I am welcoming The Dragon Shield on this page today written by the multi talented Dianne Gardner. Dragon Shield is the second in the YA series, Ian’s Realm. We have an excerpt and details today with an interview with Dianne next week.
Previously in Deception Peak : the 1st of Ian’s Realm Saga
Maybe it was anticipation that made his hands shake as he picked up the television remote from the coffee table. He would program the settings to mirror the monitor remote. That way, if he somehow got trapped inside the Realm–if his magic key were stolen–Abbi would have a way to launch the blue ring and rescue him. He’d leave the TV remote on the desktop with a note and specific instructions.
Ian inhaled deeply in an attempt to calm the dread that rattled his insides. He faced the hallway. The pendulum of the great, old, grandfather clock swayed silently.
He glanced at the door to his right. Not since he moved back had he entered his father’s room. He was living in this house as though that bedroom didn’t exist anymore, as though that door led to a black hole. Ian feared that the pain would be too great for him to bear should he open it. But now that he thought his father might still be alive inside the Realm, he decided to do what his dad would want him to. Accept the past, and boldly approach the future.
Ian stood in the hallway with the cold, brass doorknob in his hand; his shoulder leaned up against his father’s bedroom door. He closed his eyes tight, gathering his strength from within. With a deep breath, he gently pushed his way into the dimly lit room. The door creaked ever so slightly as he smelled the stale scent of time passed.
He opened his eyes.
A ray of ambient light shone through the curtains, spotlighting his father’s breastplate that hung on the mannequin across from the bed. A scabbard was strapped over it, and in the leather sheath was a sword. Ian was familiar with the blade. It was his father’s favorite weapon, one that he had used in several reenactment events and once as a movie extra.
Over the bed hung his father’s bow and a quiver full of arrows, weapons his father hunted with every fall. It was the same bow his father used to bring down the elk that hung mounted over their computer desk.
The room smelled musty. Cobwebs hung from the corners of the ceiling, and dust coated the dark mahogany bedposts, the bedspread, and the carpet. A photo of his mom and dad together on their wedding day rested neatly in an ornate silver frame on the dresser. Ian blew the dust away. Mom and Dad made such a handsome couple.
But Ian didn’t enter this room to reminisce, nor did he come here to mourn. He came in here for the sword, the bow and the arrows. He would go into the Realm armed, without having to rely on the cache in Elysian Fields. He suspected he would confront trouble before he was able to travel that far.
With great care, Ian removed the breastplate from the mannequin and lowered it over his head. It fits—well—maybe it’s a little loose, but it would protect him. Ian drew the sword before he strapped the sheath around his waist, and admired its steel blade, untarnished, shining, smooth and perfect, its edge still sharp. He remembered how heavy this sword felt to his little arms ten years ago when his father let him hold it for the first time. Today it was weightless. He was ready to wield it. The sound of metal sliding back into its leather sheath whispered a sweet confidence in his heart.
He looked up. A soldier stood in the mirror.
Standing straight, his jaw set, Ian pulled his hair behind his ears and realized how much he resembled Dad. It was his only hope that, when tested, he would embrace his father’s courage as well.
Ian took the bow and quiver from its bracket on the wall above the bed, swung them over his shoulder and stepped out, quietly closing the door behind him.