I am very excited to welcome a guest blogger with us today, Indie author Billie-Jo Williams. She is the author of The Destiny of Dragon series. Sit back and enjoy the world she has created for us in her series.
“Courage be yours, for life won’t wait, for the tricks and twists and turns of fate.”
Welcome, brave traveller, to the bastard, bloody patchwork of kingdoms, which form the Imperial Empire of Ay. I do apologise for your rough treatment upon arrival, but successive Vallely Emperors insist, by law, that enemy species co-habit within each of the kingdoms, so they can hate one another like Hell, thus guaranteeing perpetual warfare and ensuring denizens are wholly reliant upon the Vallely regime. As such, the Faerie are cruelly abused by their manipulative Sanguinex slave-masters, in Scorpio. The graceful Elves can barely co-exist with the bestial Lupinex, in Gemini. The traditional Aburame nomads cannot comprehend the innovative House of Crittenden, in Capricorn, whilst both peoples must contend with the primitive Giants and sensitive Arachnids that exist beneath them who, in turn, must co-exist with one another since they were ousted from their respective kingdoms! And that’s but a few entries in the Vallely’s catalogue of crimes.
“May peace enfold you, day-by-day, wherever you travel, stop or stay.”
There is help for the stressed and oppressed though. The Destiny of Dragons series chronicles events in Ay and, having been spared from the Imperial Library of the Ancients, is relatively unbiased. However, initially conceived as a trilogy, she spawned into such a monster, I was forced to split her into a nine headed Hydra, with a triple story arc (and an axe. The axe was particularly useful.)
The first tome in the series, as well as the opener for the first story arc, is The Destiny of Dragons: The Book of Wrath. It divulges how, damned by greedy Emperor Azmyth and his weak heir, Prince Len, the Imperial Capital of Ay is winked out in one terrible moment, by a mysterious phenomenon known only as the Dark Destruction. Ill prepared for the rigours of leadership, Prince Len leans upon Kai Canarbis, his devoted Personal Protector. But as Kai spirits the unworthy Imperial Heirs through the disintegrating Empire, in search of sanctuary and support, they must endure the karma of the Vallely dynasty’s crimes.
Caught in arrogant, naïve Len’s web, Kai seeks to disentangle his master out of an impending sticky mess, his blossoming romance with Princess Anna proving his only reward. However, having been badly wounded by the herald of the Dark Destruction, even the incredibly accomplished Kai falls victim to circumstance.
A desperate, but doomed quest to save the Empire, leads over land, sea and ice, into Enemy-occupied territory, but as the unfathomable Dark Destruction continues to ravage the realm, there may not be an Empire remaining for anyone to claim.
The Destiny of Dragons: The Book of Resurrection details how, having paid a cruel price after the failed quest to Aquarius, Len isfinally forced to take charge. However, increasingly out of his depth, he consistently leads his cause from disaster to disaster. Dogged by catastrophe and convinced the predatory Dark Destruction targets him, he eventually abandons his pursuit for the Imperial Throne.
Deserted to stand alone, against the insidious forces that tear the Empire apart, Kai is convinced to take command. He’s the only one left qualified to preserve what remains of the realm except, after inheriting dark secrets and ancient promises of prophecy, a ferocious force, which otherwise lay dormant in him, is awoken.
As it becomes ever easier to leave the light behind, Kai must fight the temptation to turn his ever-growing authority against those he despises. Despite differences, difficulties and temptations, his only salvation lies in his love for Anna. However, the Imperial Heirs’ discovery, that Kai conceals a violent past and dangerous alter-ego, leads to confrontation, betrayal, abduction and true, terrible power.
The Destiny of Dragons: The Book of Redemption concludes the first story arc and reveals that, with the Lazarus Cause close to conquering the entire Nation, Len’s ragtag fellowship of former foes is forced to retreat. Unfortunately, the only remaining sanctuary is the great Magic Type haven of Myrthia, where the Imperial Prince must prove he’s shed his sins or pay for his dynasty’s unconscionable crimes.
Escaping the web others have spun about him and carried along by forces beyond his control, Kai’s destiny leads him to confront an ancient evil, one that exposes the Empire’s true past and perhaps its future.
In the end, both Len and Kai have to summon individual strengths, to oppose their mutual Enemy. Indeed, Len must muster all the courage his bloodline demands, to thwart those who seek his destruction, in order to steal his birth right, so that he can assume his rightful place upon the Imperial Throne and save the world.
“Good fortune smile on all you hold and turn your labours into gold.”
The first three Destiny of Dragons books highlight the malady of poor leadership, stress the need for a rational response, during a struggle for survival, as well as challenge what qualifies a leader to be worthy. However, with “A hell of a cast of characters, embedded in sharp imagery with myriad details that make their environments feel real,” as one reviewer put it, the fight for the Imperial Throne is only the backdrop for a drama about human needs, identities and relationships.
In a rich tapestry of recurrence, renewal and the notion of never-ending time, where each end is another beginning, the Destiny of Dragons’ central theme is regret. What if we could do things differently? Also, just as integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. The series builds to a climatic duel, dynamically exploring the will to live, survival against the odds, triumph even in defeat and how one soul can change the world.
“Wisdom be yours and insight too, to know what’s what and who is who.”
About the Author: Until she’s recruited by the forces of evil, Billie-Jo Williams doesn’t plan to change the world, only to enchant readers one at a time. Born in Shrewsbury, England, died who knows where, she can’t remember a time when she didn’t write and can’t imagine a time when she won’t. No one else had written the story she wanted to read and her characters yearned to live and breathe, so she was forced to bring them to life. Now she writes for the experience and the pleasure, for it is her passion, her religion, her parent, her councillor: her identity. She writes because she doesn’t know how not to. Please send help. Writing is a poor councillor and leads her down strange paths.
It doesn’t demand a Blood-Pact to get in touch with Billie-Jo Williams. Please use a Communication Crystal or ask a Messenger Fox. Alternatively (and probably a little more successfully) try these links:
Billie-Jo Williams can also be found taunting Leprechauns on Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr. Well, they asked for it!
The first three Destiny of Dragons books, which comprise the first story arc, are available on Amazon, Smashwords and its many affiliates, whilst book four, The Destiny of Dragons: The Book of Family, is due to be released late July 2013. All nine books stand completed and are to be unleashed at regular intervals over the next two years, so help us gods.