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Dracones

Anthology

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Almost every ancient civilization has stories of some form of dragon, from the winged serpents of Asian lore to the traditional Western image of the fire-breathing behemoth. Literature is filled with stories of valiant heroes riding into the jaws of danger to slay the beast and rescue the princess. But sometimes, the knight in shining armor is less interested in the maiden in distress than in the dragon he's supposed to slay. Dracones brings together seven stories detailing the power and majesty of a dragon's love.

Most of the humans in Fugue in Gold and Fire are unknowingly animals in human form, and when the Vesti Moon rises, the animal forms break free, with no memory of their human lives. Lovers Adri and Dru search for a way to recognize each other during the change, but when Dru's true form turns out to be a dragon, he considers never changing back. Peter Harington aspires to be a Teller of Tales when he submits his fictional dragon manuscript for publication. Tom, the editor assigned to work with Peter, though, finds the worldbuilding a little too real and is determined to learn the truth. When the dragon Daire is wounded, only the Weird Magics of alchemist Cyras can heal him. But when one of the fae is found killed and her blood drained, Daire suspects his savior of illegal experimentation and murder.

Then, in Chanson Commencante de Guerre, the ancient dragon Rayvak finds himself strangely drawn to the young dragon shifter Stormy, despite the years of war between the dragons and the dragon shifters. The two must overcome centuries of animosity if they are to find any happiness together. Psychic David and his dragon lover Ferdie are literally Two in the Bush when their camping trip is interrupted by the magical guardians of their forest. They can sense the power of the dragon, but believe that David and Ferdie have it bound and demand that they release it or die! Finding the Rain is the task charged to Buwei, sent with offerings to the Dragon Lord Shenlong in hopes of ending his province' drought, a journey none have ever returned from. But the dragon's temple keeper, Tian, wants Buwei for himself and is willing to defy even the great dragon to keep him. Finally, in Lukos Heat, a mission of revenge sends the dragon Najlah into the mountains and into an unlikely partnership with the wolf shifter Barkus. And the closer they get to their quarry, the more they realize that nothing is as it appears.

Adri woke with a start. The violet light shimmering through the curtains raised goose bumps on his skin despite the warmth of the air. Some scholars said that prophetic dreams were common when Vesti, the purple Moon of Shaping, grew large in the sky. Others dismissed those claims.

All Adri knew was his dreams had been jumbled lately—giving him scales, feathers, antlers, antennae. He'd been flying, awkward as a fledgling, and a missed stroke woke him with a start. That and Vesti's chilling light. When the purple moon reached full, they would find their Shapes and everything would change.

He turned restlessly onto his back and stared at the crude dragon carved in a ceiling beam. There were other marks in the wood: chips, graffiti, and declarations from lovers long dead. The Drake's Host had been a tavern for nearly two thousand years, and this room on the top floor had housed many people before them. In the light of the purple moon, he could only make out the barest of details. And the unfamiliar color made every scratch and figure seem a portent of doom.

Adri rose from the bed. Dru grumbled and reached for him, but Adri shrugged his hand away. He ducked behind the curtain and watched Vesti, not quite full, glowing just above the tree line. Moak, the drab moon of cycles and predictability, was tainted by Vesti's color as it floated next to the spire of the ancient bell tower. The stone buildings of Ilyan City were too dark to be affected, but even the new gas lamps in Dushara Square had a purple taint.

Dru wasn't troubled by dreams. Maybe Adri's lover was one of the lucky ones who would remain fully human.

"Adri?" The low murmur of Dru's voice made him shiver. Adri should enjoy the time they had together, but he was haunted by the violet light.

The curtains rustled, and strong arms slid around his waist. Adri sighed and relaxed into the familiar embrace. Dru was shorter than him, but broader across the shoulders with strong arms that fit around Adri like they were made to hold him.

"I didn't mean to wake you."

"You should have." Dru's hips shimmied against Adri's ass. "Time can be better spent than in brooding, my love."

"I'm sorry." Adri leaned more deeply into Dru's embrace. "These dreams... I was flying..."

"Flying?" Dru's breath tickled his ear. "That would be glorious. We could soar together..."

"It doesn't work like that." Adri sighed. "I know you don't want to talk about it."

"This myth that we won't remember each other." Dru stiffened. "I don't believe it."

"That's what all the stories say." Adri pulled away. "All the rituals are in preparation for letting go."

-- from "Fugue in Gold and Fire" by Avery Vanderlyle

5 - Susan at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"We get details of a larger world expanding beyond the confines this story, and that made this a truly enjoyable read for me. Recommended. I liked the way this story fused together different genres, from fantasy and paranormal to steampunk and action tales. I quite liked this. I loved the culture, the plot, the lessons we’re given, justice, love, and happiness all rolled into one. Highly recommended! This is a wonderful conclusion to the anthology, but I do hope the writer gives us more of this world later on. I want to know what happens next! **Note-this rating applies to the anthology as a whole."

4 - Deb at Live Your Life, Buy The Book
"When I was given the opportunity to review an anthology with Dragons as the main focus I was thrilled. As one who loves all things dragon and my favorite genre to read is m/m romance, this seemed like the perfect combination. Over all I enjoyed most of the stories, some more than others. I would definitely recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys stories about dragons and their men. **Note: this review applies to the anthology as a whole."

4 - Crissy at Joyfully Jay
"Needless to say, Storm Moon Press publishes an anthology focused solely on dragons and I’m all over it. And I’m not at all disappointed. Some of these tales I enjoyed more than others, but I liked something about them all. They are all quite unique. The fantasy in each story transports readers into a new and inventive world every time. Maybe it’s the dragons. Maybe it’s the fantasy. Maybe a little of both. I don’t know. What I do know is that I enjoyed this fun and distinct collection of dragon tales."

3.5 - Larissa at Reviews by Jessewave
"DRAGONS! And in seven different stories no less. I’ve always loved stories about dragons. They are my favorite paranormal species, so I was bouncy happy when Wave offered Dracones to me. (I may have done a little happy dance) Overall, I found that Dracones has a nice variety of stories featuring dragons in various settings. There will be something for everyone in this anthology. The anthology was well edited too, which is always a plus."

3 - Jenre at Well Read
"Overall, this was a mixed bag of stories and not an anthology I would wholeheartedly recommend except for the stories I have highlighted in this review. I would advise waiting until the stories are released as separates and buying the best ones, unless you are a dedicated fan of dragon stories in which case you may find that more of the stories work for you than they did for me. Grade: Good."

Series

Dracones

Length

100,000 words

Release Date

May 17, 2013

Book Type

Anthology

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-62757-005-3

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, dragons, fantasy

Contributors

Avery Vanderlyle
D.K. Jernigan
E.E. Ottoman
E.R. Karr
Lor Rose
Megan Derr
Tam Ames