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Shadow's Rising {Wing 3} Chapter 15

by dragonight9


Chapter 15

After the incident with the slavers, Dragon Rider Academy sent out a message to all first years telling them their stay home would be extended due to security issues. Most classes were also suspended though homework and maintenance training were still encouraged.

After a few days, Jarid was fully recovered. He and the rest of Black Squad had gone out for their morning run as usual.

What was not usual was when they returned to their dorm to find Academy Commander Valdur, Evaluator Gormin, Brom, Lt. Keldor, Gunther, and a few other high ranking dragon riders waiting for them. Jarid suddenly felt very small surrounded by all these great warriors.

“Flight leader Jarid Drakoulis.” Commander Valdur began in a commanding voice.

“Yes sir?” Jarid replied nervously as he saluted. He must have done something terribly wrong to have all these warriors come for him. Perhaps he had hurt Lt. Briar too much? He had been using almost his full strength, but not enough to seriously injure the Lt.

“We are here because of something we have suspected for some time, but your fight with Lt. Briar and the subsequent kidnaping attempt have proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Now Jarid was confused and nervous for a completely different reason. Had they somehow found out about his connection with Shadow?

“The fact is that you have great magical and physical strength, but it is unnaturally so. This was proven in your fight with Lt. Briar. Despite the fact his magic is quite weak for a dragon rider, a student would not usually be able to best him so easily.”

Jarid’s eyes widened. “Is that why you stopped the other dragon riders from interfering?” The question had been bugging him for a while now. Valdur rubbed his chin.

“Not necessarily. I had an inkling that you may not have needed our help, but I didn’t know just how easily you would overpower him.”

“What made you think that?” Jarid asked curiously. At this commander Valdur smiled.

“You started grinning like a Cheshire cat the moment he knocked you back with magic, so I doubted you were in danger. In addition, I wanted to see what you would do next. We were still prepared to step in if things became dire, so I wasn’t risking your safety. But now we know exactly why you are so strong. Haven’t you ever wondered why that is?”

Jarid shook his head hoping they wouldn’t see his nervousness. “Not really. I’ve always trained a lot, so I thought that was why I’m so strong.” If he mentioned that the true reason he thought he was strong was because he trained with a dragon his whole life, Shadow would be done for.

The commander shook his head. “No. It is because you are what we call a Dragon Born.”

Jarid’s eyes widened with both relief and excitement. That sounded so cool! But what did it mean? He was about to ask when Gormin interjected.

“Lt. Briar went far beyond his station when he invited outsiders into the academy. It was because of him that criminals were able to infiltrate and witness your abilities. That is why you were targeted, and for that, we apologise.”

He and the other dragon riders bowed much to the surprise and panic of Jarid and his friends.

“It’s fine! Really. It turned out alright, so please don’t bow to me.”

Brom smiled as he rose again. “Thank you for accepting our apology. Now, allow me to explain what it means to be a Dragon Born. 

"When we come into this world our bodies have a limited capacity for magic power, though this can be slightly increased with proper training. Dragon Born are what we call those with massive reservoirs for magic power.

“Usually, their bodies are unable to fill such a cavernous capacity on its own, so they feel pulled to an area with strong magic when their power starts to awaken. Usually a volcano, magic vein, or other pool of magic. However, there are many times that they are attracted to dragons because of the magic that flows through them. Hence the name Dragon Born.

“It is rare for the children to draw in the magic they need and get out alive. Most are kept from it by reasonable parents and eventually die of sickness. Others die from whatever monster or disaster they were trying to draw magic from. But the few who survive have the potential to become powerful enough to destroy entire cities and level mountains.”

Jarid was almost trembling with excitement now, but Brom held up a hand before continuing.

“However that much magic is hard to control so most Dragon Born suppress it entirely or only let it out in small bursts. For you it seems like your music helps you to control your magic and use it more freely. However, there is another danger.

“If a Dragon Born becomes too angry or has a massive amount of some other negative emotion, there comes a point when the seal on their magic starts to crack. If it breaks, all their magic is let out in a rush that cannot be stopped. Usually this results in the Dragon Born going on a rampage trying to use up all the magic pouring out of them, but eventually the magic consumes them from the inside out and they burn to ashes or vaporise or turn to dust. It depends on what magic they have an affinity for really, but I wouldn’t wish any end like that even on my worst enemy.”

Jarid felt a cold chill run down his spine. How long before he lost control and crumbled away?

However Brom’s somber expression turned into an encouraging smile as Commander Valdur picked up from there.

“Luckily, the mages of the Magic City discovered a way for Dragon Born to gain full control over their magic. They had seven Dragon Born who studied at their esteemed academy which was, at the time, the greatest school of magic the world had ever seen. Each of the first six became masters of one element while the last tried to master all of them.

“His name was Mordon. He was a great mage and the protégé of the academy as well as their top student, but he wanted more. He found an ancient spell and tried to cast it with the help of the other Dragon Born. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control the massive amount of magic required and their power went out of control. The out of control magic summoned storms earthquakes, tornados and fires that reduced the entire Magic City to dust, killing everyone in the region except for Mordon and the other Dragon Born.”

