Mirror Worlds bundle open for pre-order


All my short fantasy works are now available in one neat bundle for pre-order on Amazon. This edition contains also another, never released before short story, “Favnirsbane”.

Dragons' FallDragons’ Fall: Tales from the Mirror Worlds

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER NOW!

Two novellas and two short stories from the Mirror Worlds epic fantasy universe.

DRAGONBONE CHEST

Duke Ayaris is a dragon slayer. He’s the only one left in the world, and he is hunting after the last of the dragons. He is about to fulfil his life’s destiny.
A dying old man asks him to take care of his beautiful young daughter. But the girl has a secret – one that will cause him to set sail where no man has willingly sailed before: to the Dragon North, in search of the fabled city of Eden.

DRAGONSBANE

Ennaki’s Master is also a dragon slayer. But not just any dragon slayer: each beast he slays is greater and more powerful than the previous one, and each fight brings more woe and damage to the innocents around. As the knight proceeds with his murderous scheme, Ennaki begins to doubt and wonder. Is his Master’s secret plan really worth the slaughter? And is this really the best way to win the everlasting War against the Shadow that threatens to engulf all Mirror Worlds?

Also includes short stories “Crown of the Abyss” and “Favnirsbane

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New Release: Dragonsbane


DragonsbaneDragonsbane: a Mirror Worlds novella

OUT NOW!

Ennaki’s Master is a dragon slayer. But not just any dragon slayer: each beast he slays is greater and more powerful than the previous one, and each fight brings more woe and damage to the innocents around. As the knight proceeds with his murderous scheme, Ennaki begins to doubt and wonder. Is his Master’s secret plan really worth the slaughter? And is this really the best way to win the everlasting War against the Shadow that threatens to engulf all Mirror Worlds?

A new novella from the world of Dragonbone Chest brings new heroes and more detailed backstory of the war-torn universe.

 

Make sure you also try “Dragonbone Chest”, the first of Mirror Worlds novellas: dbc

NEW RELEASE! CHRYSANTHEMUM SEAL IS OUT!


The files are uploaded, verified and approved. The Chrysanthemum Seal is out now!

It’s the middle of summer in the Year of the Dragon. The hunt for the Crimson Robe may be over, but the adventure continues…

With Bran seemingly gone from Yamato forever, his friends settle in their new lives, their common adventures a distant memory. Sato enrolls in Lord Nariakira’s school of wizardry, while Nagomi joins her father’s medical practice in far-away Nagoya.

But the revolution, once started, cannot be stopped. The foreign threat finally comes to Yamato’s doorstep. A Varyagan submarine drops anchor in Kiyo harbour. A Bataavian warship arrives at Kagoshima, carrying Dylan ab Ifor, Gwen and Wulfhere. In Shimoda, the Black Wings supply fleet brings with it a curious, unwanted guest…

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES |Amazon JP | Amazon CA | Amazon BR | Amazon AU
Kobo Edition:
Kobo | Kobo 楽天
Nook:
Nook

If you haven’t yet read any of the books in “The Year of the Dragon” cycle, you should start from The Shadow of Black Wings:

NEW_SHADO_ 1000 It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, Bran, a young dragon rider, joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, Sato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father’s school of western magic. Nagomi, a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend.

They don’t know it yet, but their paths will cross… And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again.

Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It’s big, it’s fast, it’s been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES |Amazon JP | Amazon CA | Amazon BR | Amazon AU
Kobo Edition:
Kobo | Kobo 楽天
Also:
iBooks | XinXii | Nook
Paperback:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CN | Junglee.com | Barnes&Noble | Book Depository

Or if you don’t want to read the books piece-meal, dive straight in and splash out on the bundle of the first four volumes – this will bring you right up to date with the events leading up to the Chrysanthemum Seal!

 NEW_BUNDLE_250
 This is a bundle edition of the first four books of the best-selling historical fantasy saga, containing the entire Crimson Robe arc:

 

  • Book 1: The Shadow of Black Wings
  • Book 2: The Warrior’s Soul
  • Book 3: The Islands in the Mist
  • Book 4: The Rising Tide
The deluxe edition contains also a short story “Birkenhead Drill”, a full glossary of foreign words, list of characters, the map of the land of Gwynedd and a chronology of the world.
Kindle Edition:
Amazon US | Amazon UK  | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon ES |Amazon JP | Amazon CA | Amazon BR | Amazon AU
Kobo Edition:
Kobo | Kobo 楽天
Nook:

kyotoOh, and here’s a little something to while away the time when the books download to your respective e-readers:
2048: The Year of the Dragon Edition!

