Friday, 9 December 2016

Extinction is Forever ~ taking action

Researching dwarf clan names for Dragon Lords Rising from species which have become extinct in Scotland. Sadly a very long list to choose from, including these below, with links to further information about them:

Arctic fox - c. 10,000 BC
Steppe lemming - c. 8000 BC
Arctic lemming - c. 8000 BC...
Aurochs - c. 1000 BC
Beech Marten - 19th Century
Brown Bear - c. 1000 (may be as early as 500 BC)
Cave Lion - c. 10,000 BC
Coypu - 1987 (non-native)
Gray whale - c. 500 BC
Irish Elk - c. 6000 BC
Eurasian Lynx - c. 400
Greater mouse-eared bat - 1990 (as resident)
Narrow-headed vole - c. 8000 BC
Root Vole - c. 1500 BC
Pika - c. 8000 BC
Saiga Antelope - c. 10,000 BC
Tarpan - c. 7000 BC
Walrus - c. 1000 BC
Wisent - c. 3000 BC
Wolverine - c. 6000 BC
Woolly Mammoth - c. 10,000 BC
Woolly Rhinoceros - c. 10,000 BC

Great White Pelican - c. 1000 BC
Great Auk - 1844


Some links for you to read more for yourself about past extinction and endangered species today ~

Past extinction ~ http://iberianature.com/britainnature/miscellaneous/extinct-mammals-in-britian/

How to take action ~ https://www.actforwildlife.org.uk/what-we-fight-for/the-places-we-work/uk-and-europe/?gclid=CKm63_bp5tACFaS77Qod7NsPfg

Lost beasts that roamed Britain in the last Ice Age ~http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150722-lost-beasts-of-the-ice-age



Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Origins of the SDS ~ On Wings of Vengeance

So where does the inspiration for the Stealth Dragon Services, the SDS come from? I'm sure some of you have guessed that in large part the SDS are modelled on our own elite armed forces; the Special Air Services known as the SAS. The Dragon Lords are the elite of the Seven Kingdoms, battle mages who pilot magnificent Imperial Black stealth dragons. They wear magical spiked black armour that matches their dragons' characteristics. Apart from being able to cloak, these huge dragons can carry a payload of three hundred fully armoured Bonecracker Commandos and ten fully armoured Sabretooths, plus weaponry. They use floating dragon pads to take off and land on. Instead of high technology, the SDS use high magic, but their military organisation, imagery and terminology are modern. Like the SAS, the SDS are organised into regiments; but inspiration for their names is diverse. There is the SDS Commander's own regiment named after Julius Caesar's PRIMIGENIA "Firstborn" Legion. The Nightstalkers are named after the US special forces 160th Special Ops Regiment, and the others are invented. Uniquely, in the world of the SDS, magic and medieval meet modern. The imagery and language are modern day. Their battle dragons, in effect, take the place of modern day fighters and helicopters. An Imperial Black stealth dragon, the greatest dragon  of all, is in part an F-22 Raptor, Chinook and Apache Longbow helicopters all rolled into one.  The motto of the SAS is Who Dares Wins.  Casting about for an equivalent that also was appropriate for dragons I came up with On Wings of Vengeance, with a badge of the triple headed dragon which reflects the great Imperial houses of Europe which fell in World War 1.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Winter Joust from The Dragon Whisperer

Imagine...you are astride your highly trained jousting dragon. Your heart is thumping, the sound in your head magnified by your helmet. Both you and your dragon are wearing your lord's bright coat of arms over your padded jousting armour. The high sided saddle holds you firmly upright, so that you are free to hold a shield in one hand and to couch your heavy jousting lance in the other. You can barely see your opponent at the opposite list through the narrow slit of your visor. The roar of the crowd is growing. The marshal lowers his flag and you lightly spur your mount. Your dragon explodes out the lists with breathtaking speed, the sound of its four wings like thunder as you hurtle towards each other and then...well the rest is up to you! Do you manage to break your lance on your opponents shield, or even better did you unseat him? Do you win the tournament and claim fame and fortune?

The detail of the Winter Joust as described in The dragon Whisperer is based upon what took place in medieval jousts. Jousting was the greatest and most glamorous sport of the middle ages, the equivalent of the football world cup and modern day Superbowl wrapped into one, so you can understand why Quenelda was so determined to go whether Root was ready or not.

Jousts took place to keep the knight and his mounts trained for battle, and to show off their power and skill. The arms and armour were those of the battlefield: lances, swords, shields, and sometimes axes or maces. Jousting could lead to severe injury or death, so in The Dragon Whisperer to keep down casualties battledragons have been banned and the Queen has decreed that only blunted weaponry could be used, which has not pleased the bloodthirsty crowds! And of course powerful and deadly battlemagic has been banned because fallout could cause collateral damage - injuring or killing many in the crowds.