Everyone in Black Squad gawked at the revelation.

Jarid had always been told a natural disaster had been the cause of the city’s destruction, and the more he thought about it, it was sort of true.

“The loss of the magic city devastated the country. Almost all our most valuable knowledge, advanced technology, and powerful mages were there. For their mistake, the Dragon Born were banished to live within the dragon tribes and given the mission of warning us should any tribe try to unite against us.

“However, Mordon was to be given a far harsher punishment since it was he who cast the spell. But, since he was also a dear friend to the king at the time, he was given a precious magical item and sent across the sea to try to find the lost continent our ancient ancestors fled from many centuries ago. But as far as we know, he never returned.”

Brom stepped forward and placed a hand on Jarid’s shoulder.

“If you can find one of these Dragon Born mages, they will be able to teach you how to prevent your magic from going out of control. In fact, they will probably teach you magic far greater than any you can learn here. The king instructed them to live in the temples dragons had built to each element and teach any who can find them. Many have tried to seek them out in the past but, being that most dragon temples are in the middle of the lands of those dragons, none have returned.”

Commander Valdur brought out a map and pointed to a small group of volcanic mountains a bit Southwest of the academy on the map. The title of the area just above the picture read, “Mana Zone of Flame.”

“The nearest dragon temple, and the one you stand the best chance of finding, is in the land of the Flame Wing dragons. It’s not much of a chance but there is still hope. If you can sneak into the land of the Flame Wings using your dragon to hide, you might be able to find him. But even if you had all the resources of the academy behind you the chances of a normal human getting in are slim. Honestly, if there wasn’t a chance of you dying and taking the academy with you, I wouldn’t have allowed it.”

“If anyone can do it’s Jarid.” Airel commented with Ethen and Ben nodding vehemently. 

Brom smiled. “I’m glad you have so much faith in your friend, but we’re going to give him the best help we can regardless. He’s going to need it if he plans to make it back in one piece.”

“We already have food and supplies for the journey that we can strap to his dragon’s back. We also plan to loan him one of our largest mind gems for the journey. That way he can still control his dragon from quite a distance away. We will also provide you with any weapons you require.” Lt. Keldor offered with a wink, but Jarid raised his hand.

“I won’t need a mind gem, but some jewels would be good. If I run into trouble I might be able to bribe a few dragons or distract them if the jewels are shiny enough. I don’t need the swords either. If I look less threatening then maybe the dragons will ignore me.”

Most of the group stood there incredulously for a moment before Commander Valdur started laughing.

“It’s unconventional that’s for sure, but that’s just what I’ve come to expect from you, young dragon rider. And perhaps it’s just the kind of new perspective we need to make it work. Very well. We will get you some fine jewels. And if you return with them I won’t even add anything to your debt!”

The others nodded and Jarid was introduced to the other dragon warriors in the room. They would provide an escort as well as directions for most of the journey, but the last few hours of riding would have to be done alone so as not to alert the dragons to the presence of humans.

All morning Jarid prepared for his journey and by the time evening approached everything was packed. The dragon riders were waiting and Jarid was ready to go as Black Squad said their goodbyes.

“We’ll make sure to tell the others about everything that’s happened,” Ethen promised.

“And keep up with our training.” Airel added.

“Just try to keep yourself safe, ok?” Ben said, putting a hand on his friend’s shoulder.

Jarid smiled as his eyes started to burn a bit. “You guys have been the best friends I could have asked for. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me.” He stepped in to hug them all and they returned the hug with warm smiles.

“You’ve helped us way more than we’ve helped you,” Ben replied.

“Besides, we’ll see you again. You’re just getting a little special training before acing finals. This isn’t goodbye, just see you later,” Ethen said, trying to keep his voice steady.

Jarid nodded as he released them, holding back tears. “See you later.”

Then he turned and mounted Smolder. He gave his friends one last nod before he and the other riders took to the sky.

For a while the ride was peaceful and Jarid shared funny and interesting moments from his life with Shadow. They were just passing by the last of the tall mountains when Jarid asked Smolder if he had any interesting stories from his time in the Flame Wing palace.

“Hmmm. I guess so.” Smolder responded thoughtfully.

“Ah! I know. One time my mother let me into the Flame Wing treasury, and I even got to sit in the vault keeper’s position, on the very top of a massive pile of shiny gold coins. She also let me hold the-” He stopped himself.

“Um, something very important.” He finished awkwardly.

Jarid patted his neck.

“It’s ok. If it’s a secret, you don’t have to share.”

Smolder nodded gratefully. “Thanks.”

“You’re welc-Ahhhh!”

Jarid screamed as a sudden and mighty gust of wind and rain blew Smolder almost sideways. Flipping him over and throwing Jarid clear out of the saddle!

Jarid felt his breath catch in his chest as he spun into space and began to fall.

Immediately his training kicked in and he spread himself out as much as he could to slow himself. He felt Smolder recover as well and for a split second Jarid wondered if Smolder would simply let him fall while he raced off towards his home.

