Tag Archives: Kandi J Wyatt

Dragon’s Heir by Kandi J Wyatt

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Dragon's Heir CoverDragon’s Heir by Kandi J Wyatt, e-book, 199 pages, expected publication by Updrift on the 8th December 2015.

Ten years after Dragon’s Future, Braidyn is no longer a youngling, though he has not found his place in the world yet. After an altercation in the marketplace, a nestling is stolen and carried away to southern lands unknown to the riders. Braidyn is determined to recover the nestling and bring her home safely. He returns to Three Spans Canyon to ask Ruskya and Carryl to aid him on his journey. Together they fly out in search of the nestling. In the southern sandhills they encounter camps of dragon riders with very different customs. Their leader is drunk on power, with a cruel and greedy nature. Braidyn is offended by the leader’s treatment of his youngest daughter, Sarai, as he treats her like a slave. The beautiful Sarai is much stronger than she first appears though, and quickly captures Braidyn’s attention.

This is the second book in the Dragon’s Courage series. It was wonderful to step inside the dragon rider’s world again, and catch up with Duskya and Cerulean, Ruskya and Carryl, Kyn and Braidyn. It felt like hearing news of old friends. There were also many new characters to meet from between the arid sandhills, where the Agamid of the El’shad’n make their homes. I especially liked getting to know Sarai.

The whole book revolves around Braidyn, and his journey to find where he belongs in the world. He had become restless, so the quest to find the nestling came at just the right moment. It provided him with the opportunity to explore new lands and meet new people. We see him mature, and discover more about himself and his dragon, Turqueso.

The story is very plot-driven, and rolls along at a quick pace, with character development centred on Braidyn and Sarai. We also got to know some of the Agamid a little but not their dragons. I would have liked to see more of the dragons. They were mostly in the background as the drama unfolded among the riders. I did have a few moments of confusion as Braidyn, Ruskya and Carryl are referred to as “Northerners” but then when they return home, the fly south, perhaps I misread something there.

At first I was angry at Sarai for stealing a nestling, but as her motives were revealed that anger ebbed away, and I came to admire her. She was strong, determined and brave. The customs of her people dictated that all women are beneath men, and are nothing more than possessions to do with as the men please. Such appalling behaviour towards women, but Ya’cove took it a step further in the way he treated Sarai. He humiliated, degraded and tormented her, until she cracked. He was a most despicable character, and I greatly disliked him, he just felt slimey. Luckily, his sons Av’ior and Ye’sock were much better men, and open to change within the encampment for the betterment of its people.

There wasn’t as much action as I was expecting, but I still enjoyed the book thoroughly. There was only a couple of brief battle scenes where we got to see the dragons in action, though there were other moments of danger, so it was still very exciting. I read through it quickly, not wanting to stop at the end of any chapter, and it kept me engaged until the end.

Suitable for upper primary school students and up, Dragon’s Heir is a wonderful fantasy adventure. I can’t wait for the next book in the series! I want to know more about Kyn and what direction he will take in his life. I hope the wait’s not too long.  Dragon’s Heir is due for release on the 8th of December 2015, and if you haven’t already, read Dragon’s Future first to get up to speed 🙂

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

Author Interview: Kandi J. Wyatt

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dragonsfuturecoverRecently I was very lucky to read an advance copy of Dragon’s Future by Kandi J. Wyatt, and then I had the privilege to interview her via email. I loved her book and I am very pleased that it is only the first in an exciting new series called Dragon’s Courage. Dragon’s Future is due for release on the 10th August 2015; read my review here.

 

First, a bit about yourself, your family and home?
I am a wife, mom of five, teacher, artist, author, and photographer’s assistant. I have been married to my knight in shining armor for twenty-three years and without his love, encouragement and support, I wouldn’t be all the things that I am. I have five children, ranging in age from 13 to 26, two are girls. Yes, I had three teenagers in the house at once, yes, food was scarce. I received my elementary teaching degree from a private college in Iowa. I taught 1st through 3rd grade and 3rd through 7th grade in one room in small private schools. I now teach junior high and high school students Spanish in a small town on the Southern Oregon Coast. I live in in an even smaller town that is on the northern border of the school district. I can hear the Pacific Ocean at night.