Real life jousts took place in open fields called the list or list-field with the two combatants separated by a low fence, and in that one respect I have had to adapt the story to take account of dragons. In The Dragon Whisperer, the winter jousts take place in a vast amphitheatre like a modern day stadium, called the Cauldron, where the dragons could fly, and list fields are replaced by list trees.

The dastardly Grand Master of course is cheating. His mount Midnight Madness is a carnivorous battledragon in disguise, and the Duke Grenville is carrying real weapons. And no one apart from you and Quenelda knows her father the Earl Rufus is in deadly danger. What happens next? Well you'll know if you've read the book!


Monday, 21 November 2016

Imagine...imagine you met a dragon....

Root meeting Chasing the Stars......how would you react?

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Recommended for Fans Of...: The Lord of the Rings. No, seriously. Also, fans of the Eragon series, the Harry Potter book, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Risingseries, Cornelia Funke's Igraine the Brave, Sherwood Smith's Wren to the Rescue series, Patricia Wrede's Dealing With Dragons series, and etc., ad infinitum. will find something here to love.


WCOB Wednesday: The Dragonsdome Chronicles  (American book blog review)

It's time for another Wicked Cool Wednesday! 

The book I'll chat about today comes by its "overlooked" status by virtue of the fact that it came out in 2009 - not sure if there was a time difference to when the novel came out in the US vs. the UK, but it's out, and it's been out, and I haven't heard a word about it. I know very well that some of the fantasy fans in the room would really love this one, so here goes:


Y'know, it's not every day that I turn the pages of a book of high fantasy for the middle grade audiences.

For some reason, books of high fantasy in general seem to be a dying breed. Add in the age factor, and you've got tumbleweeds rolling across the plains -- high fantasy seems to be written with gamers and guys in mind, not middle grade kids, or girls.

Reader Gut Reaction: Our title is The Dragon Whisperer, by Lucinda Hare.

This book is classic high fantasy. It's got language -- it doesn't stint on those rich descriptive details, full of vivid colors, sounds, and smells. It's got unspeakable evil, and a just war. It's got heroes and heroines, queens and quislings, traitors and tacticians and ... it's like reading a middle grade version of Lord of the Rings, but with hobgoblins, gnomes, dwarves, and ...prejudice.


Eh, what's that, you ask? Yes, prejudice. Actually, there's a bit of that in the most classic of high fantasy novels, the LOTR series. You'll recall - elves wafting around being superior to dwarves, dwarves believing themselves to be superior to hobbits. The Dragon Whisperer adds human beings, which means there's hardcore issues between people. It's all dealt with - subtly. Which is A Good Thing.

There are Evil Beings in this book - there are questionable people, of course, and there are hobgoblins, which are a bit inhuman, which is helpful in differentiating Good Guys from Bad Guys. They're also kept away from the reader, so though we see their movements, we're only given to understand what's going on, a little at the time. The periodic visits to their settlement definitely up the dread factor, as the reader realizes there's Trouble Afoot before the heroine.

Overall, the story arc is good - the characters grow and change, and there's plenty of room for a sequel, yet the story episode is tied together sufficiently. 

Concerning Character: Our heroine, Quenelda DeWinter is eleven, and human. She loves her father, her dashing half-brother, Darcy, and the battledragons which protect the kingdom. She has always wanted to fly with her father, who is the commander of the Stealth Dragon Services (SDS), and the Queen's champion, though her brother has shown a complete disinterest in the greater dragons, and prefers the pomp and ceremony of the unicorn guard. 

The kingdom is at war with the hobgoblins, and it has been brutal. There has been much death, and many dragons have been sacrificed to the cause. Quenelda is unlike other girls her age, and wants to do something about it. The trouble is, with her flights of fancy and dreams of glory, no one takes her seriously. There hasnever been a girl in the SDS. Ever.

The war has left gnome Root Oakley without a family or a place. Because of his father's valor on behalf of the Queen, he has gone from being an apprentice dragonmaster for the dwarf, Tangnost, to being the esquire of Earl DeWinter's daughter. It was bad enough working around hippogriffs (squee!), griffins, unicorns, and lesser dragons, cleaning their tack, scooping up their poo, and caring for their fodder, but now he's expected to go near a battledragon -- and fly after the Earl's daughter?! She hates him! And, there have never been gnomes who ride dragons. Ever. 

You see the problem...

Recommended for Fans Of...: The Lord of the Rings. No, seriously. Also, fans of the Eragon series, the Harry Potter book, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Risingseries, Cornelia Funke's Igraine the Brave, Sherwood Smith's Wren to the Rescue series, Patricia Wrede's Dealing With Dragons series, and etc., ad infinitum. will find something here to love.

Themes & Things:I've already mentioned the theme of prejudice - who we like and why is subtly put forth as an idea, and embroidered upon. Are there right "people" to like, and wrong ones? Does it matter who someone's mother was, or if they don't know? Readers will find themselves indignant at some of Quenelda's unthinking assumptions, and learn along with her how much it hurts to be on the receiving end of an assumption. The other clear theme in this book is friendship, trust, and Doing The Thing You Think You Cannot Do. Too young, too small, too weak, too scared, too hurt, too shy -- none of that matters when Right needs to be done. Real heroines and heroes have to suck it up, and step up to the plate.

