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  • Andrew M. Trauger

Book Two: Scarlet Trails

"Scarlet Trails" jumps right into the action, picking up where Book One left off. After recovering from their namesake dragon-slaying, facing a less-than-enthusiastic city Council, and realizing they are still no closer to solving the mystery of Wilder Tower, the Dragonslayers return to their quest on the revelations of an ancient map.

But dark forces are at work behind the scenes, trying to thwart their discoveries. Some are literally working in the dark, and others are only being swept along by their poor choices.

The Nephreqin literally comes out of the shadows to dig its claws deeper into Captain Hunt's throat, capitalizing on his bias against Cuauhterroc and his anger against Elric. But a soft spot for Cora reveals a weakness the Nephreqin can exploit.

The title was my wife's suggestion, as were many of the titles in this series. The image chosen here is a near-perfect depiction of a new character introduced in this book, Katrina Vatterly, who is a shadow-walking Skaen Sister of the Nephreqin. The thrice-pointed ring encircling her is also a near-perfect illustration of the Nephreqin's symbol. If I could only determine who the artist is and obtain his permission to use this as a book cover...

This book was originally the second half of my first tome, which I split due to an over-abundance of pages. Splitting it not made sense for publishing purposes, but it also has made a lot of sense simply from a story-telling aspect. The story-arcs in this book are tied to but very different from the story-arcs of the first volume. I think it's a good move.

So...the whole thing was written long ago, but it is now undergoing a purposed and intensive re-write, taking into account many of the excellent changes that occurred in the first book. My critique group is faithfully slogging through each chapter, and my sister's artwork will be gracing these pages as well.

I do hope you enjoy the tale.

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