The Dragon Sea Chronicles Box Set
by Brian Ference & Chris Turner
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Follow Darek of the Red Claw Clan through this three book box set, a young sailor crossing blades with ruthless pirates and warring clans. As his hidden powers grow, first in his natural ability to commune with sea dragons, so too does his uncanny dragon-riding skill and sudden bursts of psi power.
Yet a foul wind blows across the serpent deeps, bringing with it a former apprentice, Cyrus, a forsaken sorcerer who wields terror and death. The Dragonclaw Islands are thrust into the brink of war as Darek struggles to find his path, unlock his skills, though alienated from his sister and parents. Is he destined to become the Mage Reborn? Ever more does he realize he must stop the tides of war, bring order to clan and family while the rising menace of Cyrus lurks unseen.
Taken under the wing of the ailing Dragon Mage Agrippa, Darek uses his powers to unite the Dragon Riders against the growing swarm of sea serpents controlled by Cyrus’s forbidden magic. The fires of rebellion, stoked by a Pirate Queen, plunge the Islanders into an all-out war among dragons, sea serpents, and monsters of the deep. But are Darek’s powers enough to combat these foes, especially when he is linked to the pirates by blood bond and their beautiful queen?
Dive into this world of adventure, imagination, and danger that fans of Dragonriders of Pern, Eragon, Dragonlance, Dragon Blood, Dragonvein, Temeraire, and Dragon School will love.
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“I know it’s uncomfortable,” said Darek, “but it’ll protect you in a fight.”
Several other Dragon Riders were preparing as well. A few strides away, Meira saddled Typhoon favoring lighter, boiled leather armor. Bree covered her blue-tailed dragon Shimmer with an expensive harness crafted from hundreds of interwoven steel links. Bree smiled in Darek’s direction.
Tand fitted his orange-scaled dragon Hagar with a heavy-plated harness with spikes at the neck and shoulder.
Jace walked through the wing, checking equipment and the health of the dragons. “Tighten your flank cinch, Darek,” he advised. “Ricnad, I thought I told you to patch those holes in this wing membrane.”
“I thought this was going to be a race?” complained Darek. “Why do we need all this heavy armor?”
“We’re training for war,” replied Jace. “You’ll need to know your dragon’s limits when carrying full armor.”
Tand made a quick series of hand gestures and Ricnad laughed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Darek.
“Dragon Rider hand signals,” called Tand. “Only the real riders know how to communicate with them when the wind drowns out your voice.”
“What did he say?” Darek asked Meira in lowered tones.
Meira rolled her eyes. “He’s betting Ricnad that your dragon will fall out of the sky.”
Darek bristled. “Silver Eye will go claw-to-claw with Hagar any day.”
Silver Eye seemed to sense the insult and growled in Tand’s direction.
Meira sat atop Typhoon, her white dragon stamping the ground with impatience. “I’m glad you boys will be keeping each other company while I win the race.”
“Silver Eye is just as fast as your dragon,” said Darek.
“Ha! You’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of my backside after the start,” Meira teased.
“I wouldn’t mind that.” Tand pinched the air in front of him with a grin.
Meira turned bright red as Bree threw a rock Tand’s way.
“Save it for the air.” Jace raised his hands for quiet. “Let us see how the newer recruits perform. The course will be limited to Crabback Bay. The goal is to round the black buoy and the stone pillars by the pens three times. We want to simulate a combat situation. That means, your dragons must be protected by their armor against attack.”
Tand glanced sidelong at Darek with a meaningful look in his eye. He smirked and went back to tending to his dragon.
“We need every dragon in the coming fight, so I don’t want to see any permanent injuries—and no fire breathing!” Jace lanced a glare in Tand’s direction.
Darek sized up Hagar with a newfound respect. He hadn’t realized the large dragon was also a fire-breather. So, Tand had actually shown some restraint when flying against Bree in the last race by crashing into her…
Jace produced a silver set of pipes. “Mount up! We start on my signal.”
Darek crawled up Silver Eye’s leg and vaulted onto her outstretched wing. She lifted it and he slid onto her back, gaining his position in the harness and sliding his legs into the stirrups. Unlike the other Dragon Riders, Darek chose to give his dragon free rein. The reins hung loosely at her neck and he concentrated on sending her mental commands. The reins were only a backup. He patted her neck and transmitted encouraging thoughts about winning the race.
Shimmer snapped her jaws with a warning snuffle as Typhoon moved a bit too close.
“Keep control of your dragon,” Meira huffed.
“Stay out of our way when we hit the air,” Bree warned. “Shimmer is the fastest flyer in the wing and I don’t intend to lose that spot. Not even to the Dragonmaster’s daughter.”
At a slight tug of the reins, Typhoon rounded on them and Meira glared. “What is that supposed to mean? I earned this just as much as you.”