What is the first book you remember falling in love with? What made you love it?
It would have been either Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden mysteries. I loved the interaction of the characters and the mysteries that they got into. I also enjoyed the fact that they were both part of families and went to someone older when they needed help.

What was the last book you recommended to someone?
That would have been Disenchanted by Janet Ursel. It released on July 14 and I was able to do a pre-read for her. At first I was very confused as to what was going on, but then as the end drew nearer, I started to see the puzzle pieces. It was wonderful!

Did you always want to be an author or did your first book surprise you?
As a teenager, my sister and I were best friends. We would spend hours either creating our dream home, drawing, or writing stories. I never dreamed I would be an author though, I just loved to write. Most of what I wrote was short stories, nothing elaborate. Then in 2002 or 2003 I read one of Timothy Zahn’s Dragonback novels. In the back was a study guide for teachers to use with their students. One of the questions was to create a story from a place you already knew. I began writing and a novel came. Still, I didn’t think to publish it; I wrote for my kids. In 2009 Dragon’s Future was born. I let it sit on my computer until this past February when two of my children and I went to a writer’s conference where we met Tess Thompson of Booktrope who said her publishing company was accepting manuscripts. I debated and without telling any of my family, I clicked send. It was later I realized I had submitted a rough edit and not my refined edit! Booktrope liked it and put it into their new imprint, Updrift–books for parents that they want their kids to read and that kids love to read. It was a perfect fit! Since then, I’ve submitted the four other books in the Dragon Courage series and a historical fiction that will be released in October under the Vox Dei imprint with Booktrope.

Is there a special place you prefer to write from?
Not really. I usually write in the mornings when there is no one else up or around yet. However, most of my best ideas come while I am driving. I play the scene over in my mind. Later, when I sit down to write it I often can’t get it exactly like it was while I was driving.

I’ve read that you are also an artist, could you describe your art?
My sister taught me the basics of charcoal and pencils when I was in high school. Since then it just pretty much sat dormant for twenty years or so until I wrote the Dragon Courage series. As I wrote, I began to want to illustrate scenes. So, I picked up the pencils and started again. Eventually, my critic (my husband) said I was good enough to put work up on DeviantArt to get feedback. That was probably the best move I did. I learned so much from several of the artists on there.
I mainly draw using pencils and colored pencils. I am learning to use my watercolor pencils as a supplement to my normal work. My newest media is soft pastels. They are basically chalk but they spread and blend and are something you can work really quickly with. Most of my pictures take twenty hours or so to complete; therefore, having a medium that I can finish a drawing in an hour to an hour and a half is wonderful!

What is the most unusual person or animal that you have drawn a portrait of?

Drawing by Kandi J. Wyatt.

Drawing by Kandi J. Wyatt.

The photo that the drawing was created from.

The photo that the drawing was created from.

There isn’t really an unusual person or animal that I have drawn, but I do have a favorite. My nineteen-year-old daughter spent what would have been her senior year on Rotary Youth Exchange in Finland. Right around her eighteenth birthday when she had been there for six months, she posted this photo of her at the school ball. I loved it so much that I decided to draw it. As I was working on it, it was as if she was in the room with me. It is my best drawing to date.

There is much in Dragon’s Future about twins. Do you have twins in your family?
My mom has a set of twin cousins and miscarried twins when I was six. My dad has two sets of identical twin brothers. He was the first born and only single birth for his mom. The doctors told her if she had any more kids they would be multiple births. Grandma believed the doctors and didn’t have any more. (Five boys was more than enough for her!) We jokingly say that our eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds are our twins. They are sixteen months apart. So, twins have been a big part of my growing up. My sister and I always wondered which of us would get the twin gene.

