A Synopsis of Book 4, Story 1, Part 1: Denial
Illustration by Mark Hansen
At the start of Book 4, Tonklyn is rummaging through the streets of Twynne Rivers, convinced he’s still the King and that the soldiers of the enemy are chasing him. It’s the dead of winter, and much of the city is burned and ruined. He finds a homeless man drunk in the rubble of a house and steals the man’s heavy cloak.
Later, he dreams he is still the king, and sees his kingdom being attacked and burned by the dragons. He awakens to see soldiers from House Kaelig’s militia fighting with peasants and wizards. An invisible voice named Verd helps him hide. Unable to see who is talking to him, Tonklyn momentarily doubts his sanity and crumbles into a mental break. The voice tells him how to find help.
In Kirraxal’s old western mountain palace, Xintalan has re-established the reign of the dragon kings, but is trying to guide the dragons to rule themselves rather that dominate the world. Others want to attack the “two-legs” again and wreak their revenge for centuries of bondage and servitude. Xintalan takes some time to fly in the open air to clear her head. When she returns, she isn’t feeling well, and she doesn’t like the arguing of other dragons around her.
Ever since the fall of House Twynnham, followed by Kirraxal’s demise and Tonklyn’s failure, Mithrabella’s life has been out of her control, and she hates it! She has spent the months hiding with her parents in their ruined Twynne Rivers neighborhood. She swears that one day she will write the full history of the calamity. Rumors of rampaging soldiers and illnesses stoke her fears and she tries to keep her family safe in their home. Her mother, however, wants to celebrate Winterfest, and that includes helping those that are suffering and sick. Mithrabella is frustrated when her mother’s strong will overcomes her resistance, and her mother falls ill with the prevailing sickness as a result.
Shylai’a has been living on the streets, running from herself and the militias ever since the horrible fight in the throne room the previous summer. Now she’s sick with the plague. She has delirious flashback dreams until she is found by Verd and brought to the St Marden’s chapel beggar’s bond, where she is healed by a shadow mage named Kiffra. Kiffra remembers her from that night in the palace, when he had helped her, Parith, and Korr break in and find their imprisoned friends.
Finally, Kiffra says a prayer and sees Shylai’a, who is now awake after being healed. He remembered seeing her outside the palace last summer. After everyone else in the beggars’ bond goes to sleep, Kiffra sees a dark figure who he knows as the Knight of Shadows. The Knight asks him about Tonklyn before slinking away into the night.
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Author’s Note: The Next Part of the Story
Things are going to get ugly, that’s for sure. In the previous books, the five main characters were all mostly friends. They had their conflicts, it’s true, but they were all committed to each other’s success.
Not so in book 4! At least, not at the beginning. Each of the main POV character storylines are merging, and they are NOT going to be happy about it! One thing that means for the readers is: EXCITEMENT!
Come along for the ride!