I’m going to try something new for this release, and put out a few teasers. These are going to be little exerts from the book to give some hints and flavour. While I’m trying to avoid actual spoilers, you may find out things you’d rather read in context, especially if you haven’t read some of the earlier books. For that reason, the actual clip is beyond the cut; continue if you dare!
‘I’m not as old as you believe me to be,’ Huanglong said as he swept Ceri around the dance floor. He was, clearly, a skilled dancer and somehow, in his arms, Ceri felt far more capable than she usually did.
Ceri raised an eyebrow. The statement had come out of nowhere, as though he knew what she had been thinking during Mei’s speech. For all she knew, he did. ‘The dragons I’ve met so far were all around during the Toba Flare,’ she said.
He nodded. ‘I was born around a thousand years before I came to Earth. I am about six thousand years old, by your counting.’
‘Almost a youth,’ Ceri said, smiling.
‘Compared to Mei Long or Athro I suppose I am. Compared to your ancestors I am a mere babe in arms.’ He watched her face, his lips twitching. ‘You did not know. Your Brenin had over eighty thousand years when he died. Brenhines is over a hundred thousand now. You come from long-lived, powerful stock.’ He smiled. ‘Your human line is a strong one. My condolences.’ He was obviously referring to her parents.
Ceri dipped her head in acknowledgement. ‘I still miss them, but it’s been long enough and I have enough friends around me that I’m over it, mostly.’
He was silent for a few seconds, sweeping her around in swirling arcs. She became aware that a space had opened up around them as people moved aside to watch. ‘You feel responsible for their death,’ he said.
‘Not exactly,’ Ceri replied.
‘You feel that they might still be alive if you had been with them then. I have been trying to work out why you put yourself in danger so readily. You have done things to help others which were far outside your tolerance zone.’
‘Overactive sense of guilt,’ Ceri said. ‘Dragons do things which don’t appear to benefit them. You taught a bunch of uncivilised tribesmen to read and write.’
He shrugged slightly. ‘We are dragons,’ he said as though that explained everything.
Ceri laughed. ‘Well, I’m me. Why the interest in my motivations?’
‘Human motivations interest me. Admittedly, Mei Long is the better observer, but one has to have a hobby.’ The music ended and he swirled her into what should have been a back-breaking dip; Ceri felt lighter than air.