Friday, March 16, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

"It is a good thing for the next Warhawk to train to be a Valor," Lyon continued. "No matter how many Noveni return to Moerta, our race will always be tied to Lygroes through the vales and the Valors."

"And the Rey'kil can never say that the Noveni have no part in Lygroes," Mrillis added softly, listening to an inner voice while his physical vision clouded for a moment. "There will come a day when there will only be one land for those who wish to live, and all will need to share it and forget that there ever were three continents and three races." He shuddered, feeling as if the images that prompted those words had been yanked out of some deep, until then silent, part of his soul.

Athrar held out his hand, with the ring Ceera had made for him softly glowing on his thumb. Sparks danced on the tips of the wings and beak of the stylized warhawk engraved into the thick band, physical witness of the power that had slid through the room and stirred the Threads like an errant, warm breeze.

"Did you do that...or was it done to you?" the boy asked. His hand shook just a little.

"What did you see?" Mrillis countered.

"It was a web, all different colors." He swallowed hard, audibly, but he didn't go pale. If anything, his eyes shone with wonder, not fear. "It just fell out of the ceiling and covered you. Then it melted into you." He shook his head. "But that isn't right, either."

"I think the sooner you go to Ceera for training, the happier we all will be." Mrillis stood and gestured for the boy to follow him. "If you will all excuse us, I think it is time for our prince's first lesson in using his imbrose."

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

"So, you want to be a Valor, do you? Just because you're sensitive to the power of star-metal?" He managed to hold a straight face just until panic and disappointment made the boy's face go pale. Then he laughed and reached across the gap between their horses, grasping his forearm in a salute of equals. "I can't think of anything more blessed than to have the Warhawk's heir counted among the guardians of the lifeblood of our land. I assume your uncle approves?"

"He admitted he was jealous," Athrar said with a grin.

"Just until I realized how proud I was," Afron Warhawk admitted less than an hour later, as Mrillis settled in for a pleasant, informal evening in the family quarters of the fortress. They were only six: Afron and Queen Elysion, Lyon and Lady Gretha, Athrar and Mrillis. "This is what Lady Le'esha dreamed of. Unity between our two races, a bridge over the differences between us. Noveni can no longer say that we are two separate races and there are no obligations between us, when this proves that we are brothers beyond the ties of blood. This is something no one can deny."

"Especially when they despised those of mixed blood who proved we were all one blood," Elysion said softly.

Mrillis swallowed hard against the heat and choking sensation in his throat as he watched the gray-haired Warhawk catch up his wife's hand and kiss it, and saw the tender, sad light in his eyes. Their four children, half-bloods, had been murdered, and still no one was quite sure who was responsible. Blood magic had been involved in the vicious storm, but no one knew if it was Encindi practicing the forbidden arts, or Noveni who turned to forbidden things in a bid for power, or another Rey'kil who had sold his imbrose for the sake of power.

"I will always acknowledge the debt the Noveni owe to the Rey'kil for sharing Lygroes with us, when our own lands were overrun with star-metal poisoning and the Encindi invaders," the Warhawk continued after several moments when everyone was content to stare into the fire and visit sad memories. "Just as generations of our race took shelter here, so will generations give service in defending the vales and the cup of life and power before that debt is repaid. As long as there is magic in our bloodline, the family of the Warhawk will lead in that defense."

"Witnessed," Lyon and Athrar said together. Father and son exchanged grins.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

How old was the boy now? Fourteen? Mrillis had a fleeting moment of feeling incredibly old. Where had the time gone? He had been younger than Athrar was now, when they first met; although he doubted the boy remembered, being practically a newborn, spending most of his time eating and sleeping.

Mrillis couldn't remember a time when life had been that simple for him. Had it ever, even when he was a newly orphaned boy, watched over by Le'esha and Graddon?

Then all other thoughts fled as he felt a pressure, a presence pushing against him. That particular resonance of a Noveni touched with imbrose grew Athrar rode closer. Mrillis almost reined his horse to a stop, to give him time to comprehend. Instead, he gathered up his sense of self and sent it questing along the Threads, toward that untrained, fledgling imbrose.

Athrar? He nearly burst out laughing when the oncoming rider yanked on the reins, making his horse swerve and half-rear up in reaction. So, you can hear me. That's very good, for someone untrained in imbrose.

Mrillis? The boy's mental voice cracked just like his physical voice did. I'm not insane? I'm not imagining it?

Not at all. When did it start?

Lady Ceera gave me a ring made of star-metal for solstice. sang to me, even before I took it from the pottery box that held it. By this time, the two riders were close enough for Mrillis to see the strained, crooked grin on the boy's square-cut face.

"Better stop that and talk normally," he called. "You're draining yourself." He bit his lip against another grin at the relief clear on the boy's face. "Estall bless us, but you've grown. Ceera won't recognize you." He shook his head in amazement.

Athrar had to be two hands taller than he had been half a year ago. He had lost the childish roundness in his cheeks, and the hands gripping the reins were long and narrow and showed calluses from hours practicing with sword, bow and spear.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

He sighed, and closed his eyes as an extra-hard gust of icy wind slapped him as if in rebuke. Not too long ago, all Rey'kil had blamed the Noveni, especially their nobles, for the death of Le'esha, Queen of Snows. The rebels among them who had set about to drive all Noveni from Lygroes, even resorting to murder and wholesale destruction of homes and estates, were still unidentified and roaming freely.

At least they no longer think Endor is their leader, Ceera offered.

I thought you were going to sleep, he retorted, and grinned again into the darkness. Just ahead, the woods seemed to split apart, and he could see the towers of the fortress, gleaming with torchlight.

