I failed.

Yet, in all that I have learned since, in all the gifts I have been granted, I have never had the power to turn back time. All I can do is continue forward and hope my future deeds will continue to atone for all those turns spent floating and lost. Afraid… never fighting.

Because when I finally did wake up… everything changed.

And I have learned to fight since then.

Please click HERE to purchase The Dragonlord Trilogy on Texas Authors.

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