Yaldā Advent Calendar 2012 – Day 5 – the Lands of Orient and the Royal Marines


roman-letters_11

Hey hey! Today I got my first Amazon cheque – fingers crossed, there will be many more of these to come 🙂 2012-12-05 14.17.37

Today’s gift to you are two new pieces of lore for the Year of the Dragon world: a map and a description of the Royal Marines Dragoons order of battle.

(note that all the on-going deals are still available: Free KOBO book and half-price bundle – see sidebar)

The new map that we’ve been working on is for the Volume 4. As action grows in scope and begins to move away from Chinzei, so the map encompasses the entire region of Orient, from Fan Yu in the South to Ezo in the North. The map will also feature in the paperback of The Islands in the Mist, which I hope will come out in a few days.

LandsOfOrient

The Royal Marines Order of Battle is a set of notes I wrote for the book some time around drafting volume 2. I just cleaned it up a little for ease of reading.


marines_new

Regiments

There are five dragoon regiments in the Royal Marines. Of these, the 1st, “Empress’ Own”, is attached to the House Guards and charged with security of Lundenburgh and protecting the ships in the Lundenburgh harbour.

The 2nd, “Gwynedd Free”, based in Brigstow and the 3rd, “Belerion Free”, based in Ictis are Colonial Regiments. Formed mostly of Prydain recruits, the two regiments are tasked with protecting the Empire’s interests overseas. Dylan ab Ifor is the commander of the 2nd regiment. The 3rd regiment is currently in operation in Africa.

The 4th, “Home Counties”,  is based in Portcaester to guard the Channel crossing.

The 5th, “the Norsemen” or “Alba Royals”, is a training and reserve regiment based in Arcaibh Islands.

Ranks and organisation

All dragoon formations in the navy and army use the following ranks and organisation:

Unit Dragons Commander
Mount 1 Ensign
Detail 2 Lieutenant
Flight 4 Flight Leader
Squadron 8 Squadron Leader
Wing 16 Wing Leader
(staff officer) Reeve
Banner 32 Banneret
Regiment 64 Ardian
Battalion 320 Air Marshal

Insignia and Uniforms

The RMD insignia is an anchor with silver dragon wings around a globe. Each regiment’s insignia are topped with a regimental badge: a royal crown for the 1st, a sprig of gorse for the 2nd, a chough for the 3rd, a walled gate for the 4th and stag horns for the 5th.

There are three basic dragoon uniform styles, and they are also in use for the Marines formation:

  • The cadet uniform is steel blue with yellow trimmings
  • The regular uniform is navy blue with white trimmings
  • The officer uniform is scarlet with blue and golden trimmings

In place of the usual dragon markings, the soldiers of the 2nd are allowed Aberffraw lions on buttons and cuff-links and the soldiers of the 5th are allowed the White Stags of Alba.

Mounts

The regulation mount of RMD are Mountain Silvers, bred in the Royal Hatcheries of Alba. Also accepted are Highland Azures from Rheged and Gall Gaidel and (for recon duties) Jutish Swifts from Vectis and Hoo.

These are the Fifteen Royal Hatcheries which supply dragons for all branches of the army and navy:

1. Braeriach, Am Monadh Ruadh – Mountain Silvers “Wyrmkings”

2. Svirlehaugr, Rheged – Highland Azures “Seakings”

3. Thor’s Cave, Pecsaetan – Norse Whites

4. Eremue, Vectis – Jutish Swifts

5. Pont-y-Pair, Gwydyr Forest – Forest Viridians

6. Urra, Jorvik Moor – Norse Whites

7. Lys Ardh, Belerion – Kernow Crimsons

8. Cadair Arthur, Brycheinniog – Ancient Reds

9. Clofeshoch, Hoo – Jutish Swifts

10. Isle of Elig, Gyrwas – Fenland Celadons

11. Sniaull, Ellan Vannin – Vannin Cyan

12. Glen Trool, Gall Gaidel – Highland Azures

13. Dun Scaith, Scathach – Highland Greys “Shadowclouds”

14. Scearder, Mynydd – Purple Swifts

15. North Duns – Ebbesham – Imperial Goldens

De Draconibus, Part 2 – Notable Eastern Races and Ancient Progenitors


The following is an excerpt from an Appendix on Dragon Breeds and Races, Dracology Handbook Year One, Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

A LIST OF NOTABLE EASTERN RACES

Note: the Eastern Dragon lore is sketchy and unreliable. What we do know about the beasts of the Orient comes from a variety of sources, from ancient travelogues to spy reports. Since the recent war with the Qin Empire we have started improving our knowledge, but it’s a slow and difficult process.

