Water & Fire The Dragon Pillars Book 1 by Sanzaki Kojika Genre: Epic Fantasy
There is a legend that everyone knows- the legend of the Dragon Pillars. Every several hundred years, darkness befalls the land. The Dragons awaken and choose their Pillars, humans strong enough to withstand their powers, and together they drive back the darkness. In the towering cathedral of Vivdaugas, students flock to study the archives built upon the legend and train to reach the glory of its heroes. Garred Conway is preparing for his test to become a true Defender when a storm threatens to destroy the citadel, and the land around it. Trapped in the catacombs, desperate to save those he cares for, he finds help from the most surprising place- the Water Dragon Aysu. Now, as Aysu’s new pillar, he finds himself with more responsibility thrust on him than he could have ever imagined. **Only .99 cents April 7th-14th!!** Goodreads * Amazon
Earth & Wind The Dragon Pillars Book 2
The Pillar of Fire Shula is left reeling with loss and a new heavy burden of responsibility. The Water Pillar Garred leads a small party into the dangerous Whispering Forest to seek out weapons that were blessed by the Light Dragon. Disaster is narrowly avoided, but it brings a dark secret to light.Once reunited, Shula steels her resolve and the journey continues. With two Dragons awoken, their quest for the third leads them to the harsh terrain of the desert. The sand dregs up a certain Defender’s self-proclaimed pathetic past and the hard feelings associated with it. Can a Dragon really chose a Pillar from an isolated people dedicated to a life of pacifism? **Only .99 cents May 4th– 11th!!** Goodreads * Amazon
Fawn Szymoniak, aka “Sanzaki Kojika” has been a resident of the fantasy world from a young age, growing up in a house full of books and mythology. Her mother introduced her to fantasy works by authors like Barbara Hambly and Terry Brooks. By the age of 8, she had already written her first novel (albeit crudely). Since then, she has taken to mostly writing fantasy, following characters through magical worlds full of wonder and danger. Her series “The Archive of Sinners” stands out as her only non-fantasy, being a paranormal mystery. On top of her writing, she is also a freelance graphic designer. Her love of art and writing, spurred her onto comics. She has several graphic novels self-published, including her webcomic “Zos Kias,” which is over 10 years old. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Water & Fire:
Garred was racing down the stairs instantly. He stumbled, rolling down a few steps
before he was able to right himself. With scraped knees raw and bleeding, he staggered to his
feet and continued downward.
A thin layer of water already coated the floor of the catacombs. He splashed through it,
racing through the darkness back towards where he left Elam. Debris floated past him, and he
shoved it aside to keep moving towards the dark hallway where the water was rushing in from.
The level rose to his ankles as he pushed forward. It continued to greedily rise up his
leg, slapping angrily against his calves. He sloshed forward, his boots and pants heavy with the
rising water. The current pushed against him, and he had to balance himself against the wall to
keep himself standing at one point. He pushed back against it as hard as he could, moving as
fast as he could against a racing current.
“Sir Elam!” Garred called out into the darkness. He had been walking for several minutes
but had yet to see any sign of the Archivist.[G1]
He heard splashing several feet ahead. He rushed towards the noise, nearly smacking
himself into the wall as he pressed against it.
Below him, he heard gagging. He reached down carefully and found Elam’s shoulder.
Elam shifted beneath him. He sputtered and shoved against Garred.
“What are you doing here? This place is about to go under!”
Garred hovered over Elam, finding a spot just above the Archivist to press against the
wall. He knew their attempts to keep the water back were futile, but he couldn’t just leave Elam
“You’re still here!” Garred retorted.
Elam tried to say something, but a spray of water drowned him out. Elam gagged and
coughed against it, struggling to breathe.
The water kept coming. It filled the hall, rising up to Garred’s knees. Elam was halfway
under water, and he shifted awkwardly beneath Garred, trying to get himself a little further
above their liquid prison. Garred inched over, allowing Elam to stand beside him. Pressed
together, they fought against the cracking rock and prayed it would hold.
The wall shuddered and the rest of it peeled away. They were thrown back with the
current, before getting buried beneath the bricks. Garred sputtered and shoved the stone off
himself. It felt even heavier beneath the water, but he managed to get free and get his head
above the raging surface.