Then he felt Smolder’s claws clamp around his arms before he soared back up. The wind was still strong, and the rain made it slippery, but Smolder was able to hold steady enough for Jarid to clamber back into the saddle with some assistance. One of the other riders came up beside Smolder and spoke to Jarid in his mind.

Are you alright?

Yes. Just wasn’t ready for that.

The other rider nodded. Yeah. The mountains were blocking the storm but now we’re out in the full force of it. Sorry. The rest of us are used to being prepared for things like this and forgot to tell you. It seems your dragon has some good sense grabbing you instead of trying to swoop under you. Sometimes that can jar a rider and keep them from grabbing hold of the saddle. Not to mention it’s painful.

Jarid nodded. Yeah. We are alright though so let’s keep going.

The other rider smiled. Then he nodded and signed for Jarid to follow him.

Are you alright? Jarid asked Smolder privately.

Yes. I just wasn’t ready for the wind. I’ll be fine. But Jarid could feel the cold shiver of fear briefly run up Smolder’s spine as he thought about what could have happened to Jarid if he hadn’t caught him.

Jarid closed his eyes. Thanks for saving me, he thought, sending warm waves of gratitude to Smolder. Smolder didn’t say anything, but Jarid could feel the fear slowly melt away.

Smolder took a deep breath and pushed through the rain to rejoin the other riders. The storm lasted for hours and the whole time Smolder struggled to keep up as the rain forced them to stay only a few wingbeats behind the others lest they lose sight of their tails.

When they finally broke through the rain Jarid found himself gaping as the volcanic mountains, which had looked so far away before, now loomed right in front of them. The sky was a darker black ahead and he could see a strange red and orange glow on the horizon.

The flight leader came up beside him.

“I’m afraid this is where we part ways. Simply follow the glow and you will reach the land of the Flame Wings.”

Jarid respectfully thanked them for their help and the flight leader nodded.

“Remember. In light of day and dark of night, don’t let fear keep you from your fight. When you feel crushed by evil’s might, look to the sky for hope burns bright!”

Then he and the other dragon riders swooped down as they turned back to the academy.

Jarid and Smolder glided silently through the sky following the glow and after a while Jarid noticed that the landscape had changed. The trees were much fewer and farther between. The grass had been replaced by hard stone and a dark flaky substance.

“Smolder?”

“Hmm?”

“How does anything live here? It looks like it’s all ash and stone as far as I can see.”

Smolder looked away and paused for a moment before he replied.

“Not much does anymore. The ash from the volcano used to blow over the mountains towards the ocean, but a few years before I was born it started blowing this way and has ever since. By the time I was captured, it had killed most of the plants and prey was becoming scarce since there was no more food for them here.

“Our hunting parties keep having to go farther and farther for food. Queen Sear won’t admit it, but I heard a few of the other nobles talking about how we might have to abandon the castle some day and move somewhere with more food. And it doesn’t look like things have gotten much better since then.”

Jarid felt bad for them. The nearest forest was close to the human villages and if the Flame Wings tried to move there it would probably result in a war between them and the humans. The number of captive Flame Wings at the academy already showed how badly things would go if that happened.

Jarid didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t like he could do anything to help. He couldn’t bring the food back or make the volcanic ash blow the other way. Instead, he just patted Smolder on his neck.

“Sorry my friend,” he said, expecting Smolder to shrug it off with an arrogant comment, but instead he just nodded sadly.

Jarid wanted to change the subject, so he tried asking about something else instead.

“I’ve heard a lot about your mother, which is fair, but if she is running the tribe, what does your father do?”

Smolder chuckled ruefully. “My father? His name was Char, and he went to the human lands in search of a place we could move to in case the lack of prey ever caused us to starve. But he never returned.”

Now Jarid felt even more terrible for bringing it up.

The next few hours went by in silence as Mt. Pyre came into view.

Smolder recognised the mountain and his heart leapt with excitement, nervousness, and longing as he increased his pace. Within a few minutes they could see over the rim of Mt. Pyre, and the city of the Flame Wings displayed below them.

“I’m home.” Smolder whispered as tears formed in his eyes.

Jarid smiled. He was glad Smolder had a home to come back to. He only wished Shadow had other Night Wings he could fly home to.


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Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:43 am
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KateHardy wrote a review...



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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Kate and I'm here to leave a quick review!!


First Impression

Well this was a wonderful little end to proceedings here. I think you've done a wonderful job with the reveal and then the transition here. My only slight concern may be the little rush there towards the end. I feel like we could've gotten a little more time for Jarid to say goodbye to everyone and maybe show Jarid packing up a little.

Anyway let's get right to: Kate's Line by Line Reactions;

After the incident with the slavers, Dragon Rider Academy sent out a message to all first years telling them their stay home would be extended due to security issues. Most classes were also suspended though homework and maintenance training were still encouraged.

After a few days, Jarid was fully recovered. He and the rest of Black Squad had gone out for their morning run as usual.