Longs (Air Dragons)

  • Qin Long

All tame “Longs” are, to our knowledge, descended from the dragons of Qin. This ancient civilization has bred their mounts for millennia, starting from wild fresh-water races captured in the rivers of Annam.

The Qin Long are serpentine and wingless, relying only on their magic powers for flight. As such, their lifespan is shorter than that of the Western dragons, but they are better and stronger fliers.

  • Annam Rong

While the wild beasts of Annam are regarded as predecessors of the Long, the dragons currently employed by the Kingdom’s armies are descended from the Qin beasts, brought into Annam during the many invasions the Kingdom had suffered from its northern neighbour.

  • Chosun Yong

The remote and little known kingdom of Chosun reportedly breeds two major races: the flying Yong and the water-based Imugi. Judging by the name “Yong being an obvious corruption of the word “Long”, the flying dragons of Chosun must be similar to all other Oriental dragons.

  • “Ryu” or Winged Long

Vasconian and Bataavian reports tell us of a winged, shorter and more muscular breed of Long, coming from an island or a set of islands East of Qin. These reports remain unconfirmed.

  • Himalayan Druk

A thunder-spewing race of Eastern Dragons. Whether they are related to Qin Long (to which they are similar in form), or have been bred in parallel by the Shambhallans, is uncertain.

Nagas (Water Dragons)

The Nagas are primitive dragons, little more than giant water serpents. They are notoriously difficult to tame, and rarely used as mounts. Some breeds of the Naga are multi-headed.

  • Phaya Naga

The wild Naga of Annam. Small and weak, a few are bred in the royal stables for ceremonial purposes.

  • Arakan Naga

The Kingdom of Arakan is the most successful nation to utilize the Naga in warfare. Their dragons are fierce and well-trained, and had proven a match to the Western mounts several times. The Arakan Naga can have up to seven heads, although only one is fully functional.

  • Chosun Imugi

The Imugi are the second race of the Chosun dragons that we know of. From the reports, it seems they are closely related to the Nagas of Annam and Rattanakosin, although little is confirmed.

  • Antaboga

A race of giant, salt-water Nagas living in the area of Sri Vijaya kingdom. They have vestigial wings, which led some scholars to suggest that they are a failed product of the Qin breeding program.

  • Bakunawa

Similar in general physique to the Antaboga, but without the vestigial wings, the Bakunawa inhabit the waters around the Tagalog islands.

A LIST OF ANCIENT PROGENITORS

The following is a brief list of mostly extinct races which our scholars believe to be predecessors of the modern dragons.

  • Azi Dahaka

Semi-legendary race from the highlands of Pahlava and Durrani, presumed ancestor of all domestic dragons. Known only through oral tradition and some archaeological finds. Presumably amphibian.

Worshipped by the ancient Pahlavans.

  • Mushussu

First fully land-based dragon, discovered in Mesopotamia. Tall and straight-legged, could not yet fly or breathe fire but could spit sparks and smoke.

  • Iluyanka

Bred by the Hittites, the Iluyanka was a transitory form between the land and winged dragons. Like the modern Long, it could fly without wings.

  • Typhon, Typhoeus

First of what could be known as ‘modern’ Western breeds, the Typhon had fully functioning wings and could spew flame. Earliest known specimens come from Cilicia, presumably bred from the Hittite dragons. After Rome’s conquest of Hellas, the Typhons were bred into the Ladon and Echidna breeds, from which all other Western dragons supposedly come.

  • Dvaraka

Heavily armoured, crocodilian in form. Assumed by some to be a type of the Naga, it seemed, however, to be much more comfortable on land. Relation to the Azi Dahaka is unknown. Earliest specimens found in the ancient cities of the Indus Valley.

  • Vritra

First ‘modern’ Eastern breed. Created in the stables of ancient Bharata by crossing the Phaya Nagas with the Dvaraka. The dragon breeding program was later abandoned, to be continued only in Qin. The Vritra were slim and small, but could easily fly and spewed both steam and lightning.