Despite the myriad details going on in the books dealing with Treachery and Dark Forces, that friendship comes through as a clean and bright thing... much like in books about a boy wizard, which means this series will be doubly endearing to many.

Authorial Asides: As previously mentioned, this is Lucinda Hare's first book. A creative writer and illustrator, this Scotswoman was introduced to Tolkien at the age of eleven, and her love for that history, legend, and fantasy seriously informs this book, in a tribute kind of way that is a touch derivative, but respectful, and provides an entry into the genre for younger readers. Hare slips readers deftly into her world, and confidently pilots them through a bewildering array of names and cultures and makes it all seem easy. Through her skill, I was able to read the book in one sitting, and discover the glossaryafter I finished reading it. 

Amusingly, the one word which wasn't defined that I had to have a moment's thought over was haar -- which I then realized I knew. It's a word that means a yellowy thick sea fog, in Scots English. I've heard that one before! 

As previously stated, this book came out in 2009. A sequel, Flight to Dragon's Isle followed just last year, and is already highly sought after (there's a bit of a line) at the library (which is where I got this copy, FCC, thanks).

You can find THE DRAGON WHISPERER, and its sequel, at an independent bookstore near you!


Finding Wonderland : Wonderland started in 2005 as a collaborative space for a writing group to share news, links, book recommendations, and thoughts on writing for young adults. August 2011

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Romanian review of IMBLANZITORUL DRAGONILOR (The Dragon Whisperer)

Bono va recomanda o lectura irezistibila despre prietenia dintre noi, oamenii, si animalele care, ca si noi, au personalitate si sentimente. Dragonii, care sunt priviti ca unelte periculoase dar utile de catre majoritatea personajelor cartii, au diverse trairi si dorinte. Eroina principala, domnita Quenelda, vrea sa ii convinga pe cei din jurul sau ca aceste creaturi sunt minunate si merita tot respectul si dragostea noastra. Dragonii sunt, de fapt, un simbol al tuturor animalelor pamantului si copiii, dar si adultii, invata de aici ca poate exista o lume unde respectul pentru animalelor este o realitate. Lectura placuta!! Sorina si Bono ♥ 

Gareth Wilson Amazon Top 50 reviewer. Falcata Times and Tatty's Treasue Chest

The Dragon Whisperer
Finding a new children’s author that presents something novel and catchy to occupy the young mind is a lot like trying to catch the wind. First of all the mind at times can rush from one area to another and at other times it barely even registers and you have to takes people word that such a thing exists.

So,when Lucinda’s book landed, I read the back, was intrigued and began devouring the book. Yep it takes a lot to get something to the top of my TBR pile and its virtually unheard of for a new author to do just that, but the way the blurb laid it out, this was a book I just couldn’t miss and what a ride it was.
The writing was expertly handled, the characters not only charming but a villain that you’re just going to love to hate. Its fresh, its new and above all its going to do for Dragon fantasy what Rowling did for Wizards. Lucinda is definitely a name to watch out for and to be honest this is going to be in my top five YA books for the year, give this another book, maybe two and it will be the hottest thing on the YA circuit so get in now before the hype hits. If you need any other persuasion try this, its McCaffrey and Novik Flaming hot fiction for the YA market. Need we say more?

Flight to Dragon Isle
Having loved the original novel by Lucinda I really couldn't wait to get reacquainted with Root and Quenelda as their adventures continue against the evil behind the scenes, the Grand Master, former friend of Quenelda's father Earl Rufus De Winter. 

Whilst the first book set the scene, this one gets down to the bare bones of the matter at hand and like the Empire Strikes Back, it's a lot darker than the first as there's a lot of death as well as devastation and it looks overall like the Grand Master who would be King is all set to become the Emperor of all he surveys. Add to this a good number of twists, some very bleak outcomes backed up with one ember of light that will need the best efforts of everyone to ensure that the fire of righteousness takes light. All in this title was a scary and thoroughly enjoyable read despite the darker aspect and one that I feel shows quite clearly that not every world is sweetness and light with the heroes not winning every battle. Its cleverly written, the cast addictive and when backed with the Hobgoblins and Quenelda's Brother it's one that really will keep the reader demanding the third instalment. A cracking read although you may want to read through it with your own hatchling due to some of the subject matter.

