The Dragon Mage Chronicles Book I: Stormdrake
by J.A. Jaken
Novel (60,000 words)
Genre(s): M/M Romance, Fantasy, Adventure
Jander Teregnan has succeeded in his ambition to become a mage-apprentice, but the troubles that face him are far from over. He and Andrei set out on their first mission together as mage and apprentice to investigate a mysterious series of dragon attacks near a provincial city at the edge of the kingdom, where Jander's unique talents may particularly come into play. What they find there turns out to be far more devastating than a mere homicidal dragon, as they are caught up in a conspiracy that will threaten not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone in the kingdom they have sworn an oath to protect.
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Here is what readers are saying about Stormdrake:
"I was so happy to read this book. I got so sucked in that I read it in one sitting. I'm so looking forward to the next one!"
"Love this series so far, can't wait for the next book! I'm a lover of the master/apprentice trope if its done WELL, and this author has mastered it (pun intended)."
"I really enjoy the series. I look forward to following more of Jander and Andrei's adventures as Jander learns more about his powers as a dragon mage."
"After reading the prequel to the series, The Magician’s Apprentice, I was eagerly awaiting the release of Stormdrake to see how Jander and Andrei’s adventures would unfold. Stormdrake doesn’t disappoint, and stepping back into this world felt easy and comfortable."
"This book was exciting, loved that Boaen was present and Kirin makes a truly terrifying and evil nemesis."
"I liked that the main characters have a strong bond. The story kept me engaged."
Holding back the shimmering sheer of the room's inner curtain with one hand, Jander gazed out over the city of Tempest. Its buildings were the faintest hint of an outline across the mountain beneath him, softened by the flicker of lamplight on the street corners and silvered by moonlight. He shivered as he wondered what secrets the city held in store for them.
The dragon was out there. He could feel her, feel the steady presence of her fluttering at the edges of his mind. She loomed like a dark shadow, eclipsing his awareness of the magic until he could not breathe without inhaling the scent of her. It made him feel very small suddenly, very small and very much alone, as he drank in the essence of that most ancient of magics—a dragon, huge and powerful and utterly without compunction, secure in the knowledge of its mastery over both the magic and the world.
"Easy," a soft voice murmured in his ear as strong arms slipped around his waist from behind. Jander leaned back into that welcome embrace with a sigh and turned his head to nuzzle at the dampened strands of his master's hair.
"A part of me is starting to wonder if the Drakkarim might not have the right of it," he said, giving voice to the fears that were stirring to life within him. "How can we ever hope to compete with dragons in the realm of magic? They are magic. Anything we attempt to do with it is just...childsplay, compared to them."
"The point is that we are not in competition with them." Andrei hugged him tightly, rubbing his beard over the skin of Jander's cheek in an affectionate caress. "Do not allow the actions of a recalcitrant few to speak for the species as a whole. We have as much a right to the magic as they have, my love."
Something inside of Jander went warm and tremulous at the endearment. "I love you, Andrei," he said, inhaling deeply to savor the scent of his lover's skin. His hands closed over Andrei's forearms where they were clasped around his waist, feeling the coarse hairs there tickle the soft skin of his palms. For the first time, he realized that the other man was naked behind him.
Andrei's breath was hot as it wafted past Jander's ear, making him shiver. "I've missed you these past weeks," Andrei breathed, his voice soft.
Jander knew exactly what he meant. Even though they had spent every moment of their journey in one another's presence, the rigors of traveling had left them both too exhausted and dirty and generally in too foul a mood to pursue physical intimacy at night beyond sleeping in each other's arms. This was a source of comfort that had sorely been missed by both of them.
A subdued shiver passed through Jander when Andrei's tongue traced a moist trail up the side of his throat. He tipped his head sideways in silent invitation, and Andrei took advantage of the offer to lap lightly at the skin just below his ear, drawing the tender lobe in between his teeth with gentle suction. Jander closed his eyes and tightened his fingers around the arms at his waist.
It never ceased to amaze Jander that his lover and his master were one and the same person. Beneath the façade he presented to the outside world, Andrei Teresh was an intensely passionate man who possessed an instinctual craving for intimacy and physical contact. It was a facet of the master mage's personality that had been nearly eliminated by the betrayal of his last apprentice, Kirin. It had been no small effort for Jander to convince him to open his heart and run the risk of trusting again.
At times, Jander felt overwhelmed by the strength of the emotions that ran between them. Through the telepathic training bond they shared, he was able to sense the depth of the commitment Andrei felt for him—not just as his master in the magic but as his lover, his mate. Love wasn't something Jander had a great deal of experience with, and to Andrei it was something that had brought him nothing but pain in the past, but together they were moving forward and exploring this new intimacy between them, one small step at a time. It was an extremely comforting feeling, and there were times, like now, when Jander wondered how he had ever lived without it.
"Come to bed," Andrei urged, tugging Jander gently by the waist to follow him to the large four-poster bed that stood at the side of the room.
Jander chuckled and acquiesced without protest, reveling in the heat of the love and desire that shimmered down the bond between them. "As if I could ever deny you anything," he teased, and followed the other man toward the bed.