What was not usual was when they returned to their dorm to find Academy Commander Valdur, Evaluator Gormin, Brom, Lt. Keldor, Gunther, and a few other high ranking dragon riders waiting for them. Jarid suddenly felt very small surrounded by all these great warriors.


Well looks like the school took some serious action there, once again am I so happy to see this level of actual attention being paid to how this sort of thing would affect a real functioning school powered by magic or not.

“Flight leader Jarid Drakoulis.” Commander Valdur began in a commanding voice.

“Yes sir?” Jarid replied nervously as he saluted. He must have done something terribly wrong to have all these warriors come for him. Perhaps he had hurt Lt. Briar too much? He had been using almost his full strength, but not enough to seriously injure the Lt.

“We are here because of something we have suspected for some time, but your fight with Lt. Briar and the subsequent kidnaping attempt have proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Now Jarid was confused and nervous for a completely different reason. Had they somehow found out about his connection with Shadow?


Oh dear this is not good. The reason is coming out. I repeat the reason is coming out. This is going to be very interesting to say the least here. I just hope it doesnt end with bad things for poor Jarid.

“The fact is that you have great magical and physical strength, but it is unnaturally so. This was proven in your fight with Lt. Briar. Despite the fact his magic is quite weak for a dragon rider, a student would not usually be able to best him so easily.”

Jarid’s eyes widened. “Is that why you stopped the other dragon riders from interfering?” The question had been bugging him for a while now. Valdur rubbed his chin.

“Not necessarily. I had an inkling that you may not have needed our help, but I didn’t know just how easily you would overpower him.”

“What made you think that?” Jarid asked curiously. At this commander Valdur smiled.


Well this is an interesting study at the very least. The only thing is Valdur the Moron at least seems to be going through a more respectful means for the moment so Jarid can't be in complete danger at least.

“You started grinning like a Cheshire cat the moment he knocked you back with magic, so I doubted you were in danger. In addition, I wanted to see what you would do next. We were still prepared to step in if things became dire, so I wasn’t risking your safety. But now we know exactly why you are so strong. Haven’t you ever wondered why that is?”

Jarid shook his head hoping they wouldn’t see his nervousness. “Not really. I’ve always trained a lot, so I thought that was why I’m so strong.” If he mentioned that the true reason he thought he was strong was because he trained with a dragon his whole life, Shadow would be done for.

The commander shook his head. “No. It is because you are what we call a Dragon Born.”


Ooooh big reveall for Jarid. That does tell us that we're going to see some interesting things go down here. I just hope the fact that academy was founded by a dragon born mean at least this lot is going to only consider a good thing and respect Jarid.

Jarid’s eyes widened with both relief and excitement. That sounded so cool! But what did it mean? He was about to ask when Gormin interjected.

“Lt. Briar went far beyond his station when he invited outsiders into the academy. It was because of him that criminals were able to infiltrate and witness your abilities. That is why you were targeted, and for that, we apologise.”

He and the other dragon riders bowed much to the surprise and panic of Jarid and his friends.

“It’s fine! Really. It turned out alright, so please don’t bow to me.”

Brom smiled as he rose again. “Thank you for accepting our apology. Now, allow me to explain what it means to be a Dragon Born.


Well looks like that went surprisingly well there. Kind of too well honestly I'm going to say cause things are actually going better than I thought it would. It seems the academy is more on that respectful stance.

"When we come into this world our bodies have a limited capacity for magic power, though this can be slightly increased with proper training. Dragon Born are what we call those with massive reservoirs for magic power.

“Usually, their bodies are unable to fill such a cavernous capacity on its own, so they feel pulled to an area with strong magic when their power starts to awaken. Usually a volcano, magic vein, or other pool of magic. However, there are many times that they are attracted to dragons because of the magic that flows through them. Hence the name Dragon Born.

“It is rare for the children to draw in the magic they need and get out alive. Most are kept from it by reasonable parents and eventually die of sickness. Others die from whatever monster or disaster they were trying to draw magic from. But the few who survive have the potential to become powerful enough to destroy entire cities and level mountains.”


Oh dear well that's certainly so much power, you can see why they are rare. I love the explanation honestly of them not actually being rare, its a genetic change like any other rare thing like folding your tongue, only that so many die young due to its destructive nature. THat's a lovely way to put it I think.

Jarid was almost trembling with excitement now, but Brom held up a hand before continuing.

“However that much magic is hard to control so most Dragon Born suppress it entirely or only let it out in small bursts. For you it seems like your music helps you to control your magic and use it more freely. However, there is another danger.

“If a Dragon Born becomes too angry or has a massive amount of some other negative emotion, there comes a point when the seal on their magic starts to crack. If it breaks, all their magic is let out in a rush that cannot be stopped. Usually this results in the Dragon Born going on a rampage trying to use up all the magic pouring out of them, but eventually the magic consumes them from the inside out and they burn to ashes or vaporise or turn to dust. It depends on what magic they have an affinity for really, but I wouldn’t wish any end like that even on my worst enemy.”