Gareth Wilson
Amazon Top 50 reviewer.
Falcata Times and Tatty's Treasue Chest

Sunday, 13 November 2016

OneKind Blog from Remembrance Sunday 11th November 2011

To mark Remembrance Sunday we are pleased to share this very special guest blog by author Lucinda Hare, which reminds us that not all of the sentient beings who suffer, endure and show courage during wartime are human beings.
war memorial
Remembering Animals in War
(by Lucinda Hare)
Throughout history, man has taken animals to war with him whether they willed it or not.  From Celtic tribal war hounds to Hannibal’s elephants, from trained medieval war horses to carrier pigeons, from mules in the Burmese jungle to IED bomb sniffer dogs in Afghanistan, they have been at our side; and in serving us faithfully and unflinchingly, they have died in their tens of millions from exhaustion, starvation, thirst, exposure, wounds and disease, unremarked upon save for a few.  Then there are those casualties hidden from public view: the hundreds of thousands of primates and domesticated animals used by the military for experiments; their isolation, indignity and agony, unseen and unheard.  Animals are the forgotten victims of war.
Those very characteristics that we cherish so much in animals are sadly the same that led to their being enlisted.  Dogs are intelligent, devoted and courageous.  Mules have great stamina, and are sure footed even in adverse terrain.  Horses are brave hearted, swift and strong, able to bear a knight in full armour, or drag a gun and ammunition.  Over a quarter of a million died of heatstroke, exhaustion, thirst and wounds in the Boer war alone; eight million horses, mules and donkeys were subjected to the same terrifying conditions as men in the trenches of the First World War.  Those that survived were then abandoned to fend for themselves or sold into hard labour; they never came home.  Dorothy Brooke, the wife of a British army general posted to Cairo in 1930, discovered thousands of ex-cavalry horses being used as beasts of burden.  Her compassion for these old abused animals led to the foundation of the Brooke Hospital for Animals. Around three hundred thousand pigeons served in the two World Wars, countless others over the centuries that preceded modern communications.  The list of animals drawn into our wars is endless, their sacrifice immense.
For those of us to whom all life is equally precious, each and every death in war, human or animal, is a source of grief, because to us, we are all of one kind.  As Ghandi said so succinctly, “There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together.”  So as we remember our armed forces and their families this coming Sunday, so too we should remember those animals that serve and protect them and us, in many theatres of war across the world today.
Animals like Theo.  Theo, a young springer spaniel is reported to have died of a broken heart shortly after seeing his master, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, a bomb-disposal expert, being shot and killed in March of this year.  Theo and Lance Cpl Tasker, an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, were part of the Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit based at Camp Bastion.
theo
(Pic:Lance Cpl Tasker and Theo)
The Ministry of Defence praised the success of L-Cpl Tasker and Theo, who had made fourteen finds of bombs and weapons stores in five months in Afghanistan. The spaniel, on his first tour of duty, had uncovered so many improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that his time in the country was extended by a month. Theo was honoured at his master’s funeral. They would have returned home just four days after the attack.
The powerfully emotive Animals in War Memorial, unveiled in 2004, bears two inscriptions:  “This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time.”
A second, smaller inscription reads: “They had no choice.”

Friday, 11 November 2016

How Much is that Dragon in the Window? Don't ask Santa for a dragon this Christmas unless you are sure you can look after one!

What do you think of when someone mentions dragons to you? Glamour? Magic? Bright scales? Flying? Billowing blue smoke? All of these and more? How cool would it be to fly to school on a dragon? Way cool! Flying above all those folk plodding through the puddles far below...

Well yes, a dragon is all of these things. But...like other pets there is a less glamourous side to pet ownership. Root will tell you it's a lot of hard work too, and the larger the animal the harder the work. There is feeding, handling, grooming, exercise and visits to the vet. Those scale mites don't just make your dragon's life miserable, they can bite you too! Owning an animal like a dragon is going to be expensive. Have you been saving your pocket money?

So imagine. You've arrived home this evening from a hard day at school. Exams are coming up. Your favourite TV series is on tonight but you have a ton of homework for tomorrow, including that history project that you've been avoiding. Winter is coming in and it's cold, dark and very wet outside. But your windglen widdershanks mare is only a yearling and she needs lots of exercise, and the roost will need mucked out tonight, you avoided it yesterday. So it's out with the shovel and cart. Mucking out dragon dung is no joke. There is a lot of it so you need big muscles! The bigger the dragon the bigger...well you get the picture, and you never thought of that when you bought her did you? She looked so small and cute in that window but she is going to get bigger yet. That done you get saddle and bridle out and tack up. On with the waterproofs and out into the winter sky.

It's miserable out there and you narrowly avoid collision with another dragon. The freezing rain is seeping down your neck and your fingers have gone numb, but your dragon is having a great time and doesn't want to go home yet, so resists your efforts to turn homeward. She can be quite stubborn when she wants to be. It's a whole hour before you get back to the roost, but before you get dry clothes on and some hot food you have to look after your dragon. A quick rub down followed by a brush, and check for any sores. Her hide is a little dry so you dig out the pot of birch balm - an unguent made of honey, birch sap and and stag-toad spittle that Root recommended. She's hungry. You go to the food bins to make up a hot oat mash sprinkled with thistles...argh! You've forgotten that the dried thistles have run out, and there's not enough oats either. So you have to run down the road to the nearest fodder station before it closes. And if you are one of the few like Quenelda who have a battledragon, well there's brimstone to consider. Volatile, heavy and very expensive... You finally tuck your dragon into her roost for the night and get changed. Grabbing a bite to eat you plump down on the sofa and...your favourite programme has just ended.

