Magic was banned after The Dragon War, more than 1000 years ago. Prince Ravi of Judra wants a chance to restore magic to the world, but his mother – as well as every other leader of the known world – won't allow it. They fear the wrath of The Last Dragon, the one who banned magic, but the dragon hasn't been seen in centuries. Ravi decides to seek the dragon and either prove that she's long dead or ask for a chance to study the lost arts. To his surprise, he finds her very much alive. Draelia is willing to grant the prince's greatest desire...if Ravi will do the same for her. Ravi has a chance to live his dream, but is it worth the price?
First off: Horrible synopsis? I've gone through several attempts. I want to tell enough to get across the storyline, but there's way more to it than just that as well. I worry that it sounds too trite. I dunno.
- Spoilers ahead! -
This year I'm adding a whole subplot about Ravi's priestess/librarian girlfriend, Linnea. Now instead of escaping the kingdom & facing the dragon together, she realizes that she needs to draw the guard away from Ravi, so they plan separate escapes. Linnea will leave the city with one trusted (female) guard via old mine shafts leading to long-forgotten underground tunnels.
Something, not sure what yet, will detain her from their rendezvous. While Linnea is 'lost', Ravi eventually meets with the dragon and must decide whether to accept her terms, which basically boil down to he's got to help her bring the dragons back. They'll wed and have two kids, an heir for each of them, and try out this alliance on a trial basis for 10 years. They'll raise the kids together, then she'll take them for another 10 years to go learn dragony stuff (he can have visitations), and then she has an ample alimony & child support payment. The gist, anyway.
So, he has to decide whether to accept her offer when Linnea's been supporting him for years and this is a shared vision between them. He talks the dragon into helping find Linnea & promising to teach her magic as well, and a deal is struck. Only Linnea shows up & it's basically, “Hey, asshole, I didn't need you to come save me. I'm here, as promised, ready to start our life together, and now I'm supposed to serve under your new wife and queen? Not cool.”
Ravi is someone who will gain magical ability because the dragon gives him a gift as part of their alliance. Also, he's more of a sorcerer in the sense that he has to study and learn how to use tools (components, magic words, whatever) to create magic. Linnea, on the other hand, has a natural ability that grows as magic begins returning to the world. She's dedicated to the goddess she's supposedly descended from, so she's always been “lucky”. That is the Goddess of Stars, one of the four major gods, who is also considered the goddess of wisdom. Linnea's always been lucky in her choices, has a helpful inner voice, lots of lucky 'coincidences', and then as they begin this quest, she's the one who piques the goddess's interest – which will also set off the eventual return of the gods & goddesses.
Linnea discovers a lost race of demi-gods underground, uses a delphic-oracle-ish cave ceremony to receive a guide out of the caves (contacting her goddess for the first time in 1000+ years), and her personal magic begins to come alive within her. Not sure what else she might face to meet back up with Ravi (working on that part of my outline now), but I also have a bounty on their heads, several countries/priesthoods that want to stop them, a forest full of lost magical creatures/monsters, lots of river/sea trade & cultures (as well as sea monsters), hidden fae, and another 'lost' magical race of shapeshifters, who have been keeping an eye on humans. I'm thinking a shapeshifter might be my antagonist, but I'm still working that out as well.
I have a whole mythology built up and several different cultures. They must pass out of their own country, through two more, and then uninhabited lands before reaching dragon territory. Lots of map to cover. Lots of potential foes & allies, both mundane and magical. I'm considering ending at the 10 yr mark when they have to reevaluate the alliance and decide to keep it up or be granted a magical gift and sent on their way. However, if there's enough possible action at thwarting them both before they get to her, I could just stop after the deal is struck. Or the first dragony sex scene with a setup for kids in book two. Lots of possibilities depending on what challenges to throw at them.
So I guess my questions are:
Does the new subplot add an interesting or cliché challenge/dimension?
Should the challenges/foes faced be primarily cultural/political for Ravi and magical for Linnea, or should each encounter an equal mix of both?
Which would you prefer reading about: established magical races such as dragons, fae, & gods or made-up races like the Arnirii (shapeshifters, high/low Arnirii depending upon bloodlines & abilities) & Darii (underground cave 'giants' – tall, bendy, blind, spiritual, warriors)?
Should the focus primarily be the escape/quest to find the dragon and the founding of the new kingdom, or would you also want to see the 10 yrs of living with the dragon as queen & learning magic?
Anything in particular that you'd like to read more of?
Anything in particular that I should steer clear of?