Dawn, 2nd day at sea
The ocean is relatively calm. For the moment, so am I.
The sun has yet to rise, but the edge of the world brightens enough for me to see the face of my sweetheart Njall while he sleeps curled up on the deck of our small ship. Yesterday we launched from the Great Turtle Lands, leaving our friends Greeta and Red Feather to live their lives in safety and peace, thanks to us.
Well, Greeta and Red Feather helped. And I suppose their fellow villagers also helped. But that adventure is over and done with. I try not to think about the new one about to begin.
I can’t help but smile at the way our Northlander ship slices so easily through the gentle ocean waves. It’s built for a crew larger than just the two of us, but we managed well enough yesterday. I credit the elegant long shape that allows the ship to glide so low in the water and skim through it like a swimming dragon. And now that Njall and I have seen other countries outside our home in the Land of Ice, I’m convinced more than ever that Northlanders are the finest ship builders in all the world.
If only this ship could carry me away from all my problems.
Instead, I’m certain it carries me toward them.
I want to go home. I want to see my father. I want to see the delight on his face when he notices how deeply Njall and I have come to care for each other since we left the Land of Ice last year. Father will be so surprised!
I want to take off my shoes and walk on the soft black-sand beaches. I want to haul empty buckets to the glorious waterfall, fill them to the brim, and carry them back home. I want to laugh at Father’s pet sheep while it grazes on the sod roof of our family home.
But I can’t because, just days ago, my portents led me to the god of all Northlander gods – the All-Father. I wish he hadn’t told me how my own Northlander gods have been insulted by the dragon gods of the Far East. I wish he hadn’t tasked me with finding the Far East and its dragon gods and convincing them to make amends. I wish I could refuse, but I understand why the All-Father wants me to do it.
It’s the same reason why I’m the only Northlander with the power of portents.
I’m as tall as any Northlander, but that’s where the resemblance stops. I don’t look much like my parents or grandparents.
Instead, I look like Father’s grandmother. She was a Far Easterner.
I wish I could stay in the Land of Ice. But if I don’t go to the Far East and do what the Northlander gods want me to do, they will kill me and everyone I love.
Author’s Note: Book 1 in the first series of my Dragon Cycle (The Dragonslayer’s Sword) is currently free on Amazon and other sites. I’m also offering GATE OF AIR for a special introductory price of 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time.
About Gate of Air
Gate of Air (Dragon Gods, #1)
by Resa Nelson
Publication Date: June 19th 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon’s Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.