Jareem adjusts his hat, flips his duster back, and sits down on the chair. “So you want to know more about me? Glad to help you out, but there’s really not much spectacular to know.”
What is your current job/vocation?
I’m a dragon rider at The Warrens, that’s what we call the cavern colony west of San Valencia. Our sworn duty is to stop the slave trade. We’ve been doing a pretty decent job if I do say so myself. There are several riders who think we should abandon The Warrens and return to our former homes, but I can’t do that. As long as there’s one person left in captivity, I’ll be here.
What is your relationship with your family like?
Family? Don’t ask about them. I’ll tell you about Geoff, though. He’s the one who took me off the streets of Boeskay forty-some winters ago. It’s because of him that Verdance chose me to be his rider. Geoff can be a pain—always after me to grow up, to think before I act—but he has a heart of gold, no matter how much I tease him.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Right here in The Warrens. Might be a trainer, but never really looked to do that. Geoff would say it’s because I’ve never grown up.
Do you believe in magic or other supernatural forces? What is your opinion of them?
Magic? I live with dragons. Of course, I believe in magic. The things I’ve seen that defy logic. Let’s just say, I have a friend who can talk in my mind like the dragons. He can create shields out of thin air, and even dissolve magicked ebony.
Oh, there’s magicked ebony. That’s terrible stuff! I’ve just learned what all it can do—entrap, sever a bond between rider and dragon… I don’t want to think about it, yet I have a piece I can’t seem to get rid of, no matter what I do.
Do you have any animal companions?
I don’t know if I’d call Verdance an animal exactly. He’d take offense. Dragons have a keen sense of who they are. He found me when I’d seen ten winters and chose me—a scruffy desert youngling. Still amazes me at times, but we’ve been through thick and thin together. He’s got my back. Oh, I guess, if you want to distinguished him from other dragons, look for a greenish-blue dragon. Hm, I guess, that’s not very descriptive is it? He’s a bit greener than aqua. How’s that?
Who is your best friend?
That’d be Darryn from Boeskay. We met during the first Youngling Challenge. Happened to be on the same team, and ever since then, we’ve been close. The problem is he lives in Boeskay—half a moon by dragonback away. My closest friend would be Yochanan, and if you’d have told me we’d be friends back at that first challenge, I’d have laughed you out of camp. Yet, here we are twenty-seven winters later, in the same colony and I’d want him at my back for any rescue attempt.
Who is your worst enemy?
The slavers; no, the whole slave industry. I want to see it ended. Don’t know what I’d do with myself if it all rolled up and shut down, but I’d be happy.
Do you consider yourself a hero?
A hero, me? Nah, maybe that’s how those I’ve rescued view me, but I’m just someone with power putting it to good use.
What is the greatest loss you’ve ever experienced?
That’d be my sister. I was young, too young to have experienced what I did. Every time I see a slave, especially one with dark brown eyes, I think of that day when we tried to run away from home and the horse bolted, sending her to the ground. Yeah, I don’t want to think of it, but it’s there, every single time.
Scout the area.
Plan the escape.
Rescue the slave.
What could possibly go wrong?
Mere’s continuing her apprenticeship in San Valencia, but when a strange illness affects everyone in the dragon colony including dragons, she’s forced to help a pregnant girl find safety.
Rescuing slaves is all in a day’s work for Jareem, until a new slaver in town takes exception to Jareem’s interference. Now, sick and with a wounded dragon, Jareem must free the slave and find Mere and the pregnant girl before the slaver.
The clock is ticking. The baby’s due any day, and the slaver’s persistent. Mere and Jareem must reach beyond who they believe themselves to be in order to bring the former slaves home in one piece.
Dragon’s Winter is the seventh book in the coming of age fantasy series, Dragon Courage. If you like enticing worlds, captivating stories, and a new twist on dragon lore, you’ll love Kandi J Wyatt’s amazing series.
Get your copy of Dragon’s Winter to find your place among the dragons.
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
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