Darek urged Silver Eye in-between the two. “May the best dragon win.”
“Shut it, eel-brain,” Meira snapped, turning her dragon back around.
Bree frowned in Meira’s direction before turning her gaze toward Darek. “Try not to fall out of your saddle during the race.”
“I—” Darek cut off as a shrill whistle sounded and the other dragons leapt into the air. Kraton’s beard, we’re already behind. Go, Silver Eye!
Silver Eye’s muscles tensed as she jumped into the air, beating her wings in a thunderous storm. She arched herself skyward and they steadily gained altitude.
The other dragons had a huge lead, but Darek flattened his body in the harness, pressing his face against Silver Eye’s neck, urging her on to greater speed. The teal water of Crabback Bay soon passed below. They gained on the slowest racer, a thickly-muscled dragon with curved horns. Crusher was one of the larger males, green-scaled, deadly in a fight, but a slower flyer.
Crusher gave a low, reverberating growl as they swept by. Djin, the dragon’s rider, stared with eyes glowing like daggers as Darek spurred Silver Eye on toward a cluster of dragons. They jostled for position as their riders sought any possible advantage while going into the first turn.
Meira and Bree rounded the buoy then headed back toward the stone pillars.
“Sea snail!” Meira called as Typhoon passed near Darek in a swirl of white wings. Bree only gritted her teeth, her mind focused on shortening the gap between her and first place.
“Look out!” Djin yelled from behind.
Darek swung about—saw the gangly, dark-bearded rider pointing animatedly—then swung his gaze ahead of him. Tand and Hagar, rounding the buoy, were flying straight at him, headed on a collision course. They would have collided mid-air had not Silver Eye slipped sideways and edged with daring between them.
“Watch where you are going, you drunken albatross!” yelled Darek.
Tand only laughed as Silver Eye struggled to keep up.
You okay, girl? Darek asked with a mental reassurance. Silver Eye growled in fury and dove down toward the black buoy in the water below. Sharp turn left! Her wings crested the water as they completed the first turn.
They had lost ground.
Catching up to the tail of the group ahead, Silver Eye rose in the air currents above them, then dove down through their midst.
A brown dragon with a wicked scar running along its side wasn’t so easily overtaken and the male’s talons struck out to swipe at Silver Eye’s flanks—but Silver Eye deflected the bulk of the attack with her hind leg. The plate mail had saved her from the worst of the claw rakes. Do anything you must to protect yourself! She dropped her head, slamming into the brown dragon’s ribs, to cut a new gash across the male’s rump. The other rider spurred his dragon aside and Silver Eye advanced with an over-the-shoulder snarl.
As a group they soared back across the bay and over the pens. Rounding the stone pillars, Silver Eye closed the gap on the few riders ahead.
Tand, Bree, and Meira raced neck to neck toward the buoy and the third turn. Silver Eye would move into fourth place. Darek felt a whoosh of air at his ear as two Dragon Riders crowded him from either side. Brothers by the look of them. They signaled each other with wiggling fingers. Darek yelped as they smashed in unison into Silver Eye’s flanks, pinning her in place.
Silver Eye’s wings were stuck in a glide as the brothers’ dragons bumped up beside her. They dropped several feet as the three riders grappled together in close combat, plummeting toward the water.
The more experienced brother smashed a willow staff over Darek’s left shoulder with a loud crack, while the younger one lunged for Silver Eye’s reins. Pain blossomed in Darek’s back. He slapped the grasping hands away and grabbed the reins. They were going to crash into the water. With his other hand, he swung his stave and struck the older brother across the thigh with enough force to leave an angry welt.
Silver Eye swung her horned head and stunned the crimson dragon with a hard knock to the skull. Now she had the room she needed to turn on the older brother’s tan dragon. Snatching at the winged forearm with her claws, she bent it back. The tan dragon yelped and dropped from the sky—either that or risk having his wing torn off.
Swooping low, Silver Eye burst ahead, nosing toward the leaders.
They had only to round the buoy once more, then the first to return to the stone pillars would win the race. Was there enough time to catch them?
Brian S. Ference lives in Cave Creek, Arizona with his wife Rachel and three children Nathan, Lena, and Victoria. He has always had a passion for reading and writing from a young age. Brian loves new experiences, which has included operating his own company, traveling the world, working as a project manager, diving with sharks, and anything creative or fun. He is always up for a new adventure such as writing or other artistic pursuits.
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Chris is also a prolific painter, with nearly a thousand oil art works to his name. He has also been involved in extensive studio recording. After graduating from University of Waterloo in Honours Mathematics and Computer Science in the ‘90s he backpacked and biked throughout Europe and Asia before teaching computer programming courses in Ottawa, Canada.
Chris’s other interests are guitar, cycling, meditation, canoeing and tennis.
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