With you thinking so loudly? She laughed. The wind is especially loud off the sea tonight. I keep thinking I hear children crying, through the thickest stone walls. Remember to point out the glories of winter in the Stronghold, if that new Valor insists on being trained by me.

Yes, my Lady. Mrillis laughed quietly, echoing Ceera's laughter. His smile faded when the sound of her voice left his head, and he knew their connection through the Threads had ended. He clucked to his horse, urging a last burst of speed from the tired, cold beast.

Halfway across the open ground between the forest's edge and the fortress, a horseman rode out from the massive gates and raced across the snowy, hard-packed ground to meet him. Mrillis saw the golden hair flying wildly in the wind and the way the rider hung low over the horse's neck, and recognized Athrar racing out to meet him. How long had it been since he saw the boy? He felt a twinge of guilt at neglecting the young prince's lessons, but knew it only made sense for Athrar to spend his time with his uncle now, and learn all the things necessary to be Warhawk someday.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


From Uncial Press
Book 2 of the Zygradon Chronicles

Mrillis felt the Threads hum as he approached the Warhawk's winter fortress. Despite the lateness of the hour and his long ride in icy, dry wind, he felt a new surge of energy. Somewhere ahead of him, someone had picked up one of Ceera's many trinkets of star-metal and had disturbed the Threads. They made a particular resonance that couldn't be mistaken for any other vibration when someone touched the Threads with their imbrose. A Noveni had discovered he had just enough Rey'kil blood to sense the presence of the Threads. That was likely why the Warhawk had requested him to make the journey from the Stronghold at this time of year.

Interesting, Ceera agreed, when he touched a Thread and sent the information and his impressions back to her. Whoever it is will want training immediately. I wonder if they'll request that you or I train the new Valor? I've had a long, hard day and I'm going to bed now. Please don't wake me with the news, no matter how important this one thinks he is.

Yes, my Lady. I hear and obey.

A sensation like a light slap on his cheek came through their connection, which broke with an almost audible snap. Mrillis snorted and grinned into the winds that bit at his exposed skin. A new Valor waited for him at the Warhawk's fortress. He didn't know what amused him more; the new name that had formed in less than a moon's time for those Noveni who had discovered their imbrose and were tapped for guardianship of the vales, or the nobles among the Noveni who insisted that only the Queen of Snows or High Scholar Breylon should be their teacher.

How things had changed, in only a few moons. Why was it that the Noveni believed so easily in the existence of the Zygradon, when no one but those who had forged it could see or touch it? Why was it such a high honor to be named a guardian of the Vales, and by extension a guardian of the Zygradon? And why was it such a sought-after situation, to have magic, when only this past spring all Noveni hated and feared Rey'kil and wanted to migrate as one body to Moerta?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Book of the Week: BRAENLICACH

Today we move on to the next book in my Arthurian fantasy series, The Zygradon Chronicles. All published by Uncial Press.

There are 5 books in the series:


A new enemy arises to challenge Mrillis and Ceera as they battle plagues, an unknown enemy and treachery within the Noveni and Rey'kil alliance. Has the Nameless One survived, or has someone else taken his power? Endor's sister, Triska, is Ceera's heir as Queen of Snows, but arrogant and temperamental. Are they what they seem, or something else, something dangerous? 

During a star-shower, Ceera has a vision of the star-metal sword. She brings together the surviving makers of the Zygradon to forge the sword, Braenlicach. The children of the makers of Zygradon and Braenlicach inherit their parents' links with the magical objects. 

Uneasy years of peace pass, as they mature. Plagues return, and the young guardians take Zygradon out to heal their land, but they are betrayed from within. Traitors within the Stronghold attack, wantonly killing those linked to bowl and sword. Mrillis is left to save his world, but in doing so, may lose all that he loves.

Friday, March 2, 2018


Book 1 of the Zygradon Chronicles:

When Ceera woke up, Mrillis turned most of his attention to entertaining the little girl and keeping her quiet. Besides, the talk of numbers and provisions and arrangements for sailing from Wynystrys to Moerta bored him. He had one question, and asked it as soon as the visitors left and Le'esha called the children out of their hiding place.

"Why can't they just walk to Moerta?" he asked, on the heels of Le'esha commending the children for being so good.

"Walk?" The Queen of Snows blinked, visibly caught off balance, and sat down in her chair. Then she laughed. "You mean the tunnels that we use to travel between the enclaves? Oh, my dear, do you know how far it is from the shores of Lygroes to the shores of Moerta?"

"Magic makes the distance shorter," Mrillis said. Now he was confused. He knew that if he rode a horse, it would take him one whole moon to travel from Wynystrys, on the western shore of Lygroes, to the Stronghold, on the far northeastern tip of the continent. Walking the tunnel from the Stronghold to the island, however, took less than a day. He had never gone into the tunnel, but he had stood at the barred door of the entrance. He knew the tingling in his fingertips and the whispering in the back of his mind was his imbrose, reacting to magic at work.

"Yes, magic does make the distance shorter. And only those of Rey'kil blood, with strong imbrose, can use the tunnels. There is no tunnel under the sea, reaching to Moerta."

"We could build one."

"Hmm, yes, but how much power do you think it would take to dig a tunnel, much less keep the weight of all that water and stone from crushing it?" Le'esha sighed and smiled and reached out her arms to the children.

Ceera, who was sleepy again, crept up into her lap. Mrillis leaned into the warmth of her arm around him and rested his elbows on the arm of her chair.

"I don't know," he admitted, after thinking a long while.

"That is knowledge you must grow into. Just as you will grow into whatever talent the Estall has given you."