De Draconibus, Part 1 – Notable Western Races


The following is an excerpt from an Appendix on Dragon Breeds and Races, Dracology Handbook Year One, Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

A LIST OF NOTABLE WESTERN RACES

Metallic (Ladon’s Breed)

History:
The Ladon’s Breed is one of the oldest and most diverse breeds of dragons in the West. Bred first on Trinacria, they were the dragons of choice for the Roman Legions until the Sun Priests came to power and banished all dragons. Having escaped destruction of the Great Cull in select hidden pockets in the Alp valleys, their breeding was picked up after the Age of Unbridled Fire by the Midgardians and the Helvetii.

  • Savoy Bronze

Known for their speed and agility, the Bronzes bred in the highland of Savoy come from the eggs secured by the Helvetii and have served a great part in the Duchy’s wars of independence. When Savoy was annexed into Breizh, the Bronzes became a desired choice for young aristocrats.

  • Black Forest Iron

A heavy-set, muscular breed, used primarily in timber industry, although almost replaced by Osning Forest Viridians

  • Mountain Silver “Wyrmkings”

A chosen breed for dragon-flying armies, the largest and strongest of all the western races. Addition of the Norse White blood made them violent and brutal, but also very powerful.

  • Imperial Gold

Only the royal families are allowed to ride the Imperial Golds. It is alleged that they are related to the dragons the Roman Emperors rode, but that is conjecture – in fact the breed is an effect of breeding the Mountain Silvers with Steppe Yellows.

Red (Y Ddraig Goch’s Breed)

History:
According to the legend, the Ddraig Goch’s eggs have been found by Emrys Wledig under Arthur the Faer’s last fortress during the Seaxe invasions. The ancestry of the Reds is unknown; it is suggested that they either have been domesticated in the Dragon Isles separately from the Roman efforts, or are related to ancient metallics.

There are few differences between various breeds of the Reds, coming mainly from geographical separation of the Hatcheries. The Crimsons and Scarlets are generally smaller and faster than the Rubies, and Ancient Reds are almost extinct today.

  • Ancient Red
  • Eryni Ruby
  • Kernow Crimson
  • Mon Scarlet

Green (Fafnir’s Breed)

History:
Midgard’s main indigenous breed, the Greens are not as brutal as the Whites or as fast as the Swifts, but are known for their reliability and stamina.

  • Burgund Wurm

An early breed, presumably crossed with the Horse Lord Dragons during the invasions. Cheap and relatively easy to maintain, but goes feral quickly.

  • Osning Forest Viridian

Industrial breed, strong, heavy, calm all-rounder. Currently the most numerous of the Western races.

  • Olissipo Emerald extinct

The counts of Burgundy had brought Fafnir’s breed with them to Lusitania, to carve out a piece of land for themselves. Unfortunately, almost all Emeralds have perished in the wars and what was left of their eggs was destroyed in the Great Earthquakes.

Blue (Cuelebre’s Breed)

History:
Little is known of Cuelebre’s breed until after the cull. A few eggs have been salvaged from Vasconia to Dracaland and bred in the highland pastures of Alba, resulting in creation of the Azures – the first of the “King” races.

  • Pyreneean Sapphire

The only Blue to remain freely roaming on the Continent. A menace to farmers, but regarded with great esteem by the Vasconians, who do not try to tame or cull it.

  • Highland Azure Seakings

Before the advent of Mountain Silvers, the Highland Azures were the largest and strongest mounts in Dracaland army’s employ. They are still preferred by some because they are cheaper to feed and maintain.

  • Highland Grey Shadowclouds

Bred exclusively in the Fortress of Shadows on the Isle of Scathach, the Shadowclouds are used for spying and reconnaissance. Their scales can change colour slightly to suit the sky, and instead of dragon fear they spread dragon glamour which makes the observer turn their eyes away and forget about the dragon.

Swamp – (Tarasque’s Breed)

History:
The Tarasques were Blue dragons brought to Provincia Nostra from the Pyrenees during the Age of Dragons. Following the rivers and marshes of Rhone and Rhein, they have eventually reached the Draca Lands. Resilient and fertile, the feral Tarasques soon spread throughout the land.

  • Fenland Celadon

Slim and serpentine, the Celadons are as fast on land as they are in the air.

  • Rhos Jade

Weak and small, bred as training and toy dragons for young riders.

(Emrys’s breed)

White (Orm Nidhoggr’s Breed)

History:
Presumed to be remote descendants of the Echidna breed. The Seaxe and the Norsemen both rode Nidhoggr’s Breed into their many successful invasions, unstoppable until encountering the Reds.