Well...that's the reality of pet ownership. It may be glamorous, fun and exciting most of the time. But, a lot of responsibility and hard work goes with pet ownership, so when you are out shopping this Christmas and you see that cute baby dragon in the window...Don't just ask Santa for one - have a good long think about it and go and talk to someone first - like Root who knows what it's all about.

And instead get the next best thing for the person you love: The Dragonsdome Chronicles  

Monday, 7 November 2016

What's in a name? How I chose Quenelda

I've often been asked where I got the very unusual name of Quenelda from. I had virtually written a draft book and was still searching for that elusive name for my feisty female protagonist. I wanted a name that would suit the daughter of an old aristocratic family, but was sufficiently rare that it would help me to 'world build'. What happened? Well, it is an intriguing story in itself.

I am a newsaholic: BBC News 24 is permanently on in the background. I was passing by when I heard the mention of a polar explorer Tom Avery who led a pioneering British expedition to a previously unexplored 20-mile mountain range close to China's western border. I love watching Arctic and Antarctic exploration, but for once this was not a polar challenge; his team had scaled nine uncharted summits up to 6,000 meters high in the Eastern Zaalay Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. If you are the first to scale a mountain peak the honour of naming it falls to you.  Tom had named one of the mountains (the 5439m Pik Quenelda) after his mother, whose birthday fell on the day the team reached the summit. It was his mother who was being interviewed about the 2005 Barclays Capital Ultimate North Expedition that aimed to solve the greatest polar mystery of all time: did Commander Robert Peary discover the North Pole in 1909 in a record 37 days.   I stopped to listen, and the moment I heard her voice and saw the name Quenelda Avery, I knew I had my heroine.

A year or so later I got an email out of the blue from a London lawyer asking me where I had come across this most unusual name. He had been shopping for a Christmas present for his mother and had come upon The Dragon Whisperer.   I told him, and he replied that was his mother and brother!  

Since then Quenelda and I have corresponded.  She can track her ancestry all the way back to 1066 and beyond to Scandinavia, the true origin of the name.  Three of her grandchildren have Quenelda as a middle name.  But that is not the end of this tale!  Quenelda's father's coat of arms bears a dragon!  It makes you think!





Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Inspirations for Moons & Months...


So where did I get inspiration for the months/moons of the year? Well, there was a time not so long ago when mankind’s very survival was tied to the rhythms of nature and the changing of the seasons, and thus time was measured by the cycle of the full moon. Full moons dominate the sky and have attracted unique names of their own that reflect those seasons. In this modern day and age of high rise cities, the Internet, cars and planes, it is all too easy to lose touch with nature, and to forget that we are intrinsically connected to the Earth, and it to us. But blizzards, floods and famine, bush fires, tsunamis and earthquakes have shown how nature can overwhelm us and render much of our defenses, planning and technology redundant. What then must it have been like for our ancestors? No heating save the wood you have cut over summer. No food save that which you have harvested or hunted. No running water. No transport, no computers, no mobile phones. All the things we take for granted did not exist not so long ago. This too is the world of The Seven Sea Kingdoms, a medieval world of soaring mountains and deep sea lochs. Yes there is magic, but like technology, it has its limits. How can a even a mighty Imperial Black battledragon fly in a howling blizzard? So, how do you measure time in such a primordial world?

Ever since I was a child I have been inspired by Native American cultures and their affinity with nature, so I have borrowed their names for full moons below, with some alternative names in brackets; but this personal choice reflects only a fraction of the many tribal variants such as Abenaki, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Mohawk, Potawatomi and Shoshoni that exist. Those in bold print represent those adopted by the American Indian Association.
The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Moons

January Wolf Moon (Snow Moon)
February Snow Moon (Hunger Moon)
March Sap Moon (Maple Sugar Moon / Crow Moon)
April Sprouting Grass Moon ( Frog Moon / Wild Goose Moon)
May Corn Planting Moon (Flower Moon)
June Hot Moon (Strawberry Moon / Rose Moon)
July Thunder Moon (Blood Moon / Buck Moon)
August Grain Moon (Moon of the Green Corn)
September Harvest Moon
October Hunters Moon (Moon of the Falling Leaves)
November Frost Moon (Beaver Moon)
December Long Nights Moon (Cold Moon)
Just to remind us all of where we were before Dark Dragon Dreams was stolen away by cancer i am going to be re-posting some of my inspirations and reviews and some of your comments and drawings to get us right back where we left off the adventures of Quenelda, Root and Tangnost (below)


...

Monday, 31 October 2016

Fantasy Book Review of The Stealth Dragon Services ~ Sit back and hope for a film adaptation and a line of frying pans as merchandise.

Just to remind you where we left off.......


