Below is the prologue from my upcoming book, Rise of the Sparrows. Please remember that this excerpt was taken from the first draft and is therefore not in its final version yet. I hope you’ll enjoy it and if you do, please feel free to leave some feedback – I’d love to hear from you!

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Prologue

Amidst comforting fumes and the soft caress of a warm breeze, Kaida woke from her trance her eyes aching and bleeding. Her heart clenched in sorrow for what was to come she took a moment to ground herself, took in the soft laughter of child’s play outside her home and allowed the summer breeze to comfort her mind. There was no reason to panic just yet. What her vision had revealed lay many years in the future yet, and could easily be stopped if she acted at the right time. The darkness, the intense pain she had witnessed, did not have to come to pass if she would not allow it.

Slowly, like a mantra, she spoke the prophecy her vision had warned her about.

The Night the Blue Blood flows freely,

the Sparrows will rise.

Find the Sparrow who sees ahead

and it will lead you to victory.

Trust the Fox

and it will betray you before the end.

Do not accept the Ar’Zac,

for it will only lead you to ruin.

Over and over again she spoke the words, let their soothing familiarity comfort her until her heart was no longer racing and her hands had stopped trembling. The night prophecy spoke off was many years away yet. The Sparrow, however, was born today far to the north. Out of her reach.

It did not matter. Nothing was truly out of her reach. When the time was right she would use magic to reach the Sparrow, or maybe she would fly there. It had been a while since she had last spread her wings, the exercise and the feel of cold air brushing over her scales would be a freeing experience.

The mention of the Ar’Zac, however, had her hands in cold sweat once more. It was an ancient order, long before her time even when things were different. Very different. How could it be that prophecy warned her about it? Which part was it referring to? None of their old equipment had survived their war. Their opposition had burnt their homes and families to the ground and had destroyed their weapons and armours alike. No part of their civilisation had been seen in centuries.

No, she would not worry about it. The men who had received this prophecy and written it down had lived around the same time as the old order had still ruled. They had been arrogant in their beliefs, and over-confident. Was that not the reason they had been slaughtered to the last soldier? They had either not yet made the decision that would bring about their downfall when this prophecy had been written, or else they had been too arrogant to accept the truth. The old order of Ar’Zac was lost. She had more important things to worry about than some long dead people.

For now, there was nothing she could do. The Fox would be born in a few years time, and she would not interfere even then. To kill an infant was wrong, no matter what prophecy said. Things would play out as they were meant to, and she would not think herself above the laws of time and nature.

When the time was right she would aid the Sparrow. Maybe even protect it.

Standing on the roof of her home, high above the city that had adopted her all these years ago, she longed to feel the gentle caress of an icy breeze on her scales. It had been too long since her last flight, and it would help take her mind of things.

With an ease unimaginable to most, she transformed into a dragon ā€“ the form she had been born into ā€“ and soared high above the streets and laughter of child’s play to relax.

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