Welcome to the first guest post I’m sharing with you for Wyrd and Wonder. When I decided to ask a few authors to write a guest post, way back in February/March, I knew right away I wanted to ask at least one Dutch author who has English books out as well. And for this I settled on Ursula Visser.
Ursula Visser is a Dutch SFF author who has written various kind of books. From sci-fi novella’s to dragon series. And I am here for that. Especially for the dragons. And so it might not surprise with the look of my blog that Ursula has chosen to write about dragons!
Being a writer of fantasy doesn’t always mean that dragons are a part of the story, but in my case: they are! I would like to talk to you about the dragons you can find in my Dragon Queen Series. The series itself is about a young woman named Mara Hamley, it all begins in book one, where she steals two dragon eggs at a young age, with dire consequences. She gets banned from her home, and faces the Queen who isn’t very happy what she did. Dragons are a huge part of her life and she has a
connection with them which will deepen during the series.
I’ve wanted to write a book about dragons ever since I saw a ‘dragon’ in the Australian Outback. I was totally mesmerised by them and although it was 40C, I stood there in the blazing sun, because I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
When I finally started writing Mara’s story, I needed to have dragons in it as well. I didn’t want them to be the aggressor; mindless creatures whose main goal in life was to kill humans with their fire. No, I wanted more interaction, to let my readers fall in love with the creatures. I gave them names and personalities, different races, but also an interesting life. In doing this, I tried to weave the dragons into the story, while Mara’s developed too.
Where were the dragons born, you ask? There is a difference in free dragons and captive dragons in this series. Owning or breeding free dragons is forbidden by law, so is trading in dragon parts. This was decided after the Dragon-War which almost wiped out al dragons. The ones who escaped to a safe sanctuary were off-limits, but at that time, most Houses already had dragons.
The only way to keep captive dragon species alive, was to start breeding them. To keep them from interbreeding (some species can) they appointed them to separate Houses. For instance the House of Lester, or the House of Tarnish. Each House breeds a different species. And once a year during the Dragonder – a tournament at the Dragon Queen’s castle, the most healthy and strong dragons are gathered and their breeding rights are sold between Houses with the same species. It is during this tournament that Mara encounters the first few of her dragons (Dragon Heart).
Here is a snipped from Dragon Heart when Mara encounters dragons for the first time:
“Out of the dark corner, something moved her way swiftly. Two big yellow eyes in a scaled narrow face appeared in front of her. The beast blinked, staring at Mara, keeping its distance now. From the mouth hung the remains of what seemed to be an arm. A deep sound from the beasts resonated in her chest. A high pitch came from a smaller one. She dared not move, it might trigger an attack. Ed always told her that bears attacked when you ran from them. This was not a bear.”
Mara does not run. It might be better if she had, but then of course, her story would have been so, so different. This is a turning point for her and the dragons. The dragons might seem monsters at this point, it is just the start of their relationship.
As the story unfolds and book four begins (Dragon Bond) as a reader you are well introduced into the world of my dragons. However, there is much more to discover. When Mara is confronted with disturbing information about the treatment of dragons at some of the Houses, she turns to her dragons for information. This where she and you as a reader get more background information on a captive dragon’s life and their role into the story blossoms even more. Simply said: dragons are just as important as humans and Mara’s better understanding of their life reflects on hers as well. In Shadow Dragon Mara’s future depends on how well she knows her dragons, while from their point of view, she is the only one who is able to secure their future! The stakes are high. This instalment is due to be published later this year.
I gave my dragons thoughts of their own, fears and insecurities, and an ability to make a connection with humans, if they want. Each species has its own quirks, looks and personality. Eager to meet them? Why don’t you have a look and read Dragon Heart and Dragon Bond. (Dragon Heart is the bundle of the first three instalments: Blood Curse, Blood Rivals and Blood Magic, all three are available as e-book through Amazon and Kobo, also in Kobo PLUS.)
About the Author
Ursula Visser was born in Spring, in the most eastern part of The Netherlands, and she still lives there with her partner. She always had a vivid fantasy from a young age. She adores dragons, mystic creatures and the magic realms of fantasy books. However, sci-fi books give her an interesting look in the future; and sometimes she wishes to be able to time-travel, just to see what will happen in the future or live a day in the past centuries.
Writing is her passion. Her books are available in Dutch and English.
About the Book
Title: Dragonheart (Dragon Queen Series 1-3) by Ursula Visser
Release Date: August 2021
Mara is cursed. Infected by the blood of a dragon. It is expected she will soon become mad, like the unfortunate others before her. Banned from her home, and everything she knows, Mara’s future looks lonely and bleak – if she has one at all.
The Queen’s order to participate in an annual tournament – the Dragonder – gives Mara a chance to escape the oppressive isolation and a miserable existence. She is determined to fight her enemies – and herself.
Does Mara have the strength to embrace her Dragon Heart, or will everything she is, was and hoped to be, fall apart?
Dragon Heart is the collection of the first three books in the Dragon Queen series.