Publisher: Amesdian Press
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
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Cassandra has a problem, and it’s only the first of many. Being raised as the youngest child in a family of great heroes would be a challenge for anyone.
Until a few days ago, Cassandra was content with her role as a child of greatness. She was studious, spent most of her waking hours with her mother and other heads of state and at her father’s insistence, learned how to duel. As her siblings had before her, Cassandra knew she would likely be matched with a partner for political reasons and had long since accepted her role in the world.
That was, of course, before her mother died, and before her…transformation. Overnight, her soft pale skin sprouted gorgeous golden dragon scales.
Presented with a future she no longer recognizes, as the first of her kind, she must overcome a whole new set of challenges if she hopes to survive the unknown threat that comes from across the Careless Sea.
The Sakwa dragonkin are a dying race, fueled by a tribal system that failed them centuries ago but yet unable to adapt to a new way of life. In a desperate bid to keep the people focused on outside conflict, Jenya of the Toho has declared war on Cassandra’s country. An ocean may separate the two cultures, but the Sakwa see the Seven Kingdoms as their opportunity for a new start; a new start they will willingly kill and die for.
Cassie sat, quietly watching the storm as it spent its fury utterly on the sanctuary known as Dragon Hold. For the last eighty years, the palace grounds and the dragon breeding caves below had served as the home to dragon, human and half-breed alike. The other races had begun to join their ranks and dragon lore was being taught to non-dragon for the first time in their species’ long history.
Her father had stressed (more times than she cared to recall) that the key to a lasting peace was truly understanding one another. To that end, he and her great-grandfather Draconis had built Dragon Hold. It served as a home for all races to talk, debate, fight, and reconcile without the need or desire for bloodshed.
With the passing of her mother, a significant part of that home was now lost to her entirely.
Everyone dealt with grief differently, for her it had become an open wound. Something she tended, though accepted as part of who she was. Only her father seemed to accept this. Perhaps it was the bond that they shared as father and daughter, perhaps it had more to do with their unmistakable similarities. More likely was their absolute trust in one another. There was one thing that all of her father’s children shared; the ability to at least sense each other’s thoughts.
In some it was more pronounced than others, but in her case, it was as though her mind was an open book to her parents and vice versa.
Two weeks ago, a storm of incredible strength had blown through Dragon Hold. Torrential rain, cascades of high altitude lightning and thunder that shook dust from the rafters of her tower room. A bolt of lightning had set the southern watchtower on fire and the citizens of the palace had sprung into action to put out the blaze before it spread.
She’d been terrified.
Lying in her bed, with the covers pulled up over her eyes, she’d felt the warm, comforting presence of her mother for the first time in years. Eventually, the storm had blown itself out and was replaced by the hypnotic rhythm of rain. The quiet calm of the rain lulled her into a troubled sleep.
The following morning, she’d groggily gotten out of bed and made her way down to the family dining hall for breakfast to an audience of shocked faces. Every conversation ceased immediately as everyone stared at her in open shock. When Cassie looked down, she shared their astonishment, finding her pale skin and painted nails ostensibly replaced by golden dragon scale and black talon.
Then she fainted.
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David has been writing for most of his life, though only began putting together full-length novels in 2008. His first two novels were distinctly fantasy, containing the usual fare of dragons, princes, swords and sorcery.
With “Daughter of Vengeance”, he took leave of the more common tropes in fantasy and instead wrote a book predominantly from a female point of view. The story follows a young woman coming of age while apprenticed to a master assassin.
His strengths lie in compelling stories with a satisfying mix of action, dialogue and plot building. He doesn’t believe in waxing philosophical to fill pages or fluff his word count, there will be not be entire paragraphs dedicated to the painfully long-winded description of a button. He also uses his extensive martial arts and marksmanship experience to create believable and easy to follow action.
Most genre fiction uses the genre to drive the plot, David believes that the genre should merely be used to supplement a great story. A mystery is just a mystery, but a Holmes mystery is infinitely more entertaining in his opinion. There are still inalienable requirements to any genre fiction and as a fan of the fantasy genre, he still loves to read and write within fantastical surroundings.
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