Yeah that was not a good sign at all, and Jarid definitely shows a few signs of where that's going. Okay maybe them finding out here is a very good thing after all assuming they are nice about it. Jarid does need a bit more guidance than his current team and Shadow assuming Shadow's mother and all the adults there are now dead at this point from what we see in book 4.

Jarid felt a cold chill run down his spine. How long before he lost control and crumbled away?

However Brom’s somber expression turned into an encouraging smile as Commander Valdur picked up from there.

“Luckily, the mages of the Magic City discovered a way for Dragon Born to gain full control over their magic. They had seven Dragon Born who studied at their esteemed academy which was, at the time, the greatest school of magic the world had ever seen. Each of the first six became masters of one element while the last tried to master all of them.


Well that's going into a little history lesson which normally I'd say is going to disrupt the pacing but this is one of those rare moments where it very much is adding to the tension and is a very good idea.

“His name was Mordon. He was a great mage and the protégé of the academy as well as their top student, but he wanted more. He found an ancient spell and tried to cast it with the help of the other Dragon Born. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control the massive amount of magic required and their power went out of control. The out of control magic summoned storms earthquakes, tornados and fires that reduced the entire Magic City to dust, killing everyone in the region except for Mordon and the other Dragon Born.”

Everyone in Black Squad gawked at the revelation.

Jarid had always been told a natural disaster had been the cause of the city’s destruction, and the more he thought about it, it was sort of true.


Well that explains a lot about how a city that powerful could fall. Leave it to humans for it to be a classic case of shooting themselves in their own foot by getting too greedy with power.

“The loss of the magic city devastated the country. Almost all our most valuable knowledge, advanced technology, and powerful mages were there. For their mistake, the Dragon Born were banished to live within the dragon tribes and given the mission of warning us should any tribe try to unite against us.

“However, Mordon was to be given a far harsher punishment since it was he who cast the spell. But, since he was also a dear friend to the king at the time, he was given a precious magical item and sent across the sea to try to find the lost continent our ancient ancestors fled from many centuries ago. But as far as we know, he never returned.”

Brom stepped forward and placed a hand on Jarid’s shoulder.


Well looks like that was a good punishment there although let me guess. Mordon who is definitely a Moron is going to come back and cause havoc. That's really going to be the big bad I'm assuming. I can't imagine any other human big bad being able to stand against Jarid power wise.

“If you can find one of these Dragon Born mages, they will be able to teach you how to prevent your magic from going out of control. In fact, they will probably teach you magic far greater than any you can learn here. The king instructed them to live in the temples dragons had built to each element and teach any who can find them. Many have tried to seek them out in the past but, being that most dragon temples are in the middle of the lands of those dragons, none have returned.”

Commander Valdur brought out a map and pointed to a small group of volcanic mountains a bit Southwest of the academy on the map. The title of the area just above the picture read, “Mana Zone of Flame.”

“The nearest dragon temple, and the one you stand the best chance of finding, is in the land of the Flame Wing dragons. It’s not much of a chance but there is still hope. If you can sneak into the land of the Flame Wings using your dragon to hide, you might be able to find him. But even if you had all the resources of the academy behind you the chances of a normal human getting in are slim. Honestly, if there wasn’t a chance of you dying and taking the academy with you, I wouldn’t have allowed it.”


Well looks like this is going to be a bit of a pilgrimage moment here for Jarid, it'll be quite something especially if the academy is actively only going to help and not hinder poor Jarid here or lock him up.

“If anyone can do it’s Jarid.” Airel commented with Ethen and Ben nodding vehemently.

Brom smiled. “I’m glad you have so much faith in your friend, but we’re going to give him the best help we can regardless. He’s going to need it if he plans to make it back in one piece.”

“We already have food and supplies for the journey that we can strap to his dragon’s back. We also plan to loan him one of our largest mind gems for the journey. That way he can still control his dragon from quite a distance away. We will also provide you with any weapons you require.” Lt. Keldor offered with a wink, but Jarid raised his hand.

“I won’t need a mind gem, but some jewels would be good. If I run into trouble I might be able to bribe a few dragons or distract them if the jewels are shiny enough. I don’t need the swords either. If I look less threatening then maybe the dragons will ignore me.”


Well looks like Jarid knows a tiny bit more about how to get on the good sides of dragons than the academy does, which to be fair he should, he knows way more about the actual culture of the dragons.

Most of the group stood there incredulously for a moment before Commander Valdur started laughing.

“It’s unconventional that’s for sure, but that’s just what I’ve come to expect from you, young dragon rider. And perhaps it’s just the kind of new perspective we need to make it work. Very well. We will get you some fine jewels. And if you return with them I won’t even add anything to your debt!”

The others nodded and Jarid was introduced to the other dragon warriors in the room. They would provide an escort as well as directions for most of the journey, but the last few hours of riding would have to be done alone so as not to alert the dragons to the presence of humans.


Oh well that's going quite fast there wow. I do like the urgency, Jarid really does need training immediately although that joke about the jewels does not sit too terribly well with me.