Frying pans at the ready - Quenelda and Root are back! Stealth Dragon Services, the fourth novel in Lucinda Hare's Dragonsdome Chronicles opens with a handy glossary of 'who's who' - so you'll be up to speed if this book is your first of the series. If you’re an avid fan – it’ll all sound very familiar!
Before you open the book, prepare yourself for moments of reunion that will make you want to cry; monsters that will make you want to hide; a dark magic so consuming it will make you want to turn to the dark side; and a good magic so good... it'll make you wish you could speak to dragons.
This novel is still filled with Hare’s classic humour (the frying pan is still the weapon of choice) which surely wins it the coveted place of ‘bedtime story’ for many children. Her portrayal of dragons is second to none: she describes them with such David-Attenborough precision, that you can't help but wonder if they really do exist.
Don’t be fooled, though – SDS is the darkest book in the series to date. The Hobgoblins are the stuff of nightmares (three rows of teeth!) and the Lord Protector, quite literally, goes over the edge. It's these dark moments that make you wish for a film-adaptation, if only to give yourself chance to hide behind your popcorn.
But what truly separates Hare’s novels from other books is the deeper message they convey - and this continues with SDS. Hare offers us a world where the underdog can triumph, where you can be who you want to be, where girls can fly dragons, but also dress how they want. Quenelda is still very much a girl in a boys' world and this is what makes a story about old folklore so modern. We see Quenelda battle through, (literally, at times!) as she tries to deal with life as a young girl and her growing dragon magic.
Once you've reached the last page, sit back and hope for a film adaptation and a line of frying pans as merchandise.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Dragonsdome Chronicles are back!

Hello everyone, finally after a year and a half absence I'm getting over the cancer and able to write again, so welcome back to Quenelda, Root, Tangnost, the WarLock King, and of course our favourite overweight dragon Two Gulps Two Many! At least I can think straight after chemo brain has finally worn off, although its almost like beginning from scratch again, because I only have notes.  Post chemo medication is really messing with my joints, in particular hands, so I can't be at the keyboard for long, but we will see how it goes. So, I have returned to Dark Dragon Dreams, book five of The Dragonsdome Chronicles, picking up as the SDS are breaking with tradition and opening their ranks to all the peoples of the Seven Sea Kingdoms.....watch this space.  





Thursday, 9 October 2014

Fantasy Book Review of The Stealth Dragon Services ~ Sit back and hope for a film adaptation and a line of frying pans as merchandise.


Frying pans at the ready - Quenelda and Root are back! Stealth Dragon Services, the fourth novel in Lucinda Hare's Dragonsdome Chronicles opens with a handy glossary of 'who's who' - so you'll be up to speed if this book is your first of the series. If you’re an avid fan – it’ll all sound very familiar!
Before you open the book, prepare yourself for moments of reunion that will make you want to cry; monsters that will make you want to hide; a dark magic so consuming it will make you want to turn to the dark side; and a good magic so good... it'll make you wish you could speak to dragons.
This novel is still filled with Hare’s classic humour (the frying pan is still the weapon of choice) which surely wins it the coveted place of ‘bedtime story’ for many children. Her portrayal of dragons is second to none: she describes them with such David-Attenborough precision, that you can't help but wonder if they really do exist.
Don’t be fooled, though – SDS is the darkest book in the series to date. The Hobgoblins are the stuff of nightmares (three rows of teeth!) and the Lord Protector, quite literally, goes over the edge. It's these dark moments that make you wish for a film-adaptation, if only to give yourself chance to hide behind your popcorn.
But what truly separates Hare’s novels from other books is the deeper message they convey - and this continues with SDS. Hare offers us a world where the underdog can triumph, where you can be who you want to be, where girls can fly dragons, but also dress how they want. Quenelda is still very much a girl in a boys' world and this is what makes a story about old folklore so modern. We see Quenelda battle through, (literally, at times!) as she tries to deal with life as a young girl and her growing dragon magic.
Once you've reached the last page, sit back and hope for a film adaptation and a line of frying pans as merchandise.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

5*****Wow....just breathtaking and one of the best books ive every read


5.0 out of 5 stars Wow....just breathtaking and one of the best books ive every read20 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: Stealth Dragon Services: On wings of vengeance (The Dragonsdome Chronicles Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Wow.....just wow is all I can say to the book.The plot is amazingly thought out and the detail put in to every character is incredible the story is about a young girl called Qenelda dewinter daughter of the earl Rufus dewinter who is a girl of just 13 summers who has a natural gift with dragons she can talk to them!!.The military is called the SDS (stealth dragon services) and is a very clever idea.It uses standard military practices but incorporates magic and dragons into it for the example the way they bring other dragons into battle is with imperials which are huge black dragons and I suppose they are kind of like cargo planes. I COULD NOT put this book down every chance I had I read it to the very end I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book but if you are going to read it I also recommend that you read book one first its called The Dragon Whisperer it will explain everything also this book is for all ages as Lucinda hare herself has commonly put it its for ages 9 - 99 so anyone can read it so what are you waiting for go down to water stones or wherever you get you books and BUY THIS BOOK

