Recently, my younger daughter visited the John Paul II Center in Krakow, Poland, and shared with my wife and me several photos, including this dragon.
The image, of course, is from the Book of Revelations, as is the monstrous Beast below it. I first read Revelations when I was about nine, and it gave me the willies, because I took it literally. Still, it’s some very cool artwork, done by the same fellow who did the mosaics at the JPII Shrine in Washington, DC.
I didn’t understand what she meant. “It’s a dragon mosaic on the wall of a church,” she said. What she meant was this scene from Dragontamer’s Daughters, my first published novel:
The picture was of a heavy-lidded man with a short white beard, a jeweled crown, and a long, quilted robe. The man sat on a throne. In one hand, he held a scepter. In the other, he held a green, wingless dragon, no larger than a cat, with round white eyes that had no pupils. Daon Raul gently ran a finger over the dragon.
“It’s Rodrigo the Dragontamer,” Daon Edgardo said. “The last king of Imbyrria.”
“Imm-beer-ree-ah?” the acolyte Miguel asked, puzzling over the strange name. “What…does that…mean?” he asked, in halting Ysparrian that he was still learning.
“Imbyrria is—was—an island,” Daon Edgardo explained. “My people came from there. Ysparria was one of its colonies.”
“It was destroyed hundreds of years ago,” Daon Raul added. “Swallowed by the ocean for our people’s sins.”
Daon Edgardo shook his head. “The kingdom of Imbyrria is gone,” he said, smiling faintly, “but it didn’t sink beneath the sea. What actually happened was that the island was hit by a very bad storm, and thousands were killed, including Rodrigo.”
“Dama Ismaella told me differently,” Daon Raul replied. “She said it was Rodrigo who was to blame, that he had made a pact with the Typhoon Dragon that lived on the island—that’s why he’s holding a dragon in the picture. The Typhoon Dragon served him for many years, but Rodrigo tried to force it to do evil, and in its anger, it destroyed Imbyrria.”
“That’s just a story,” Daon Edgardo said. “I don’t even believe there ever was a Typhoon Dragon.”
“There is, though,” Daon Raul said, handing the lamp back to Miguel.
An uncanny coincidence, but only that. I had never heard of the JPII shrine in Krakow or seen this mosaic before I wrote DTD. But it is kind of cool to see something like what I described in my book.
The day after my daughter sent us the photos, I was pleasantly surprised by another coincidence: DTD had become an Amazon Bestseller.
It’s not a Great Big Deal, but I’ll take it. If you’d like to read more about the dragon and the girls who took her in, you can find Dragontamer’s Daughters on Amazon in softcover and for Kindle.
Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young. In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.
Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog. He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons! With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature. Kenton also published Hand-Selling Books to help authors better their sales.
Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time.