All morning Jarid prepared for his journey and by the time evening approached everything was packed. The dragon riders were waiting and Jarid was ready to go as Black Squad said their goodbyes.

“We’ll make sure to tell the others about everything that’s happened,” Ethen promised.

“And keep up with our training.” Airel added.

“Just try to keep yourself safe, ok?” Ben said, putting a hand on his friend’s shoulder.

Jarid smiled as his eyes started to burn a bit. “You guys have been the best friends I could have asked for. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me.” He stepped in to hug them all and they returned the hug with warm smiles.


Well looks like this is unfortunately going to end up being a goodbye to the new friends. So much for Jarid worried he'd be with them instead of Shadow. Now Jarid's just with no one.

“You’ve helped us way more than we’ve helped you,” Ben replied.

“Besides, we’ll see you again. You’re just getting a little special training before acing finals. This isn’t goodbye, just see you later,” Ethen said, trying to keep his voice steady.

Jarid nodded as he released them, holding back tears. “See you later.”

Then he turned and mounted Smolder. He gave his friends one last nod before he and the other riders took to the sky.

For a while the ride was peaceful and Jarid shared funny and interesting moments from his life with Shadow. They were just passing by the last of the tall mountains when Jarid asked Smolder if he had any interesting stories from his time in the Flame Wing palace.


Well looks like this is going to be quite interesting, we're going right into the journey. I was expecting the setting off to be where the book came to a close but it seems that's not quite where we're going to end up here.

“Hmmm. I guess so.” Smolder responded thoughtfully.

“Ah! I know. One time my mother let me into the Flame Wing treasury, and I even got to sit in the vault keeper’s position, on the very top of a massive pile of shiny gold coins. She also let me hold the-” He stopped himself.

“Um, something very important.” He finished awkwardly.

Jarid patted his neck.

“It’s ok. If it’s a secret, you don’t have to share.”

Smolder nodded gratefully. “Thanks.”


Well that's good to see although maybe this will be interesting going back with Smolder. It looked like something something flame was where this temple is located and it might well be a flame wing tribe.

“You’re welc-Ahhhh!”

Jarid screamed as a sudden and mighty gust of wind and rain blew Smolder almost sideways. Flipping him over and throwing Jarid clear out of the saddle!

Jarid felt his breath catch in his chest as he spun into space and began to fall.

Immediately his training kicked in and he spread himself out as much as he could to slow himself. He felt Smolder recover as well and for a split second Jarid wondered if Smolder would simply let him fall while he raced off towards his home.


Oh dear well this is right into an attack. Oh no, you're going to end us on a cliffhanger aren't you? And then I'm going to have to wait an entire book's worth to find out what happens next. Please nooo.

Then he felt Smolder’s claws clamp around his arms before he soared back up. The wind was still strong, and the rain made it slippery, but Smolder was able to hold steady enough for Jarid to clamber back into the saddle with some assistance. One of the other riders came up beside Smolder and spoke to Jarid in his mind.

Are you alright?

Yes. Just wasn’t ready for that.

The other rider nodded. Yeah. The mountains were blocking the storm but now we’re out in the full force of it. Sorry. The rest of us are used to being prepared for things like this and forgot to tell you. It seems your dragon has some good sense grabbing you instead of trying to swoop under you. Sometimes that can jar a rider and keep them from grabbing hold of the saddle. Not to mention it’s painful.


Well okay okay, don't panic Kate, just a routine storm there, not a big attack that we won't know the outcome of for some time. Very interesting little moment with that other rider too, I wonder if Jarid's going to be able to convert them, they've spent much longer thinking the dragons are evil.

Jarid nodded. Yeah. We are alright though so let’s keep going.

The other rider smiled. Then he nodded and signed for Jarid to follow him.

Are you alright? Jarid asked Smolder privately.

Yes. I just wasn’t ready for the wind. I’ll be fine. But Jarid could feel the cold shiver of fear briefly run up Smolder’s spine as he thought about what could have happened to Jarid if he hadn’t caught him.

Jarid closed his eyes. Thanks for saving me, he thought, sending warm waves of gratitude to Smolder. Smolder didn’t say anything, but Jarid could feel the fear slowly melt away.


Well that's looking quite good there at least. Their trust is slowly returning to full, which is going to be absolutely vital when it comes to where they're headed that's for certain.

Smolder took a deep breath and pushed through the rain to rejoin the other riders. The storm lasted for hours and the whole time Smolder struggled to keep up as the rain forced them to stay only a few wingbeats behind the others lest they lose sight of their tails.

When they finally broke through the rain Jarid found himself gaping as the volcanic mountains, which had looked so far away before, now loomed right in front of them. The sky was a darker black ahead and he could see a strange red and orange glow on the horizon.

The flight leader came up beside him.


Well looks like that's quite the view there, no doubt about that. This is setting itself up to a rather grand moment now. Loving the way its being brought about, very much setting up a sequel grandly there.

“I’m afraid this is where we part ways. Simply follow the glow and you will reach the land of the Flame Wings.”