Why do most of the names in Dragon’s Future contain the letter ‘y’?
When I was designing the story, I wanted something that would define the people from that area. So, all the people had a ‘y’. The dragon names all begin with ‘Wy’ or ‘Wry’ because I was using the old English version of wrym for dragon. Once we move away from Three Spans Canyon the names will be different. I designed each section of the world after places I knew or knew of.

Have dragons always been a passion for you?
If you would have looked in my sticker album that I collected as a teenager you would have found unicorns, pegasus, and horses. However, as I grew older I met my husband. He loved the medieval time frame and I was drawn to the dragons that went with the theme.

When can we expect your next book?
My next book will be an historical fiction, The One Who Sees Me. It will be released on October 3.
The next in the Dragon Courage series, Dragon’s Heir will be released on December 8.

 

If you would like to find out more about Kandi J Wyatt and her books, visit her blog, facebook page, Google+, her art site or follow her on twitter and instagram (@kandijwyatt). You can also find out more about Booktrope Publishing by visiting their website.

Dragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt

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dragonsfuturecoverDragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt, young adult e-book, published by Booktrope Publishing, due for release 10th August 2015.

During their tenth winter, twins Ruskya and Duskya are chosen to become dragon riders. They leave their home to live in the dragon riders’ colony, learning to communicate, care for and ride their dragons. Fifteen years on, both twins have become talented riders under the guidance of their father-like mentor Glendyn. However, the dragon population is in danger. The younger dragons aren’t pairing up to mate, and the supply of eggs is dwindling. Without new hatchlings the future of the colony is uncertain. Suddenly a dragon rider from a different and hitherto unknown colony appears in the nearby village. Dragon attacks begin and innocent people are injured and killed. Ruskya must defend the colony and the village, with the help of his dragon, Wyeth, and his family and friends. The invaders are powerful and battle-ready, but what is it that they want?

The first in an exciting new series, Dragon’s Future is an enjoyable and intricate story full of magic and action. I love stories about dragons, I think they are fascinating creatures, especially the friendly ones! This book hit the spot, and I flew through it. It was engaging and entertaining, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

The characters had their back stories told slowly, with the past nicely balanced with the present, creating rich character profiles. I felt like I came to know them, especially Ruskya, Carryl and Kyn. Loyalty, trust, friendship and courage are all evident amongst the riders and villagers. They worked as a community to face the adversity that had befallen them, it took strength and sacrifice, but they rose to the challenge. The dragons also had such individual and appealing personalities, beyond just being the dragon attached to a certain rider. I enjoyed the way they communicate and bond with their riders. Alternatively, the turquoise rider was arrogant and power hungry, delighting in the pain of others, an excellent nemesis for Ruskya. Kyle was also highly dislikable, partly for his cruelty, and partly because I found him incredibly annoying and rather stupid.

At first I had trouble connecting the dragon with the right dragon rider, as the dragons’ names are all very similar. I soon worked it out though, I mostly kept getting Wylen and Wyden confused. I liked the names given to the dragons and the people, but as I really like the letter ‘y’, perhaps I am a little biased. The names of most of the characters contain the letter ‘y’, but it didn’t make them difficult to pronounce. I thought it gave the story a sense of community and tradition.

The landscape in which the story is set is well constructed, with vivid descriptions of the village, dragon colony and their surrounds, making it easy to step into this new world. The vast canyons, and sandy desert seemed like it should be inhospitable, but the people made it homely and welcoming. It is reminiscent of a time gone by, before technology, when communities were small and tight-knit, when magic was still possible. It is a great place to escape to.

A wonderfully complex fantasy, Dragon’s Future is suitable for upper primary school through to high school students. Many adults will also enjoy this story. Dragon’s Future is available for pre-order on Amazon right now, and will be released on the 10th August 2015, with its sequel coming later in the year.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.