submitted by Cameron age:15

Amazon.co.uk

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Moons & Months

So where did I get inspiration for the months/moons of the year? Well, there was a time not so long ago when mankind’s very survival was tied to the rhythms of nature and the changing of the seasons, and thus time was measured by the cycle of the full moon. Full moons dominate the sky and have attracted unique names of their own that reflect those seasons. In this modern day and age of high rise cities, the Internet, cars and planes, it is all too easy to lose touch with nature, and to forget that we are intrinsically connected to the Earth, and it to us. But blizzards, floods and famine, bush fires, tsunamis and earthquakes have shown how nature can overwhelm us and render much of our defenses, planning and technology redundant. What then must it have been like for our ancestors? No heating save the wood you have cut over summer. No food save that which you have harvested or hunted. No running water. No transport, no computers, no mobile phones. All the things we take for granted did not exist not so long ago. This too is the world of The Seven Sea Kingdoms, a medieval world of soaring mountains and deep sea lochs. Yes there is magic, but like technology, it has its limits. How can a even a mighty Imperial Black battledragon fly in a howling blizzard? So, how do you measure time in such a primordial world?

Ever since I was a child I have been inspired by Native American cultures and their affinity with nature, so I have borrowed their names for full moons below, with some alternative names in brackets; but this personal choice reflects only a fraction of the many tribal variants such as Abenaki, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Mohawk, Potawatomi and Shoshoni that exist. Those in bold print represent those adopted by the American Indian Association.

The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Moons

January Wolf Moon (Snow Moon)
February Snow Moon (Hunger Moon)
March Sap Moon (Maple Sugar Moon / Crow Moon)
April Sprouting Grass Moon ( Frog Moon / Wild Goose Moon)
May Corn Planting Moon (Flower Moon)
June Hot Moon (Strawberry Moon / Rose Moon)
July Thunder Moon (Blood Moon / Buck Moon)
August Grain Moon (Moon of the Green Corn)
September Harvest Moon
October Hunters Moon (Moon of the Falling Leaves)
November Frost Moon (Beaver Moon)
December Long Nights Moon (Cold Moon)

Friday, 8 August 2014

The books you write are a combination of everything i love, dragons, spells, warlocks, legends


I'm your number 1 fan, your first book blew me away i dream about being Quenelda every night! Your second book is even better i can't contain my glee. The books you write are a combination of everything i love, dragons, spells, warlocks, legends. When *spoiler* in your second book i literally stopped breathing from the amazing desciption you put in, I felt Quenelda's pain! I can't wait for the next book. You are my favourite author over Enid Blyton and Michael Morpurgo. Your books are so amazing that i'm reading so fast to find out what happens i don't have enough time to imagine it!

Jessica McConnell

Amazon.com review of Dragon Lords Rising : Story to grasp a child's imagination *****

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every so often you want to become immersed in a fantasy story, to enter that world and care about what happens to the characters. You certainly get this in the Dragonsdome series. Gritty heroine, small hero-in-the-making - characters with whom a young(ish) child can identify feel empathy with - and of course, evil villains to arouse a child's keen sense of injustice.
A wonderful new look at dragons as large creatures with minds of their own.
I'm not going to spoil the plot - please buy the book and read it - then read it out to any child within hearing distance. Better still, go out and buy the first two books and there's a brand new book 4 just out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Adult reader review of The Stealth Dragon Services

By April
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Along with other fans of Lucinda Hare’s fantastic Dragonsdome fantasy series, I waited for this latest installment with bated breathe. What would happen with Rufus, Quenelda and Root? Would Too Gulps Too Many ever stop eating like a little piggy? Would Hugo be unmasked as the traitor he is and would he be caught? Would Quester survive? What ever would become of Root’s people? All of this, and much more, is explored in this new book. Yet again, the author takes you on a breakneck, exciting journey around the Seven Kingdoms, following the heroes in their endeavors. I loved the breaks from “Tradition” that are starting to take place around court, with Armelia providing some very good character development to move the story forward and open new avenues to explore. The queen is really starting to become more three dimensional as she is bought deeper in to the plot line and you find yourself loving her as much as Quenelda, Tagnost or Too Gulps. There is so much love and care taken over these stories, such emotion in the scenes between friends and family, that you almost feel that they are a part of you. You care deeply for the brave people of this story. You even feel for Darcy, in his confusion and turmoil!
I saw somebody compare these books to Harry Potter recently, but to me, these books are so much better than anything that Rowling puts out. Lucinda is so much better, don’t miss out!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Leabharlainn nan Eilean Siar

Taking a look at participating in Leabharlainn nan Eilean Siar, a literature festival looking at the fantastical in stories for children and young people in the Western Isles: all that fresh air and rain are definitely appealing...a bit tricky getting from island to island but we are exploring possibilities...

