A prequel to Dragon's Milk , explaining how there came to be dragons in a hidden valley. Since Kara can call birds, the king sends for her to call, not birds, but dragons, because he has sworn to eradicate them. After Kara summons the dragon that once nursed her, she's outraged and appalled when it's killed. Escaping to the mountains, she stumbles on the dragons' lair; and although those there fear and despise her for the death, they agree to let her lead them to a warm, isolated place known to Kara's love, Kazan, a young trader. The plan works; the dragons are saved, and Kara joins Kazan. It's all a little forced and contrived—the story never quite explains why Kara is foolish enough to call the dragon that's killed, or just how the dragons would be led to a promised land she's never seen.
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The king, it seems, wants her to call down dragons from the sky so that he can kill them as trophies. Kara is terrified of dragons, and she wants to go back home.
As her plan to fail at dragon-calling goes spectacularly awry, Kara befriends an attractive young man of the hunting party. The king forces Kara to choose: Will she bring about the death of the creature who healed her long ago? Or alienate her new friend and incur the wrath of a king?
Download the Dragon Chronicles bookmark to color. Dragon's Milk was going to be a short story. Back in the early-mid 's I had this idea for a bunch of short fairy tales featuring girls with grit and courage. But something happened as I began to write. The story grew darker, deeper … longer. Way longer. Pretty soon I realized that I writing a novel, not a short story.
And there was a whole bunch more stuff to write about, things that took place before Dragon's Milk began. So I decided to write the prequel, Flight of the Dragon Kyn. The sequel, Sign of the Dove , came later. The most amazing thing about researching Flight of the Dragon Kyn was the birds. I talked my way into an Oregon Zoo program where they trained teenagers to work with hawks and falcons. But first, we had to earn our keep.
We practiced making falconer's knots using the fingers of only one hand. Castings are like owl pellets, indigestible balls of skin and bones that the birds urp up after they eat.
Mutes are what come out the other end. Pretty soon I realized that the zoo training wasn't enough. I was going to have to hang out with some falconers. I found a newspaper article about a falconer, Byron Gardner, and called him up. He invited me to his home and introduced me to his birds. He urged me not to "pretty up" the falcons in my book. Falcons are bloody, he said.
They kill in order to survive, kill cute little birds and mice. And they are magnificent, nonetheless. Byron promised to read my manuscript for accuracy and to take me hunting with his falcons the following autumn. When autumn rolled around, I called Byron. He was very ill with cancer. He couldn't take me hunting, but he told a former apprentice about me.
And that man, Bob Welle, now a master falconer, showed me his birds stooping diving from mid-air on prey. Byron died before I finished the book.
Bob kindly checked it over for me. Years later, when I went on an author visit, I was greeted by Byron's widow, who now worked at the school. On my way out, she handed me a gift: the bell from one of Byron's falcons. It now hangs in a special place in my studio. Find this book at your favorite bookstore or library. Flight of the Dragon Kyn , Kara is borne off by a soaring dragon. I went soaring in a glider so I could experience flight without the aid of a motor.
Flight of the Dragon Kyn by Susan Fletcher
Flight of the Dragon Kyn
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Flight of the Dragon Kyn, by Susan Fletcher (1993) E
The series was one of my childhood favorites, combining as it did a number of my best-beloved themes and elements: an Arctic setting; a young female protagonist negotiating loyalties divided between the human and the inhuman world; and what amounts to an ecological crisis, rendered here in fantastical terms. Kara, a young woman treated with fear and suspicion for her ability to communicate with birds, experiences a sudden reversal in fortunes when summoned by the king, who gives her rich gifts and takes a clear interest in her talent. Though when it came to the plot, I could still barely face the scene in which [highlight for spoiler] the dragon who nursed Kara is slaughtered. The sun lay low about the mountains, piercing the air with shafts of liquid light that glittered on the fjord and haloed the rime-shaggy firs.
Flight of the Dragon Kyn Dragon Chronicles, #2)
I will admit I was a little apprehensive about Flight of the Dragon Kyn. Flight of the Dragon Kyn takes place roughly a generation before Dragon's Milk and is the story of Kara, the Craggish girl mentioned as first having been cured of vermilion fever as a young child by being left in a dragon's cave where she drank its milk. The story opens ten years later with Kara, now fifteen being summoned by the king of Cragland who has sworn to his second wife to slay a dragon and who believes Kara's ability to mentally call birds down from the sky will also let her command dragons to come to his hunters. The first thing I noticed about Flight is that Fletcher's style and especially her pacing had definitely improved. Though Flight is told in first person, Fletcher's ability to instantly make us aware of the sense and feeling of the book's environment was actually a step-up from that in Dragon's Milk.