‘Dragon’s Rise’ (The Sun Child Chronicles: Book 4) by Lou Hoffmann. Published by Harmony Ink Press July 9, 2019, 313 pages.
Rainbow Gold Reviews is happy to be able to help Lou Hoffmann celebrate their release day. Congratulations Lou, on book 4 of The Sun Child Chronicles!
***Be sure to check out the giveaway in this post***
Days ago, with the help of his living sword Ciarrah, Lucky fought through an army of wraiths led by the undead horror that was once his mother. Though he’s seen more bloodshed in his short life than many seasoned warriors, his destiny as the chosen Sun Child of the magical world called Ethra demands more. Otherworldly enemies are regrouping, barely fazed by a single defeat. If they won’t rest, then neither can he.
He travels to the capital city with ancient wizard Thurlock, but instead of allies, he meets open betrayal. An old friend of Thurlock’s and some young supporters boost his morale, but how much help will they offer against zombies, dragons, and evil magic users? In the epic battle looming on the horizon, everything he’s gathered, from mystical tools to a winged horse, a loyal dog, shifter and dragon allies, and even an army at his side might not be enough. Will he measure up to fate’s challenge… or be trampled by it?
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Hi, I’m Lou Hoffmann, author of The Sun Child Chronicles. One of the things I loved about writing book 4, Dragon’s Rise, was the chance to explore the Sunlands’ Capitol City, Nedhra. At first, it seemed like a hazy impressionist’s image of a medieval city, but as I explored, its character—and the differences from one part of the city to another—all became clear and real. If I were to visit Nedhra City in life, the one place I would most want to go is Followers Quarter. Yet, honestly, it’s a bit of a strange place, as you might see from this brief excerpt.
The scene: Thurlock has taken Lucky to a special part of the city called Followers Quarter, where the people do no magic and worship no gods… and yet, a shrine
“Wander the shrine—no need to stick to the pathways—until you find a place to sit. You will know when you’ve found the right place, trust me. Don’t question your senses! Once you’ve done that, just let go of any need to direct your thinking or solve problems. You may come any time to speak with me or one of my companions here, but if you feel no need to do so, that is fine as well.”
Lucky smiled and nodded, which seemed a sufficient reply. When he turned to begin his walk through the shrine, he realized Jaffy wasn’t at his side. He spotted the boy, seated like the others, near a flowering plant that leaned over him as if in friendship. With a deep breath, Lucky stepped out to begin his walk, following some previously unknown instinct as to where to put down his foot, and where to follow with the next.
Time, Lucky soon realized, did not exist in the shrine except in the sense of the turning of the planet, and the rising, traveling, and sinking of sun, moon, and stars. The peace that accompanied the release from counted time went bone-deep, and with it came a kind of wakeful sleep through which dreams drifted and passed on, unclaimed, unimportant. Deeper in, Lucky began to sense the waves of energy he’d identified using the Sight, but they took on a different feel, perhaps a different meaning. A small corner of his mind wondered at the odd notion that this sensing, this knowing, came not through any of the five ordinary senses, and not through his magical ones either, as they’d been checked at the door. So how did he sense the energy? How did he know it? Almost, it felt like remembering.
That wonderment soon fell away along with any need to figure it out as he drifted into the streams of energy, the life that made its home in him reaching out and linking, like a thousand hands joining, like linked voices singing a thousand melodies that all fit together to make a sublime harmony. All the while, Lucky remained aware that he was watching something being done, a work of creation going on all around him. More and more, whatever part of his mind was active—some part between the conscious and subconscious—tuned itself to the working. Finally he thought he glimpsed the pattern he’d known was there for the finding when he first walked through the shrine.
When he turned his attention to it, it disappeared, and Lucky understood it constantly changed—it was made of uncountable patterns, none of them static. Some energy streams simply came in and departed, having been observed but not changed. Others came in broken, were attended to by the intention of those sitting their shift in the shrine, and then made their way back out into the world. After a time, Lucky recognized a single pattern that came in vividly bright with health and life. With what must be conscious, deliberate care, the shapers turned it outward to creep along the ley lines and their tributaries and branches, and then out into the life at the core of Nedhra City. He wanted to lend himself to that effort to heal the city, tried to impose himself upon it, but his mind’s energy was silently rebuffed.
He didn’t sense time passing as he observed what happened in the shaping shrine, and after a while he even began to lose his sense of himself as an individual. He might have slept, but when Kahnalee stood by him with Jaffy at her side and touched Lucky’s shoulder, it was less like awakening than like returning suddenly from someplace far away. It was also like amnesia, because at first, if someone would have asked him his name, he wouldn’t have had an answer. But he knew Jaffy, even though the boy seemed to shine a little brighter than before.
“You liked the shaping shrine, didn’t you, Sir Lucky? It’s my favorite. When I’m grown up and done with school and stuff, I can be a shaper here every day, can’t I, Aunt Kahna?” He tugged on her hand and leaned against Lucky at the same time.
She laughed as they started to climb the long spiral stairs. “Yes, Jaffy, you can, if that’s what you want when the time comes. You’re already pretty good at the job.”
“And Sir Lucky—he could be a shaper too, couldn’t he?”
Kahnalee directed a keen, appraising look at Lucky before nodding. “I daresay he could, Jaffy, if what we saw today is any indicator. Unfortunately, he is to be Suth Chiell, and he has many other things to do. The Simple Way is not for him, at least not for a very long time.”
Thanks, Rainbow Gold, for having me on the blog! And readers, thank you. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing. Also, I confess I love hearing from readers. If you leave me a comment, I’ll do my best to get back to you! 😉
Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman (of European and Native American descent), Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age, sexuality, and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.
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