What evil intended to harm you… … can become something far more terrible.
Rise of Dresca
The Draemeir Chronicle Book 1
by Tim McKay
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy Horror
From the pits of an ancient darkness, a new power is rising.
Ceremai has fallen.
After a decade of struggle for independence, a fledgling nation collapses under the unrelenting force of invasion.
Join an unlikely band of allies on a journey beset by shadow and intrigue, pulled by the strings of fate to the source of a new evil.
A lord’s daughter turns assassin. An orphan girl discovers her power. A captain plots in vain.
And the last soldier of Ceremai finds his destiny.
Witness the dawn of a new age, and learn if what evil intended for harm…
… can become something far more terrible.
Rise of Dresca is the first book of the Draemeir Chronicle.
Enter a world where evil parasitizes the meek and arrogant alike. Where limitless power and knowledge can be yours for a price, not of your soul, but of your mind, your will, and your resolve to be free.
In the land of Naevoroth, a new power is rising.
And it’s yours for the taking.
Action-packed and filled with a healthy dose of magic, mayhem, and fantastical lore, Rise of Dresca is a phenomenal start to what promises to be a riveting epic fantasy series. – Pikasho Deka from Readers’ Favorite
IF you are looking for a relentless, action, rage-filled dark fantasy book, then look no further than “Rise of Dresca”. WOW! This is bestselling material right here! – Julio Carlos at Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews
Rise of Dresca by Tim McKay is a spellbinding journey into the heart of a mesmerizing monster-filled fantasy realm. Seamlessly blending captivating storytelling with vivid world-building, this teen and YA monster fantasy will have readers utterly entranced from the very first page. – Demetria Head for A Look Inside Book Reviews
Elaryn pressed her back against the sharp cliff rocks, panting as she sucked in the stale, toxic air. Her team, huddled together around the corner, felt the fumes scraping their lungs as much as she did. They wouldn’t have thought much of her forced, frantic breathing. They didn’t know.
They had to die.
She’d been planning these murders for months, but her resolve was untested. She knew there’d be no going back, and once it started, she’d have to be quick.
A crashing force shook the cliffside. Elaryn heard a few stifled screams as she fell onto her hands and knees. Her ears were ringing and her vision blurred, but she turned to take in the chaos. Four members of the team were bloodied masses scattered around the small crater where her pack had been. Good. There needed to be blood. Her heart raced, but the cold edge to her inner voice was unnerving.
Vorsha, the Selvan envoy leading the mission, began to stir and whimper a few paces away. Elaryn charged, covering the distance in seconds and driving her knee into the woman’s face. Vorsha’s head snapped back and cracked loudly against a rock. Shrapnel wounds peppered her abdomen and stained her scarlet dress a deeper crimson. She wouldn’t be trouble. Five down.
One last kill. Elaryn knew this one would be the hardest. She stepped over the corpse by her feet, boots dripping blood that pooled in charcoal sand. She left the woman’s eyes open, her face already pale with death. Evil like this didn’t deserve peace.
But Paltess was different. The boy was seventeen, just five years her junior. And she couldn’t be sure he was compromised. Unlike the others.
Paltess stood a dozen paces away, trapped between narrow obsidian cliffs. He stumbled backward and turned as Elaryn drew a crescent knife from her belt. He ran, then seemed to remember his pistol between strides. He faltered while grabbing it from his holster and turned halfway around before a spinning blade slashed his throat.
The boy toppled and the pistol went off with a hissing snap. The lead ball hit the rocks and small shards of black glass shattered down the cliffside with crystal pings.
Elaryn stepped closer. She cleared her mind and tried not to look away as the boy twitched in the sand. She was learning that people can bleed out far longer than she imagined. The stories always made death sound quick.
Now for the hard part. Elaryn scanned the rocks for a way up before spotting a narrow gap between the obsidian spikes. The rocks looked sharp, and for a moment she rubbed her palms together. Her black leather gloves were made for style and were ready to tear in a few spots. She’d have to risk it.
A loud shriek from behind settled the matter. She scooped up her knife and scrambled to the cliff, wiping Paltess’s blood onto a spare cloth she tossed aside once the blade was clean. She put her back to the wall and checked the rear passage. Nothing. But if the raptors had found the first bodies, they’d be here soon enough.
Elaryn took one last look at Paltess, eyes glazed over and staring at her with blank accusation. It had to be done. She pushed back any remaining hesitation, slipped her knife into its black crescent scabbard, and reached up with her other hand for the nearest ledge. Sharp rock pressed into her glove without piercing, and she risked more weight as she propped herself up with one foot on the other side of the gap. A few quick maneuvers and she was back on solid ground.