Leabharlainn nan Eilean Siar

Faclan Sparks

Faclan Sparks / Faclan Sragadan


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

First young reader review of The Stealth Dragon Services

5.0 out of 5 stars The Stealth Dragon Services, Lucinda Hare 15 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have you ever had to keep a secret that is impossible to keep? A Secret so big you are left biting your tongue while others stand on and laugh? Quenelda the main character in Lucinda Hare’s The stealth Dragon Services has to deal with that and more as she begins her training to become a dragon Lord, a position never before being offered to a woman. Throughout the book you see Quenelda develop her skills along with her friends as she tries to make her way through without giving anything away. Meanwhile a war is wagging with a Warlock at its core; it’s a hard time for everyone…

This book is an exciting enjoyable book with many heart stopping moments, the author (Lucinda Hare) is experienced and has many inspirations for her series of books The Dragon Whisperer. Her many furry friends provide the inspiration for the personalities of her many dragons showing her dedication to book writing, as each and every dragon in her book has their own individual part in the story. The characters are well developed and easy to get attached to.

Personally I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone aged 9+ who would like to read something with real meaning and depth while keeping it simple and easy to read. You can get caught up in the book and read it for hours on end without even realising the time passing by as you start to count your time in bells as the characters do. This is an amazing book and think many people would enjoy reading it.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Moonbeam Children's Book Awards 2013 : The Dragonsdome Chronicles win the silver medal for Best Book Series



Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. Award recipients receive gold, silver and bronze medals and stickers depicting a mother and child reading and silhouetted by a full moon.

Jenkins Group is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. Launched in 2007, the awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading.Congratulations to all the winners!

This year's Moonbeam Awards medal ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 4th annual Traverse City Children’s Book Festival, to be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013. All medalists and their guests are invited to attend.

Click here to go to the Moonbeam Award Winners press page.

2013 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Results “Celebrating Youthful Curiosity, Discovery and Learning through Books and Learning”


Monday, 15 July 2013

Fringe by the Sea: North Berwick | 5-11 August 2013


August 9th: Dragons: the magic of imagination (Dragon drawing for younger readers with me)


What kind of dragon would you take home if you were allowed to visit the roosts of Dragonsdome? What kind of dragon would your family like? Does any family member have a dragon allergy? Nasty! Is your dragon going to be gentle like Root’s Chasing the Stars, or temperamental like Quenelda’s battledragon, Two Gulps & You’re Gone? Small as a guinea pig or large as a house? Imagine the dragon you are taking home tonight....

Fringe by the Sea

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Beautiful illustration by Jessica McConnell

i drew this picture for Lucinda Hare because her books are the best in the world!!!
Originally posted on Lucinda's facebook wall

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Two Gulps Too Many


Two Gulps Too Many: juveline sabretooth battledragon with a serious weight problem  Cannot stop himself snacking..on a inattentive seagull, brimstone *and* the metal cauldron, someones cloak, and best of all...those honey tablets...yum...

So plump he cannot fly!  

Friday, 7 June 2013

Tangnost Bearhugger

Bonecracker Commando and Dragon Master 

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Author at Work

Me hard at work with the help of Little Dumpling, one of my ten furry assistants...the plot to The Stealth Dragon Services is written on all the windows of the conservatory in liquid chalk...

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cover Artwork for Dragon Lords Rising for sale

Beautiful satin finish A3 poster of the cover artwork for Dragon Lords Rising
signed and dedicated on request
£15 + 2.50 p&p UK or £4.60 Europe or USA
Paypal: lucinda@dragonsdome.co.uk

Friday, 1 February 2013

Shortlisted for the Lennox Author Award



Shortlisted for the Lennox Author Award, East Lothian's first book award which will be decided by pupils in P5, 6 or 7 in East Lothian.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Root Oakley


Root Oakley

Picture
Poor Root in the battledragon roosts with Quenelda. He is petrified!











Pa was gone. He was all alone in the world. What would he do now? Root wondered. Where would he go? He couldn't think straight. He couldn't even move. The hobgoblins had once more killed his closest kin. He had been barely six years old when a banner had wiped out his village - he had been picking nuts and berries in the forest when the attack came, and was the sole survivor out of a hundred and fifty peaceful gnomes. Hearing the screams, he had hidden in the undergrowth and stayed there long after night and silence fell, too afraid to move. Finally, as dawn turned darkness into shades of grey, he had crept home to find his family lying like broken dolls in the ruins of their home. The SDS had found him three days later, filthy, starving, and frozen, and had reunited him with his grieving father, stationed at Dragonsdome. But now the evil creatures had taken his father away too; what would become of him?

Picture
Root is a young gnome, the only remaining son of Bark Oakley, Scout to the Commander of the Stealth Dragon Services.  In memory of his father's bravery, Root is promoted from apprentice to esquire, an unheard of promotion because Root is a commoner.  Worse he is to be Quenelda's esquire.  To some that means advancement, fame and fortune, if they can keep up with her, but Root is almost as scared of her as he is of a battledragon that is trained to disembowel, behead or toast you.  He would much rather be a rat catcher's apprentice.    

Picture