He glanced around frantically, quickly realizing that Elam was nowhere to be seen. He
steadied himself against the other side of the hall and took a deep breath. He dove under the
water, keeping his hand against the wall as much as he was able. He squinted his eyes open
beneath the water, detritus stinging his eyes as it was flung past him.
He spotted Elam right near the hole in the wall. He was struggling to get himself free, but
there was a small pile of bricks caught on the edge of his robe. He tugged at it, but between the
force of the water and his failing breath, he wasn’t strong enough to budge it. The fabric was
too strong to tear even against the force.
Garred surfaced briefly to catch a gasp of breath before diving back under the surface.
He reached out towards bricks sunken into the ground, using them as handholds to help him
move against the surging surface. The water smashed into him, and the current threatened to
carry him away. The brick he had his left hand on suddenly shifted, and soon he was struggling
against the stream head on.
He fought hard against it, willing himself to move forward. He screwed his eyes shut and
pulled Elam’s body closer together. Everything hurt, and it was all he could do to keep grip with
his right hand.[G2] [G3]
As he opened his eyes, he thought he saw a shape in the water. It was gone as quickly
as it appeared, but suddenly he felt light. He swung his arm back in front of him and let go of
his hand-hold. He was able to swim freely, and in a couple seconds, he was beside Elam.
He went for the rocks first, but they were too heavy for him. He couldn’t even budge
them. He quickly turned his attention to the robe, trying to tear through the fabric. He silently
cursed the Archivist for using such fine materials to fashion their robes out of. It was thick and
sturdy; he would need a knife to get through it easily.
Elam floundered next to him. Garred’s attention turned to the Archivist. Elam’s face was
turning pale. He couldn’t hold his breath any longer. He let out a gasp, and the water came
seeping into his lungs.
Garred knew he had to move fast. He grabbed Elam by the waist and pulled the
Archivist down. The robe floated up, and Garred ducked beneath it. It was difficult to free
Elam’s arms from his sleeves, but a lot of awkward maneuvering and pulling finally saw
success. He pulled Elam free from the robe, holding the Archivist close against his own body.
He moved upward and away from the hole, trying to escape the water. As soon as he
surfaced, Elam coughed, spitting up water. He took deep breaths, the color slowly coming back
to his face. He clung to Garred, not caring that for a moment that he was showing weakness.
Garred let the current take them, only moving his free arm as needed to keep the two of
them above water. It carried them quickly, and soon they were flowing past the stairs leading
up. Garred tried to swim over to it, but his body suddenly felt heavy, and it was all he could do
to keep them afloat.
The staircase came and went, and the darkness swallowed them up. The water carried
them up and down, smacking them against the sides of the catacombs in its wild rampage.
They were knocked below the surface several times, but each time Garred managed to get
them back up above it, gasping for breath.
It only took them a few minutes to reach the end of this section of the catacombs,
blocked off by solid steel grating and a thick wooden divider. The water slammed against it,
splintering the wood and starting to drip through.
Garred watched in horror as they approached the grating. It might temporarily stop their
movement, but the water level was rising. The ceiling inched closer, and they would be trapped
as the water surged through the entirety of the bottom level. Their lives would be quickly forfeit.
And not just their lives; the entirety of Vivdaugas would be forfeit. The water would keep
coming, tearing through the foundation that held the proud towers strong. The walls would
crack and splinter; supports would tumble and the citadel would sag. All of the people seeking
sanctuary in the towers would be buried as the building collapsed around them.
It wasn’t just the thousands of lives at stake either. Thousands of years of history would
be lost. A powerful symbol would be lost, leaving an unstable world once again adrift without
the icon that had held it together for generations.
And Garred was powerless against it. Even if he had been a true Defender, what could a
human warrior do against the rage of Mother Nature? There was no way to stand up against
the storm. He couldn’t even hope to protect one measly person against it, how could he ever
dream of saving so many more?
He gripped Elam tightly, wrapping both of his arms around the Archivist. Elam glanced
up at him. There was peace in the Archivist’s eyes. No hatred or anger, no frustration or rage,
just a simple calmness that only made Garred more uneasy. Why was Elam so quick to accept
their fate? Why did he have to accept it, too?
He was powerless on his own. There was nothing a mere mortal could do.
A powerful voice resounded inside his mind.
“You are not alone.”