Monday, April 29, 2019

"Black City Dragon"

Richard A. Knaak is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Legend of Huma, WoW: Wolfheart, and nearly fifty other novels and numerous short stories, including works in such series as Warcraft, Diablo, Dragonlance, Age of Conan, the Iron Kingdoms, and his own popular Dragonrealm. He has scripted comics and manga, such as the top-selling Sunwell trilogy, and has also written background material for games. His works have been published worldwide in many languages.

Knaak applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Black City Dragon, the second book in his new urban fantasy series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Spare me. I need your eyes, but I need much more from them. We need to look beyond just the surface on this, understand?

He chuckled. Who understands you better than Eye? Not even she, my noble saint. Not even she...

Before I could react to his comment, he gave me his vision. I heard a slight gasp, but not from Claryce.

“Demon spawn,” muttered Diocles.

I didn’t correct him, in great part because I wasn’t sure if he was wrong. I still had no idea as to the dragon’s true origins, and the dragon claimed ignorance as well. To hear him, he had simply come to be and then had been condemned to guard the Gate.

You wished to look ... so look...

I did ... and saw exactly what I’d hoped I wouldn’t.

From the way the coin appeared to keep shifting location on my person, I’d expected to find traces of magic in it. In fact, I’d pretty much come to the conclusion that Galerius had given it to me as more than a taunting memento showing his desire to claim the card.

In fact, the magic in it, while slight, proved something more disturbing.

I recognized it, and so did the dragon. His earlier amusement faded, replaced by distrust and more.

The same magic that made the card in Holy Name the threat it was also existed in the coin.

Fortunately, as I’d already noted, the coin only contained the barest shadow of the card’s power. Enough to use it for a few tricks Galerius no doubt had in mind. Still, I could also sense the age of the coin.

I dismissed the dragon’s gaze. “He had it,” I informed the others as calmly as I could. “At some point in the past, Galerius had possession of the card.”

It answered a lot. It certainly hinted at how he’d not only recovered from his awful illness but had survived so long.

“You once commented on the question of where Oberon got the card in the first place,” the ghost pointed out.
While Page 69 doesn't represent everything in the book, it certainly contains some key points in it. Some of the points are representative of the series as a whole. You can see the interplay between Nick (St. George) and the dragon (who calls himself 'Eye' for reasons you learn), a pair ever at odds and yet facing a danger they both know too well.There's also the reaction from the ghost of Diocles, late Roman emperor and the man who had Nick executed centuries ago. Long grudges and vengeance are a part of both Black City Dragon and the series as a whole. So is the sinister magic and force behind it that the characters are faced with in part by what seems a simple coin and, overall, by a monstrous artifact.

There's also discussion concerning the truth about the dragon, not merely a rampaging beast, but the guardian between our world and Feirie. The guardian that Nick had to replace once its power resurrected him after his execution --- and left the dragon part of him. There's more than even the two of them know about their pasts, something that will encompass Claryce --- and Diocles, even --- as well.

And we don't even get to talk about the thing lurking in Lake Michigan. Shame...
Visit Richard A. Knaak's website.

--Marshal Zeringue