Jarid respectfully thanked them for their help and the flight leader nodded.

“Remember. In light of day and dark of night, don’t let fear keep you from your fight. When you feel crushed by evil’s might, look to the sky for hope burns bright!”

Then he and the other dragon riders swooped down as they turned back to the academy.


Well that's a cute little motto there, not cute inspiring, I just find the moment a little cute, just a lovely little wish for Jarid and Smolder to be safe here as they ride off. Well it also looks quite intriguing that Jarid is doing this alone, I forgot about that part for a moment.e

Jarid and Smolder glided silently through the sky following the glow and after a while Jarid noticed that the landscape had changed. The trees were much fewer and farther between. The grass had been replaced by hard stone and a dark flaky substance.

“Smolder?”

“Hmm?”

“How does anything live here? It looks like it’s all ash and stone as far as I can see.”

Smolder looked away and paused for a moment before he replied.

“Not much does anymore. The ash from the volcano used to blow over the mountains towards the ocean, but a few years before I was born it started blowing this way and has ever since. By the time I was captured, it had killed most of the plants and prey was becoming scarce since there was no more food for them here.


Oooh that's looking rather grim there. I was really hoping we're going to get some sort of nice little haughty remark about how this is the way dragons live and they have bases dug into the volcano but this is far worse.

“Our hunting parties keep having to go farther and farther for food. Queen Sear won’t admit it, but I heard a few of the other nobles talking about how we might have to abandon the castle some day and move somewhere with more food. And it doesn’t look like things have gotten much better since then.”

Jarid felt bad for them. The nearest forest was close to the human villages and if the Flame Wings tried to move there it would probably result in a war between them and the humans. The number of captive Flame Wings at the academy already showed how badly things would go if that happened.

Jarid didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t like he could do anything to help. He couldn’t bring the food back or make the volcanic ash blow the other way. Instead, he just patted Smolder on his neck.


Well looks like that's a big thing too, that prophecy whatever it is for sure has a lot of things to be thinking about, and I'm going to assume it'll be part of actually helping these tribes get back on their feet too.

“Sorry my friend,” he said, expecting Smolder to shrug it off with an arrogant comment, but instead he just nodded sadly.

Jarid wanted to change the subject, so he tried asking about something else instead.

“I’ve heard a lot about your mother, which is fair, but if she is running the tribe, what does your father do?”

Smolder chuckled ruefully. “My father? His name was Char, and he went to the human lands in search of a place we could move to in case the lack of prey ever caused us to starve. But he never returned.”


Well that little bit of conversation went about as terrible as it could have for Jarid but then again learning about those tragedies will be good for bringing them just that little bit closer.

Now Jarid felt even more terrible for bringing it up.

The next few hours went by in silence as Mt. Pyre came into view.

Smolder recognised the mountain and his heart leapt with excitement, nervousness, and longing as he increased his pace. Within a few minutes they could see over the rim of Mt. Pyre, and the city of the Flame Wings displayed below them.

“I’m home.” Smolder whispered as tears formed in his eyes.

Jarid smiled. He was glad Smolder had a home to come back to. He only wished Shadow had other Night Wings he could fly home to.


Aww well that's a beautiful ending here to this piece. Looks like the perfect place to leave off here with Jarid and Smolder, ready to embark on that adventure while we go ahead and check in with Shadow. So this was the journey spoken of in Book 4.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall a wonderful end to this wonderful tale here. I am so glad I got to read book 3 and get some more perspective. I really must look into book 2 and 1 as well. I will also be looking through that interlude although I may only leave a comment on it because it already has quite a few reviews.

Some big final thoughts on this whole novel now that I've read it cover to cover here and ignoring the interlude since it seems to be both an epilogue to this and a prologue to book 4.

Pacing: Right up until that last little issue I absolutely adored the pace of this. It had enough action interspaced by just enough of rest that we weren't just overwhelmed with information. The tension built itself up nicely and then had a good couple of release points.

Plot: I can't say too much on the full overarching plot of the series, but the one for this book specially shined through well. YOu can clearly see Jarid's motivations and the little obstacles he overcomes one by one. It was well done I think.

Characters: This is maybe the strongest suit honestly. Everyone felt different and unique in their own way and I was getting so invested in not just Jarid but Ethen, Airel, Brom the Dumb and we can't forgot Crown Moron as his memorable moments. I've reacted to each one so hopefully your intentions came across in their personalities but I'll say it was a good balance of people with realistic intention, realistic goals, realistic attitudes and realistic prejudices. None of the conflict felt forced and the drama was just there in the right amounts.

Setting: The only thing I could maybe fault is that some descriptions could be a touch richer but I could hardly see this improving it. I had no doubts at any point about where they were. The way the rules of the place followed and the consequences of each action came through were just wonderfully done.

Final Final Thoughts: This was an incredible read. I want to follow book four even more now and I really must look back at the older ones and refresh my mind. Its was such a wonderfully complete book is how i could best put it. No plotholes I could think of, no frustrating moments of departing from reality and no random powers or things mentioned to never be seen again. Its a very polished piece of work.