Dry heat and grey ash battered Elaryn from every direction. Outside the shelter of the cliffs, the air was thick with sickly orange smog painted by the sun’s glare. She could make out rolling mounds of black and grey a few dozen paces ahead before the smog grew too thick to penetrate. She’d keep the sun to her back and press on.
An ear-splitting shriek sounded above and Elaryn rolled aside. She almost fell back down into the gap and braced herself in time to watch a raptor swoop down through the spot she’d been. Its grey reptilian wing clipped her cheek as it flew by, and the creature crashed into the rocks as it attempted to change course. Sharp talons lashed out and its neck lunged up like an eel before the monster fell over the edge, leaving a trail of black blood on the rocks.
Tim McKay is a writer, editor, and marketer from Ottawa, Canada. He used to be a pastor, still cares about good and evil, and still strives to create meaningful experiences for others. He has degrees in history, theology, and public policy, along with a diploma in professional writing, but likes nothing more than hiking in the woods, running along the Rideau Canal, and connecting with the people he loves. Oh, and reading a good book.
Christopher Nolan and the Storyteller’s Mistake
I saw a quote recently from Christopher Nolan, saying something along these lines: Everyone misunderstands what makes his movies great.
I often feel the same about books.
I’ve always thought of Christopher Nolan as one of the greatest storytellers alive. I maybe even secretly dreamed of telling him so to his face. One day. I never imagined it might upset him.
But I loved his point. Movies are about more than the stories. They’re an audio-visual experience, and you fail your audience if you neglect the cinematography and scoring that take the experience to a whole other level.
Books are like that too.
No, I’m not talking about the illustrations or the maps. I’m not even talking about the feeling of musty paper between your fingers as you turn the page, the pull on your eyes as you scroll down on your phone, or the narrator’s tone as you doze off to an audiobook.
I’m talking about the experience. I’m talking about the tools authors use to suck you in, keep you reading, and make a new world come alive, not just in your mind but in your bones.
I wanted to write something like that, a story you see and feel, and a story that does more than hook you. Those awesome fantasy books I read as a kid into my early teens were more than just gripping — they were hypnotic. They pulled you into a trance you only noticed when your eyelids slammed shut and you realized it was well past 2 am.
Writers are hypnotists in disguise. And every choice I made while writing came down to how I thought it would affect you, my reader, as you skimmed across the page.
I think a lot of authors get distracted by those they’re trying to impress. They end up using big words and flowery, convoluted styles to look good for agents and their old English Lit professors. And often, what they put out is unreadable.
Sometimes, it’s genius. And I mean that: some of these authors are absolutely brilliant, prodigies worthy of our admiration.
But many of these genius authors go unsung, and I think it’s because they’re so focused on the story that they lose sight of the reader’s experience. They blame the reader for failing to keep up, dozing off and flipping on the newest Wheel of Time episode on Prime. When really, they should blame themselves. Themselves, AND the absolute marvels behind that show (with, I’m sorry to say, the exception of the first season finale, but I’m excited to see where they’re going – and yes, we can agree to disagree!).
Robert Jordan was a master of hypnotic writing. Where a misguided prodigy would give readers walls of text detailing the mechanics of their magic systems, Robert Joran made you feel it. When you read the Wheel of Time series, you feel the One Power for yourself. The writing blends simple language with evocative imagery and leaves you spellbound.
That doesn’t mean leaving out rich details, and it doesn’t let authors off the hook from their obligation to create fantastic, expansive worlds we can believe and explore to our heart’s content.
But for me, it meant sneaking those details in when it felt true to the experience, when it aligned with the character whose perspective I wrote from or when I sensed the reader would be hungry to know more.
That said, I offer no promise that you’ll have all the answers by the end of the book. I don’t think that would be right. I mean that morally. Life rarely gives us all the answers, and it often makes us wait years to learn lessons we wished we knew today. I think even fantasy must reflect such harsh truths about this incredible, chaotic world we live in — otherwise, what could it teach us?
So why do some authors feel obliged to tell you everything? Not because it enhances the story (which it can when done right – you might come to know something the characters still don’t!), but because they’re scared you’ll turn your insatiable desire to know more into a criticism.
But I’ll make you a deal: You let your curiosity drive you to want to read more, and I’ll do my best to deliver an experience worth your time, with or without the answers you seek.
And, I mean, come on — this is just the first book. There’s so much more to come. Settle down.
And do enjoy! (What I hope is the first of many books to come! Sequel in progress)
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