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In the Time of Dragon Moon
~Beware the dark moon time when love and murder intertwine~
All Uma wants is to become a healer like her father and be accepted by her tribe. But when the mad queen abducts her and takes her north, Uma’s told she must use her healing skills to cure the infertile queen by Dragon Moon, or be burned at the stake. Uma soon learns the queen isn’t the only danger she’s up against. A hidden killer out for royal blood slays the royal heir. The murder is made to look like an accident, but Uma, and the king’s nephew Jackrun, sense the darker truth. Together, they must use their combined powers to outwit a secret plot to overthrow the Pendragon throne. But are they strong enough to overcome a murderer aided by prophecy and cloaked in magic?
In the Time of Dragon Moon -- a tale of Love Magic and Murder
~A perfectly crafted combination of medieval history, mythology, and fantasy, set on Wilde Island, featuring Uma Quarteney - a half Euit and half English girl, who has never been fully accepted by her Euit tribe - and Jackrun Pendragon - a fiery dragonrider with dragon, fairy, and human blood.~
“The text will be a sure favorite of fans of high fantasy”
“The author’s world-building is detailed and fascinating”
—School Library Journal
See Uma's Moon Month Chart and the Wilde Island map in MAPS AND GAMES
In this scene Uma has just arrived on Dragon’s Keep. Stepping off the ship she meets the Dragonlord, Kahlil and runs into Jackrun.
An enormous dragon twice the size of the ones who’d escorted us in swooped down and landed by the welcoming party, folding his wings and shaking himself a little as a seabird will do when it alights on the beach.
“Welcome to Dragon’s Keep, Your Majesties,” he hissed, his voice like rough rocks tumbling down a ravine. King Arden gave him a hurried nod and whisked his wife up the beach toward the waiting horses.
I rested the Adan’s trunk at my feet. The dragon’s spicy breath loosened the hair at my temples, warmed my body. Closing my eyes, I was home, bathing in the steaming pools in the hills far below Mount Uther’s volcanic rim. I could almost smell the slight sulfurous scent, mixed with the delicious odors of the lush green forest.
When I opened them again, I saw I had stayed too long. The king’s men had stepped past the great dragon and we were left alone.
“I am Lord Kahlil. Welcome to Dragon’s Keep.” His low, rumbling voice greeted me in
Euit. I was surprised. Dragons are masters of many languages, but our tribe is small now. I thought only the reds still bothered to learn our tongue.
I’d learned to guard my speech among the English, but just this once I let my words sing. “Thank you, Lord Kahlil. I am the queen’s physician, Uma Quarteney. I am full in being here,” I said in formal Euit before reverencing him with a bow and a hand on his scaly foot. The scales were leathery and warm.
Lord Kahlil gave a low, smoky sigh. Mother had told me stories about this dragonlord. He’d been a friend to the Pendragons for generations. Jagged scars ran down his long neck. A few teeth were missing, but the rest of his fangs looked sharp enough to eat his prey, bones and all. I hitched up my skirts and lifted Father’s trunk.
“You carry a great weight,” he said.
“I guard the queen’s medicines.”
“I do not mean the trunk.”
A shiver raced up my spine. Great dragons like Lord Kahlil, who lived a thousand years or more had a long view. They saw patterns far beyond what we could see. Did he see “a great weight” in my past, the losses I carried since the English came, since Father died, or was he speaking about the future? My future.
I was working up the nerve to ask Lord Kahlil, when he turned and began to walk up the long beach toward the castle.
Suddenly the dark shore felt vast, like the waters I’d just crossed. I stood in the darkness with nothing but the summer’s night wind surrounding me, until a ring of torchlight encircled me, and a man’s strong hand reached for Father’s trunk. He’d sneaked up from behind.
I started, turned, and came face-to-face with Jackrun Pendragon. “Let me help you with that,” he said.
I held the trunk firm. “I can manage.”
His hand was still out. I caught the scent of sweat, the peppery aroma of dragons coming off his skin. “The beach is tricky in the dark. Driftwood lies everywhere like a giant’s bones. You’ll need a hand and my torchlight if you don’t want to fall.”
Our eyes locked. He seemed to read my hesitation, note my tight grip on the trunk.
“You’ve nothing to fear,” he said. “Let me introduce myself.”
“I know who you are,” I said. His face was much leaner than his cousin’s, but he had the same well-shaped nose over full lips. Traces of his Persian heritage showed in his gold-brown skin, and dark curls. Fiery rings surrounded the dark pupils in his green eyes.
A swirling gust, swift and hot, stirred us both. Lord Kahlil wheeled overhead, coming closer with each spiral, his great wings outstretched like sails, the night clouds deep red above him. Jackrun’s black cloak and my gray one slapped against each other like battle flags.
My hair ribbon flew off, and Jackrun chased after it, returning just as the beast winged out to sea.
“What was that?” I asked, still watching the retreating dragon. “Was he angry with me or—”
“Not angry, I’m guessing. I think he sees you have the help you need.” He reached again for the trunk.
I paused. It was heavy. “Just carry your end.”
He cocked a smile. “As you wish.”
I tucked the ribbon into my mother’s woven belt, watching Jackrun out of the corner of my eye as we walked up the dark beach toward his father’s castle, the trunk swinging to and fro between us.
Jackrun slowed his pace as we skirted a large driftwood log. “My dragon, Babak startled the queen. I saw you bring the queen her potion. You calmed her. Are you her lady’s maid? Tell me your name so I can thank you properly.”
Jackrun Pendragon had waited on the beach to thank me? “I am no lady’s maid. I’m Uma Quarteney, the queen’s physician.”
He stopped. “You must be a very gifted healer to have risen so high in your profession at such a young age.”
I gaped at him. A fluttering sensation passed along my chest as if my secret fox mark moved below my collarbone. No one had ever called me a gifted healer.
“In the Time of Dragon Moon is a story of courage and romance that readers will not soon forget. While Uma’s struggle to help the queen and save her people is intriguing, the depth of her character reaches much further, exploring issues of race, gender, and identity. The politics of Pendragon Castle and Wilde Island offer gripping mystery and adventure, while Uma’s relationship with Jackrun—and even her interactions with her father’s dragon, Vazan—create a rich and insightful protagonist. The text will be a sure favorite of fans of high fantasy. . . Read more
“The author’s world-building is detailed and fascinating, and Uma is a strong, admirable heroine. This is a must-purchase for libraries owning the earlier installments and a great choice for where teen fantasy is popular. . . Read more
—School Library Journal
“Humans, dragons and fey coexist on Wilde Island, but this uneasy peace masks a simmering, mutual distrust that surfaces after the English army abducts an Euit healer and his daughter to cure the aging queen's infertility—failure is not an option. . . Read more
—Kirkus (Fantasy. 12-17)
“Despite her half-English blood and the fact that she's a girl, Uma wants nothing more than to be accepted as the next Adan (healer) of her father's Euit tribe. But when the English queen, Adela Pendragon, learns that Uma's father has developed a viable fertility treatment, she kidnaps Uma and the current Adan, holding their tribe hostage until the two of them help her conceive.” Read more
“With a stunning eloquence of a story-weaver, this fantasy novel will delight you with characters so compelling they remain with you long after the final page is turned.” Read more