SOME DREAMS ARE MEANT TO DIE.
An engineer craving to become a warrior. A majyu with his future bound in filial piety… and a dark sorcerer who steals women into the night.
Genshu Hidekazu and Masanori swore their lives to defend, giving up their family’s warrior legacy as their parents did before them. Hidekazu is the family’s dutiful scion, preparing to take his father’s place, and Masanori studies as a ki-engineer, carving himself a future in a world that looks down on those unable to access the Goddess’ power: ki.
Yet when a dark sorcerer kidnaps their best friend, and they learn she is only one of many, they refuse to let their parents’ way of life stop them from doing what’s right.
Hidekazu and Masanori must learn to fight, even if it means betraying their parents’ ideals. Otherwise, the good they swore to protect will fall beneath the fist of darkness, their friends with it.
Masa and Hide’s journey begins in Spirit of the Dragon, the first of four novellas prefacing the Wyvern Wars series: an epic fantasy adventure inspired by selections of Japanese mythology and folklore.
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Targeted Age Group:: 13+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love Japanese history and mythology and wanted to write a story that could share that love with other people. The mythical creatures (including dragons), magic, and spiritual beliefs are what I find most compelling, and those are what ultimately inspired me to write this book.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My main characters are twins and inspired by the sons of a friend of mine. Although I took a lot of creative liberties, they were the original inspiration!
Sapphire and ivory paper dragons spiralled through the Tsukiko market, suspended within translucent clouds of blue. Dancers leapt through the dragons’ elegant coils, and
Genshu Masanori cringed as the procession and its guards passed him. He couldn’t risk being recognized, not with a blade at his side.
Despite the cool evening, the stolen katana’s unnatural warmth made him sweat under his haori. Masanori scanned the swell of people applauding the dancers, searching for Aihi among the festivalgoers. Nobles in azure and gold kimonos strolled toward the Crimson Gardens, and teens in casual yukata robes crowded around street food stalls.
Sword thief or not, no one paid attention to him. However, if
his mother discovered he had her katana…
Masanori turned from the musk of people, fried fish, and baked sweet potatoes and stalked toward the stone likeness of the Dragon Goddess, Shirashi. Water flowing from her indigo mouth drifted a misty prism over her serpentine body and over the bench where Hidekazu, Masanori’s twin brother, was reading a book.
Once a month, the twins snuck away from the capital with princess Aihi to train in secret. They often met at the tamashii tree on the cliffs north of Tsukiko, but this time, she asked to meet in the market during the festival. Yet almost an hour later, they still waited. Aihi was never late.
Masanori’s clammy hand closed around the hilt of his mother’s sword, Jouten, as he paced in front of the fountain. A warrior’s katana. Former warrior. Golden, dancing dragons adorned the enchanted blade, so fine it wouldn’t dull in a thousand years.
And if something happened to Aihi, he wouldn’t hesitate to use the katana.
“Your anxiety is contagious. Patience shouldn’t be so exhausting,” Hidekazu said, his voice almost drowned out by the market’s noise. His ebony hair was tied behind his neck, his wiry frame hidden by the oversized, sky-blue haori sporting the Genshu family crest of dancing ravens.
He waved his book at Masanori, and the gilded script on the cover, Basic Combative Ki Techniques, caught Masanori’s attention.
“Says the one who—” Masanori lowered his voice. “You’re not the one hiding a stolen relic.”
“No one compelled you to lift the weapon from our mantelpiece,” Hidekazu said, his eyebrows raised.
“I didn’t have a choice, unlike you.”
Hidekazu snapped the book shut. “You mustn’t speak on matters you don’t understand, Masa.”
Their shared dream of becoming bushi had died when their parents abandoned their family’s warrior legacy. Instead, Hidekazu trained as a Guardian—a shugo—and Masanori as a ki-engineer. When their father decided to let Hidekazu study for the Majyutsushi Exams, that dream had been reignited. Or so Masanori had thought.
Hidekazu was hiding something.
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