First dragon-sighting of the 2017 season…
What awaits when prophecy turns against the prophet?
What will he see, when the veil of the dragon rises?
To save the ones he loves, Chaelus, vessel of the Giver reborn, pursues the dragon and the fate that prophecy foretold for him. But as the veil of the dragon rises, so does the veil between prophecy and the past, where the Prophecy of Evarun suffers no rivals.
Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, (c) February 10, 2017, Perseid Press.
Perseid Press tells your fortune for 2017: You’ll be enthralled by Thomas Barczak’s Mouth of the Dragon, a dark dragon tale for our times.
We asked Tom to tell us about Mouth of the Dragon, without reveal any secrets, and here is what he says:
This dark, epic, and redemptive fantasy challenges everything a hero’s journey can be.
Chaelus, once Roan lord of the House of Malius, now vessel of the Giver reborn, has defeated the Dragon of legend. Now he must rescue his brother and his kingdom, both beyond the Dragon’s Veil.
When the legendary dragon resurges among drums of war, it threatens Chaelus, the human vessel of prophecy who once defeated it, and those loyalists the man holds dear.
Now Chaelus must confront the Dragon a second time, as prophecy has foretold.
With his remaining followers he pursues the Dragon. When he finds it, he finds that the blood of his past has returned to reclaim him.
And even with the power of prophecy at his summons he cannot defend against it.
Tempted to save all he’s lost, abandoned by the prophecy he’s vowed to serve, he falls under the spell of the Dragon, and learns that the dragon you hunt is the dragon within you.
Chaelus must defeat the dragon for all time, but finds he cannot, until he first surrenders himself.
Thomas Barczak confesses that he’s an artist, architect, and a writer whose stories tell the tales he’s always dreamed about.
His work also includes the illustrated epic fantasy novel, Veil of the Dragon, and the Kindle serial, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI), both set in the Evarun universe. He’s also written a comic fantasy serial for Kindle called Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3). His short fiction includes contributions to Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters, Nine Heroes, Terror by Gaslight, and What Scares the Boogeyman, as well as stories for two volumes Janet Morris’ award winning Heroes in Hell series, Dreamers in Hell, and Poets in Hell.
Tom swears he writes only because he must. He writes because he needs to tell others the stories he has held so long inside, stories that inspire his paintings and his poetry — stories that have always been with him, even years ago when he’d sit at a table with friends, slaying dragons.
If you’re not tempted there’s no dragon curled around your soul. Pre-order now, or get yours as electronic or deluxe trade paper editions on February 10, 2017. . .
Until then, content yourself with this short excerpt from Perseid’s Kindle edition of Mouth of the Dragon by Thomas Barczk . . .
The small shadow of a horse and rider broke out of the thin blue veil on the horizon, a mark like a firebrand upon a pristine field of white, like an urgent stroke of prophecy.
Chaelus, the vessel of the Giver reborn, had returnedto them.
Al-Mariam’s lips, her cheeks, the very flesh beneath her brow kindled at the sight of him, in the very place where Chaelus had touched her only a fortnight before, when he had heldher face and showed her his divinity, the true nature ofwhat hewas;whenhehadtouchedtheverysoulofher.
When he had touched her heart.
She had tried to then, but she could no longer deny her devotion toward him. What plagued her heart, though, was the question of its nature. She had been touched by him, by theeternalspiritoftheGiverthatpossessedhim,butshehad also been touched by something else, something more. She had been touched by the mortal husk that carried it, by the man who so effortlessly and nobly suffered both the burden and the grace of itsbearing.
It was his humanness that kept her near to him, that made her love him.
It was he, Chaelus, not the vessel of the Giver reborn but the resurrected barbarian lord of the House of Malius, who had laid such a claim upon her heart.
Shestoppedherhandasitdrewunconsciouslynearher brow,justabovetheplacewhereChaelus’fleshborethepale mark of the Dragon’scrown.
The shuffling cascade of ice and stone down the slopebehind her announced Al-Toman’s arrival.
Al-Toman’s thick merchant cloak swirled about him. Disguised as a noblewoman’s merchant train returning from Tulon, some of them as merchants, some of them as slaves, the twelve kept their Gossamer Blades hidden beyondthewardedsafetyoftheGarden,theplaceoftheirexile. Obidae, along withAl-Mariam’s orphaned mystical brother, Michalas,spiritualtwintoChaelusandsomehowpartofthe prophecy as well, would also play the part of slaves. Chae- lus, their prophesied protector, would be their temporal one as well, should ever the eyes of bandits or Hunters, the assassinssentbytheTheocracytoexterminatetheirorder,find them.
And, of course, Obidae would be there to help them with this, too.
Al-Toman eyed Obidae and nodded to him.
Obidae, the mastiff barbarian, nodded back.
Al-Toman, unlike most of the Servian Knights, felt no discomfort toward the barbarian chieftain. In fact, a sort of silent friendship had developed between the two in the fort- night that had passed since Obidae and his band ofKhaalish warriors joinedthem.
Al-Toman, like most of the Servian knights, camefrom a foreign land. In Al-Toman’scase, from the Dunnish lands to the east, where the mysticism of the Khaalishite was not so foreign and where both blood and trade had flowed between both peoples ever since the Awakening, a hundred yearsbefore.
Together, the two would also help to serve as ambas- sadors when they arrived in the Khaalishite, so that theGiver, so that Chaelus, could carry the message of his return to themaswell.Hopefully,theycoulddosobeforetheDragon, whichhadalreadydarkenedtheTheocraticStatesalongtheir border, carried itsown.
That was why the Mother had sent them, anyway, if it was true that the souls of the Theocracy were already lost.
“The others are beginning to wonder if…” Al-Tomanbegan.Hefollowedthedirectionofherstare.Hisvoicesoft- ened.“He’shere.”
Al-Mariam heard Al-Toman’svoice change at thesight of Chaelus, in unfeigned reverence at the sight of their, his own,savior.
She heard the call and running footsteps of the other Servian knights climbing the ridge to meet him, to see him.
“He’s late,” she said.
Al-Toman’s mouth waited, open but silent.
Bloodandspittlegatheredaroundthecornerofhislips. Hisheadhungwithaslightbendoverwherethearrowshaft protruded from his throat and through the back of his neck. Therestofhisbodysagged,thengavewaybeneathhim.
More arrows grew out of the snow around her, sprouting like a savage garden. Their fletching was the color of blood. She felt a sharp tug at her cloak and a heavy weight.
She searched in vain for Obidae, for his protection, but only found the muted pleas of fallen knights in the snow around her.
Across the frozen plain, the small shadow of Chaelus seemed to move farther away from her.
The silence cracked at last like a frozen pond around her, exploding in a pain that consumed her, crushing her, bringing her down, dulled only by the mortal sound of her own scream.