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Legend by Nicole Conway
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Legend (Dragonrider Legacy 3)
by Nicole Conway
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
In a war of gods and tyrants, the will of the dragonrider must never falter.
Captured and tortured by the brutal tyrant, Argonox, Reigh’s worst fears have now been realized. Argonox has successfully twisted his mysterious dark power for a truly evil purpose—reanimating the long-deceased legendary dragonrider, Beckah Derrick, and her monstrous king drake.
But Argonox’s cruelty won’t end there, and Reigh fears the worst is yet to come. Rescue is unlikely as the Tibrans prepare to make their final strike, poised to break Maldobar’s ranks of proud dragonriders once and for all.
With many of its cities already captured by the Tibran Empire, all hope now rests with Jaevid, Princess Jenna, Phillip, and their mismatched band of dragonrider allies to lead the last stand and save their kingdom.
Even in such frightful times, Jaevid may find he still has a few old friends ready to take up their weapons and stand at his side again. But facing down Beckah is perhaps the one thing that might break Jaevid’s resolve. Can he really strike down the woman he used to love in order to save the kingdom?
One final battle will decide the fate of our heroes. Can the strength dragonrider prevail once again? Or will the Tibran Empire become Maldobar’s new legacy?
“Bravery is not an immunity to fear—it is rising up to meet it with the hope that nothing is impossible.” — Sile Derrick, FLEDGLING
The instant Jaevid’s boots hit the ground in the castle’s grand front courtyard, one of my father’s elite guards stepped away from the crowd and approached him. Through the visor of my helmet, I glanced at Haldor. His hand was clenched around his bow as he gave me a nod. This was it— the moment of truth. Would we be received as a long-awaited cavalry, or as unwelcomed vigilantes?
The guardsman offered Jaevid a deep bow and motioned to the grand arched doorway at the far end of the courtyard. “His Majesty King Felix Farrow welcomes you. Please follow me.”
My shoulders sagged in relief. At least it seemed like we weren’t going to be arrested right away. So far, so good.
Jaevid led the way toward the doorway, the guards falling into formation around us so that we were flanked on all sides like a parade march. Only a couple of them stayed behind, most likely to guide our dragons down into the catacombs for the night. No doubt the castle’s usual dragon housing, a circular structure we called the Deck, was already at capacity with so many dragonriders called here. My desire to be anywhere other than under my father’s disappointed glare was not a recent feeling, and I’d spent a lot of time at the Deck as a child, secretly tucked up alongside the snoozing dragons.
But our dragons wouldn’t get to enjoy those cozy chambers. There wouldn’t be room. Not that the catacombs under the castle would be terrible. I was certain my father would make sure the dragons housed down there would have every comfort. They’d get a fresh meal of raw meat, and a bed of soft hay to curl up on to sleep off the weariness of our journey. Master Godfrey had been the stablemaster in charge of looking after our horses and dragons for as long as I could remember. He ran a tight ship, and our mounts never wanted for anything.
We had almost reached the massive set of double doors leading into the castle. Every step made my heart race faster until it clashed in my ears and made my fingertips go numb.
I clenched my teeth to stop them from chattering. Nearly a year’s time hadn’t changed this place at all—although it had changed me plenty. Too late, I realized I wasn’t ready for this.
I wanted to run, bolt back to Phevos, and make a break for …anywhere else.
Suddenly, the doors before us rumbled and opened wide, groaning on their iron-wrought hinges.
Jaevid stopped. The rest of us did, too.
Felix Farrow, my father and the current King of Maldobar, came striding out into the courtyard with a flock of men in armor following close at his heels. Most of them I knew, or at least recognized the distinction of their armor. They were men of the court—High Commander Morrig, Infantry General Craig, Duke Brinton and his son, and Vaelin, who had taken over Kiran’s office and now represented Luntharda as a royal ambassador.
In fact, my father was the only one not wearing his full court armor. Dressed in a simple tunic, pants, and leather jerkin underneath a black bear hide cloak, the only thing that marked him as king was the simple golden circlet nestled on his head. Even that was one of the simplest, most lackluster crowns he owned. Not that he’d ever been all that fond of courtly clothes, but we’d clearly caught him off guard.
When he saw us, my father stopped short. His light brown eyes fixed on Jaevid and went wide, white brows lifting slowly. Gods, the months had aged him. His face was creased, somber eyes now hooded, and more of his dark golden hair had turned silver. It hung to his shoulders in gentle waves, so gray now it nearly matched his neatly trimmed white beard. My stomach fluttered as he took another step. His lips parted, and his eyes narrowed as he came closer and closer, stopping only when he was a few feet away from Jaevid.
“You,” my father murmured quietly, his deep voice thick with emotion. Was it anger? Sorrow? Gods, I couldn’t tell.
Jaevid was motionless, standing with his entire body rigid. His fists clenched at his sides and his brow skewed into an expression of withheld panic, our resident demigod didn’t say a word. He didn’t even blink.
I held my breath. My mind raced, and it felt as though my heart might have stopped beating altogether.
“Forty years.” My father’s face twitched, scrunching violently. He squeezed his eyes shut and looked down, expression contorting and chest heaving deeply. “And now you come back.”
“Felix,” Jaevid rasped as he took a stumbling step forward, “I … Gods, I am so sorry. Please, I-I … I couldn’t do anything to—”
The King of Maldobar sprang forward faster than I’d ever seen him move before. He seized Jaevid in his arms and nearly snatched the poor man right out of his boots.
Jaevid winced, going as stiff as a dried-out corpse in my father’s grip at first. His eyes were as round as moons and his whole face blanched. Then, he suddenly seemed to process what was happening. His expression crumpled, and he hugged King Felix back fiercely.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married with one son.