Having accompanied the Norsemen on their oceanic expeditions, these frost-breathers were among the first Western dragons to arrive in Tyr Gorllewin.

  • Niflheimr Arctic
  • Norse White

The oldest war breed still in active use. A staple of Dracaland land army.

  • Vannin Cyan

Cross between Norse Whites and Highland Azures

  • Snaeland Snow

Born on Snaeland, this stocky, fat breed is most popular in Gorllewin

Earthy (Zmey’s Breed)

History:
These stocky, heavy, slow dragons are kept by the Venedians in the lairs underneath their cities for defensive purposes. They are unique in that they are the only breeds able to blow both steam and flame – hence the ancient superstition that they have two heads.

  • Upland Brown
  • Giant Venedian

Ashen (Balaur’s Breed)

History:
The ancient Balaurids were one of the most heavily affected by the Sun Priests’ cull. Only a few specimen survived to become ancestors of the current three yellow breeds. Now bred mostly for the rare colour of their scale.

  • Dacian Cinder extinct
  • Carpathian Vert

Swifts (Hleidra’s Breed)

History:
The Jutish Swifts came with the Jutish conquerors accompanying the Seaxe. Coming from the same stock as the beast slain by Beowulf, the dragons have long outlived their masters. Small, sleek and fast, they have become a mount of choice for smugglers as well as the law enforcement.

  • Jutish Swift
  • Purple Swift

Cross between Jutish Swift and Ancient Red, popularly used by town guards and as blockade runners.

  • Chalk Swift

Cross between Jutish Swift and Norse White, preferred by the smugglers

Yellow (Echidna’s Breed)

History:
Direct descendants of the Typhon, these breeds are as ancient as the metallic ones, and are said to have been cross-breeding with the Oriental dragons for generations.

  • Horse Lord Yellow

Brought into the West during the Barbarian Invasions, now a curiosity among collectors. More popular in the Eastern Steppes and in Varyaga.

  • Itil Zilant

A wild breed, roaming the flood plains along the Itil and other rivers of the Varyaga Khaganate. Almost impossible to tame, despite many efforts.

New Release – Dragonbone Chest


Hot on the heels of a successful KDP Select campaign (although how successful, I may never know – more on that next week), I bring you a new release: DRAGONBONE CHEST

We do not know where the Forgetting had come from, what causes it and how exactly does it work… all we know is that nobody is safe from its dark touch, nobody knows where and when it will strike. A prince, a pauper, a wizard, a child… it can happen to anybody and there is no way to prevent it.

Duke Ayaris is a dragon slayer. He’s the only one left in the world, and he is hunting after the last of the dragons. He is about to fulfil his life’s destiny.
A dying old man asks him to take care of his beautiful young daughter. But the girl has a secret – one that will cause him to set sail where no man has willingly sailed before: to the Dragon North, in search of the fabled city of Eden.

DRAGONBONE CHEST is an epic fantasy novella of love, destiny and dragons. It’s a standalone work  unrelated to “The Year of the Dragon“. The theme is much darker and more adult than most of the things I’v been writing recently. Ironically, I wrote it when I was much younger.

It was originally written in Polish, and takes place in a setting I started developing years ago – a complex fantasy multiverse, similar to that present in Roger Zelazny’s Amber, and populated with equally twisted characters. The “Chest” is just a small glimpse into this world, where a tiny shrapnel of a great inter-planetary war had caused untold damage. I have a few more pieces and half of a novel written in this setting, and I might revisit it at some point when I’m finished with “The Year…”

“Dragonbone Chest” was my longest completed work before I started writing “The Shadow of Black Wings”, and one that was probably most mature piece from that period. It needed some polishing and rewriting, of course, to be eligible for this release.

Keen readers might notice some tropes I had developed and used in my later work. One thing I have to note: despite some geographical similarities, the novella was written long before I started playing World of Warcraft. I suppose great minds think alike 😉

Please enjoy responsibly!

The Dragon King’s Blessing


I was standing on the threshold of a cold, dark cave. The Pacific roared mercilessly against the rocks below and on the horizon;  Mount Fuji peered majestically through the clouds.

It was my fourth trip to Japan, but the first since I had started writing my novel. I was still not sure of what the overarching plot would be, how certain knots in the story would unravel. I was hoping to find an inspiration on my journey. Continue reading “The Dragon King’s Blessing”