I must sleep now so the latest chapter of book 4 will have to wait a little but rest assured I will get to it and I am very excited for it and also to read the older books.

As always remember to: Take what you think was helpful and forget the rest!

Stay Safe and Have a Nice Day!
Kate


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dragonight9 says...


So glad to see your thoughts on Wing 3 as a whole.

I realise it seemed a bit rushed at the end and I actually ended up cutting out three or four scenes so it would fit in the broad word count I set for each chapter.
I still have all those scenes though and may post a cut content page once the book is closer to completion.

Once again thanks so much for reviewing!



KateHardy says...


You're most welcome! I really enjoyed reading through it all, genuinely was a really good way to spend Friday! I'm glad you found it helpful!



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Sun May 19, 2024 4:41 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to continue my review of this great story today! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

This was a great chapter with so many brilliant revelations, and not just for Jarid! The lore about Mordon and the Magic City was great, especially since it left off on that mysterious note that he never returned. Great theory material ~ And of course, as Jarid works with Smolder to reach the Flame Wing territory, it catches us up on where their bond stands and how Smolder feels now that he's back home. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

I didn't find anything to put here this time! Great writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

So right off the bat, the staging of this chapter...

What was not usual was when they returned to their dorm to find Academy Commander Valdur, Evaluator Gormin, Brom, Lt. Keldor, Gunther, and a few other high ranking dragon riders waiting for them. Jarid suddenly felt very small surrounded by all these great warriors.


Yes; even if not all of them speak, just having so many powerful figures in the room at once, and Jarid acknowledging this with "feeling small" in their presence, just immediately set the tone and had me invested in what they had to say. I thought Jarid might be in some trouble (not that he deserves to be), but I'm pleasantly surprised I was wrong. As I mentioned, the lore of Mordon was another great clue in this whole situation, and the explanation about "Dragon Born" abilities...

“Usually, their bodies are unable to fill such a cavernous capacity on its own, so they feel pulled to an area with strong magic when their power starts to awaken. Usually a volcano, magic vein, or other pool of magic. However, there are many times that they are attracted to dragons because of the magic that flows through them. Hence the name Dragon Born.


This official explanation not only elaborates on Jarid's power, but finally gives meaning to it, and it was very satisfying to read. Plus, given that he's been around Shadow and other dragons for so long, it makes total sense! But of course, no great power comes without great cost, right? And you showed us that just as well:

Usually this results in the Dragon Born going on a rampage trying to use up all the magic pouring out of them, but eventually the magic consumes them from the inside out and they burn to ashes or vaporise or turn to dust. It depends on what magic they have an affinity for really, but I wouldn’t wish any end like that even on my worst enemy.”


...Needless to say, that sounds bad. I can see why the lieutenants would be driven to take drastic action -even though it involves risk and Jarid's own safety. I really like that there's not just a potential consequence, but a lethal academy-wide consequence to drive their decision.

“The nearest dragon temple, and the one you stand the best chance of finding, is in the land of the Flame Wing dragons. It’s not much of a chance but there is still hope. If you can sneak into the land of the Flame Wings using your dragon to hide, you might be able to find him.


As soon as I read this, I was so curious how things would go with Smolder! Of course I wanted to believe that he would stay loyal to Jarid and help him, but part of me still wanted to think that his painful memories from the academy -and being briefly controlled by Jarid- might lead to some trouble. Again, pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. Smolder saving Jarid from a fall, and being more open to his words and the emotions he's sharing, really speaks to how much they're relying on each other now.

Jarid smiled as his eyes started to burn a bit. “You guys have been the best friends I could have asked for. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me.” He stepped in to hug them all and they returned the hug with warm smiles.


This was also a very bittersweet moment, considering all they've been through, how there's no real way of telling when the squad will be a "squad" again, and the simple fact that Jarid's mission is so dangerous. From their perspective, at least part of them has to fear he may not come back, surely? That or I'm making this moment more depressing than it needs to be, heh.

The ash from the volcano used to blow over the mountains towards the ocean, but a few years before I was born it started blowing this way and has ever since. By the time I was captured, it had killed most of the plants and prey was becoming scarce since there was no more food for them here.


Interesting! As Reuben himself has reminded us, desperation can lead people (and presumably dragons) to make rash decisions. I wonder if this lack of resources, and being pinched between the sea and human territory, has something to do with the underlying villainy in the dragon side of the world, especially since -if I recall correctly- the Flame Wing territory was a hotspot for it...

“I’m home.” Smolder whispered as tears formed in his eyes.


But that ramble aside, this was a really sweet thing to read ~

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, an excellent chapter with rich lore and exposition, nicely done! :D

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dragonight9 says...


Thanks so much for all your thoughts on this :)

I was so excited to reveal the origins of Jarid's strength, though I was surprised at how much you talked about Mordon (especially considering the interlude I just posted).
As you'll see on the comment I left there, I actually might hold back on naming him here to allow for readers to theorize instead of spelling it out for them.




Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein