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The Dragon Quintet

The Dragon Quintet
Edited by Marvin Kaye


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A n abiding presence in myth and literature from around the world, the dragon has been reborn in 20th-century fantasy fiction. The classic winged fire-breathing reptile often associated with evil (they do despoil villages, demand virgin sacrifices and hoard stolen treasure in cavernous lairs, after all) tends nowadays to be more disposed to humankind, sometimes aloofly offering magical wisdom, sometimes actively involved in human lives, whether as servants or friends. For this exclusive SFBC anthology - not available in stores - editor Marvin Kaye asked five top fantasy authors to contribute original novellas to this store of dragon lore.

Orson Scott Card - an expert at writing from a child's point of view, as evidenced in his bestselling Ender's War and Ender's Shadow - offers a gothic yarn set in contemporary suburbia. "In the Dragon's House" tells about the mysterious dragon that lives in the wiring of an old house, palpable only to a young boy who in dreams shares its body and feels its true size and power. But what does it really want?

Tanith Lee is no stranger to dragons, which appear quite often in her award-winning fantasies. The fable "Love in a Time of Dragons" is imbued with her signature atmosphere - old world, moody, erotic - as a kitchen maid goes a-questing with a handsome champion to slay the local drakkor. But the tale takes a surprising twist. . . .

Elizabeth Moon, author of the popular Esmay Suiza and Heris Serrano series, takes a break from military SF to give us the tale of a young man forced by lies to flee his village . . . into an adventure of dwarfs and dragonspawn, of trust and wisdom, and, ultimately, "Judgment."

Mercedes Lackey, prolific author of the Valdemar saga, writes of a slave boy who is chosen to care for a warrior's dragon. Vetch (and we) will learn much about dragon behavior . . and this special dragon's secrets may be the key to his freedom. (Lackey was so taken by young Vetch that she expanded his adventures into a novel with the same name as this story - "Joust.")

Rounding off the collection is Michael Swanwick's "King Dragon," a strange amalgam of 20th-century technology and faery magic, in which the award-winning author invokes a truly sinister and repellant creature - a being with the soul of a beast and the body of a machine - part metal, part devil . . . all-merciless.

Copyright © 2003

Published by Science Fiction Book Club
ISBN 0-7394-3523-X


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