Under the Dragon Star
by Kira Lily Nash
A story of one girl’s quest to find herself and free a kingdom, Under the Dragon Star follows Analai as she sets out to save her world, and discover her place in it.
With the feel and sensitivity of a traditional magical adventure full of enchantment, Under the Dragon Star is a beautiful fantasy tale for children of almost all ages, and readers aged 12 and up.
Published in 2017 by Matador.
“I don’t have time to explain it all,” answered Analai. “I went to the woods; I often do to practice my magic. I heard voices, and then I Saw them: Unseen creatures. They told me we will be attacked, tonight! Bad men, magi are coming. Please Father, please listen!” She added this last bit as she saw Johin’s eyes begin to regain their customary, glazed appearance. “They said I must do whatever I can to wake you up. Please!”
When Analai of Mairbell was nine, her mother disappeared, leaving her only a mysterious pendant. Seven years have passed, and now her brother is missing too, lost to the city during his apprenticeship with the magi. Her father, once a great man, hid from the world in the hope that he and his daughter could live in peace. He never expected that the battle would come to them.
In one night, Analai’s world changes forever when Mairbell is attacked. In danger of being consumed, the valley is undefended against the insidious, evil darkness that threatens to devour the entire world.
Analai is suddenly thrust from her quiet life into a desperate struggle for everything she knows. To have any hope of saving her home, she must learn to use the incredible gifts she’s been given, and trust the help of the loyal friends around her. First though, she needs to be able to See them.
What happens next will take her further than she’d ever dreamt, but will it be far enough?
Kira Lily Nash is a writer, editor, and photographer/designer by trade. She lives with her family in the wonderful southwest of France, amidst the coastal pine forests by the mighty Atlantic ocean. Although delighted to experience the sun and sea on a regular basis, she still misses her Welsh home sometimes. She enjoys poetry, painting, surfing, cakes made by her husband, and playing catch with her fluffy white cat. Under the Dragon Star is her first novel; she never thought she’d have the patience.
Come say hello on Twitter @kiralilynash
To buy a book, please visit Matador’s online shop here, or ask at your local bookshop.
Renpa is one of my favourite characters in Under the Dragon Star, and although you might not believe me, he really does exist! He looks a bit like this, when he’s not asleep that is. I asked him if he would share of a few of his bests and worsts with us, and this is what he told me.
Chocolate (Of course, but then we knew that already!)
Rainy days when I want to sleep a lot
Sunny days when I want to play a lot
Snuggling in lots of blankets (He might mean hiding!)
Riding on people’s heads (I can tell you that he does get heavy after cake.)
Chocolate (I pointed out that he had already told me this one, and he said that he had forgotten to mention it in cake. So, perhaps this one should read, Chocolate Cake.)
When I was trapped in the chest
Although he can be quite naughty sometimes (he’s insisting that he isn’t naughty really, just that everyone else behaves too much), Renpa is very sweet, and very loyal to Analai. He may seem silly, but like all Oliran, he’s also very powerful, and his magic will get stronger as he grows. One day he’ll be bigger than Raila! Even then though, I think he’ll still like to curl up on Analai’s head.
The world of Éan is home to many creatures, including the various species of the Unseen. Over time, I hope to add every single one of them to this list, but that might take me a while!
The Dormilae are a gentle and sweet-
Every cosy home has at least one resident Elemel, whether or not the human occupants can See it. They have very sweet dispositions and usually just want to snuggle up to something. Their little wings do allow them to fly short distances, but as Elemel have a tendency to eat rather a lot, not many of them take to the air that often. Their fur, which feels softly bristly, can hold onto light energy for several hours at least, so they glow gently in the dark.
Dividing their existence between the magical world and the physical one, Elemental Butterflies look different depending on how much of their energy they give to each place. When they concentrate on the material plane, their flocks take on the appearance of extraordinarily beautiful and evocative flowers. When more of their energy is in the magical realm, each individual butterfly carries with it the sights, smells, and feeling of its native elements. The creatures shown here are Autumn Butterflies: Elementals represent not only the four main elements, but also things like seasons and the weather.
Like Raila, and Renpa when he’s older, Oliran are extremely powerful when they’re fully mature. One of the few Unseen species who can permanently pair their magic with that of humans, they have lived alongside the people of Éan for a very, very long time. It’s thought that Oliran are what prompted many of the dragon legends; although Seers are not so common now, at one time there were many more of them, and Oliran were much more a part of everyday life. They come in every colour of the rainbow (and then some), and shimmer beautifully. Loyal, intelligent, but often mischievous, Oliran are the best friends magi can have.
Beings of strong magic, Sanadra are often involved right in the midst of Unseen business. Like Tarki, they’re highly skilled but very friendly, and always willing to share their knowledge and ability. Although they’re feathered, their basic salamander nature makes them susceptible to chills; this is why Tarki’s mother was so desperate for him to wear his hat. However, Sanadra are also known for being slightly vain, which explains why Tarki avoided his hat strenuously!
Beautifully delicate creatures, Sky Butterflies reflect the sky in which they fly with perfect clarity. The one shown here has just taken to the air at sunset, while a crescent moon begins its ascent into the night. Sometimes, they can gather together into a true kaleidoscope, with each butterfly reflecting a different piece of the sky. The effect is breathtaking, but can be confusing when they all change direction quickly.
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