Quest of Awakening
Author: Daniel Dickson
Publication date: May 19th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
‘Eragon’ meets ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ in this queer YA fantasy that will leave you breathless until the last page.
With war threatening to shatter Ivearth’s 500 years of peace, Prince Xavier embarks on a perilous quest to the mystical isle of Hom to claim a dragon and secure his place as king. But a dragon can only bond with someone true to themselves, forcing Xavier to confront his deepest fears. His truth, if revealed, could destroy the monarchy, the kingdom and the faith he serves.
Accompanied by a newly-heartbroken magical creatures expert, and a fearless steamboat captain, Xavier braves mermaid-infested waters and faces off against fearsome dragons. But the trio soon learns Hom calls on them to confront the obstacles that lie within. For Xavier, dangerous feelings for someone unexpected becomes the trigger to confronting all he has suppressed.
Will Xavier be successful in his mission? Or will his journey lead him down a different path, one that could alter the course of history forever?
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“Xavier, have you made your mind up?” Father asked. Why did the vagueness of his question send shivers down my spine? “Have you decided what kind of dragon you would like?” he clarified.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I hadn’t thought about that in a while. I had been busy debating which queen I was supposed to choose.
“Well, I’m not sure. Each of the six dragon types has its advantages. I suppose a green dragon like yours would be good. Bernard is quite powerful; he can move Earth with his mind. Purple dragons with psychic and poison abilities don’t really appeal to me. Blue ice dragons have never followed a king off the island. Yellow dragons can fire currents of lightning, but again, they are notoriously elusive. Still, Agui has always had powerful red fire dragons, and I know communication with them has been fraught. Perhaps Prince Rueban and I could bond over our fire-breathing dragons? But I’m not sure. Each one is appealing in some way.”
“Well, that narrows it down,” Laurence said sarcastically.
Marieanne had been unusually quiet. She normally joked around with the others, but she’d kept her gaze firmly on the table.
“Marieanne, do you have any thoughts on this subject?” I asked, looking across at her.
She shifted in her chair. “My Prince, I apologize if I’m not able to articulate my excitement for your special day. It is just that I . . . I’m not quite sure how to say this.”
“Try just spitting it out, woman,” Laurence said.
I gave him an unfriendly look.
“Well . . . I have some upsetting news from Agui,” she said carefully.
My father slammed his hands on the table. Even the mention of Agui triggered him these days. “What the hell is wrong with Agui now? A month ago that slimy rat King Rueban was here asking to amend a 500-year-old treaty, threatening us with war. Surely, he’s not stupid enough to take us up on that.”
Marieanne gripped the pearls around her neck. “Well, it would seem Prince Rueban has expressed deep dissatisfaction that we, along with Divinum, are unwilling to amend the treaty. Our contacts say he is planning to pull Agui out of the treaty against our wishes. We don’t know what he is planning next, but our contacts are gathering information now.”
Father sank into his chair. I looked at him, expecting him to say something, to lead and command.
Laurence spoke first. “Does King Rueban understand the severity of breaking a 500-year treaty? He is jeopardizing the age of peace. This will bring civil war to the Protected Kingdoms!”
Father slammed his fists on the table. “Our men are not equipped for war!”
I had been silent. Despite everyone’s eyes fixed on their king, it was me in this chair now, and our kingdom, it seemed, was on the brink of war for the first time in 500 years. What was I supposed to say? I searched the room for inspiration. My eyes landed on the mandarin gemstone fixed in Marieanne’s ring.
“An orange dragon.” They looked at me in confusion. “I don’t know what will happen with Agui. All I know is our kingdoms are fractured and something needs to change. An orange dragon can heal the wounded. Only Divinum has ever had healing dragons before, but their power is craved by the sick and dying the world over.” I took a breath, “For me to come home with a healing dragon will show that I, Xavier Nobleturn, am dedicated to healing the rupture in our Protected Kingdoms. And when I return, I will personally travel to Agui to forge a new friendship between Agui and Ivearth.”
I turned to my father, who looked at me with the same pride he had this morning. At least for the time being, I had made them believe I was worthy of their praise.
about the author
Daniel Dickson is a Glasgow-based author and cognitive behavioral therapist with a passion for impactful storytelling. With formal education in various aspects of professional writing, psychology, and counseling, he strives to help people find self-love and thrive through his writing and clinical practice. In his free time, he enjoys practicing meditation, taking walks in nature with his rescue dog Willow, reading books across a range of genres especially fantasy and sci-fi, and traveling to explore new cultures. His favorite book is Humans by Matt Haig, and he’s a film buff with a particular fondness for the movie Donnie Darko. As a spiritual person with influences from Buddhism, Eastern and Western philosophy, and psychology, Daniel believes his stories can promote acceptance and contribute to creating a more peaceful and unified world.
His debut novel, Quest of Awakening, is a queer YA fantasy that follows the journey of a young prince as he navigates his identity and embarks on a dangerous quest to save his world. With a diverse cast of characters and themes of self-discovery and acceptance, this book is sure to capture the hearts of readers.
Join Daniel on a thrilling adventure that will keep you turning pages and inspire you to embrace your true self. Get your copy of Quest of Awakening on Friday, May 19th.
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