Scales of a Dragon Trader: The Spellbinder Book 1
17th Century or Earlier
ERANDUS - A DRAGON WHISPERER AND SPELLBINDER. HE IS TALENTED, STUBBORN, AND DETERMINED TO BETTER HIS LIFE, AND THE LIFE OF HIS WIFE. HE IS PROTECTIVE OF HIS HOMELAND, EVEN WHEN IT MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE HE SHOULD BE
NADATARANIA - ERANDUS’S WIFE. A SPUNKY, FIERY WOMAN WHO IS BOLD, INTELLIGENT, AND POWERFUL FIGHTER
GRALI - THE OWNER OF THE FARM WHERE ERANDUS’ PARENTS ARE ENSLAVED. HE IS A SELFISH, CRUEL MAN WHO MANIPULATES OTHERS AND STRIVES ONLY TO HELP HIMSELF AND MAKE MORE MONEY
YATAH - THE BLACKSMITH/OWNER OF THE WEAPONRY IN TOWN. SHE IS ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE ERANDUS FEELS HE CAN TRULY TRUST
CAVAN - ERANDUS’ FATHER. HE IS A PROUD, GRUFF MAN WHO SACRIFICED EVERYTHING IN ORDER FOR HIS SON TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE.
CHAKLEE - A POWERFUL MAESTRO WORKING TO DESTROY YAVECAN. HE WANTS TO HARNESS ERANDUS’ SPELLBINDING AND SKILLS WITH DRAGONS
Erandus and his wife Nadatarania are in the business of selling dragons, but they want out. However, the black market has a way of drawing him back in. Faced with the threat of losing everything, he must decide if he will face the dangers of walking away, or if he'll go all in to gain the world.
Target Gender: Universal,Male Leaning
Fantasy island named Yavecan
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: William Stadler
Year Published: 2017
Rarely do the dragon trades go off without a hitch. Unfortunately for them, this time proves to be no different. On a routine dragon run, both Erandus and Nadatarania are carting wyverns to the coast when the deal quickly turns sour.
The black marketers and their invasion have been pushed back off the island by Erandus and his wife who have mastered the mystical arts of spellbinding.
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Hard Copy Available
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Mature Audience Themes
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Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Philosophical Questions
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Erandus Iota
Key Traits: Complex,Adventurous,Skillful,Heroic,Honorable,Leader
Additional Character Details
Name: Nadatarania Iota
Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Blunt,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Faithful,Engaging,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Grali Havanan
Key Traits: Masculine,Villainous,Aggressive,Decisive,Blunt,Power Hungry,Greedy
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Masculine,Narcisstic,Charming,Patriotic,Decisive,Visionary,Leader,Complex
The ambitious Erandus Iota and his sarcastic but caring wife Nadatarania are on a routine mission to trade dragons when that hope is stolen from them by foreign invaders to their island. Scales of a Dragon trader features an in-depth fantasy world that takes the epic drama elements of Game of Thrones and the intrigue and mystery of Stranger Things and wrestles with the thought: What if there were two worlds that work together to create a magic system that's fresh and new and real? We also see and experience the Land of the Lost appeal where dragons are everyday occurrences with all types of dragons in existence that can be trained for anything from farming to war. What this book accomplishes on the page would work wonderfully as full-length film or TV Series where the relationships with Erandus and his wife are explored in-depth, especially because they need each other in order for the magic to work. The magic works as sort of a character in itself and has a presence that longs to be discovered.
ACTION, THRILLER, WAR, FANTASY, POLITICS
A dragon whisperer named Erandus and his wife want out of the dragon trading business, but when tragedy and political secrets ruin their plans, the dragon whisperer finds himself in the middle of an impending war. Erandus must master the mystical art of spellbinding if he is going to survive and save his homeland. He survives and helps save his home, but his wife dies in the process.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, I believe the Book Profile does accurately reflect this book.
Draw of Story
The strong and confident writing style in this book will immediately hook readers. There’s a level of poetry to the writing that makes it incredibly satisfying and engaging to read. The pace of the story is also quite fast, and readers will likely find themselves flying through the book in order to find out what will happen next.
This book can be hard to follow at times. The politics of this world are rather complex, and there’s not a lot of setup in the beginning of the story. Chapter 11, for example, goes into detail about the financial reasons for Grali selling dragons the way he did, and it’s very difficult to understand. More context about the politics and geography of this fantasy world would be beneficial, especially early in the book. Things feel too convenient and random at times too. Erandus’ ability to spellbind (and the fact that spellbinding becomes so suddenly important at all) feels as if it comes out of nowhere. Character motivations are also unclear at times.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
Strong characters, an interesting premise, and a fast-paced story are the main hooks that would make me watch this movie. The concept of dragon trading is immediately unique and interesting.
If adapted, there is no question that fantasy genre fans would be interested in this project, which would automatically give it a fairly large fanbase. However, further development may be needed in order to attract viewers who aren't big fantasy fans.
Because this project feels like a big-budget summer blockbuster, it probably wouldn't have Awards potential.
Similar Films/TV Series
ERAGON, GAME OF THRONES
What’s New About the Story
The premise of this story feels quite original. Ernandus is also a highly original character that is easy to root for. The politics of the world can be difficult to follow, but the fact that authority figures automatically distrust Erandus feels a bit unoriginal. Adding more nuance to the villainous characters would make this project feel more unique.
Erandus is very endearing in how well meaning and determined he is. Nadatarania's bold, quirky dialogue makes her stand out.
Uniqueness of Story
For fantasy fans, this book may feel like a gem. However, the politics of the book could be strengthened, as could some of the character motivations. Those changes would make the piece feel like a gem for everyone, not just fans of one specific genre.
Film: Studio, Streaming TV Series: Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
Though the premise of this story is very strong, the political details of the world can be hard to follow and confusing, and many of the character motivations feel weak and a bit unfounded.
Tips for Improvement
Adding more emotional nuance to the antagonistic characters would be extremely helpful, as would simplifying the twists and turns of the political issues in this universe.
A dragon whisperer and his wife want out of the dragon trading business, but when tragedy and political secrets ruin their plans, the dragon whisperer finds himself in the middle of an impending war.
What We Liked
This is a vast and ambitious book, with confident writing, a fast pace, and an incredibly gripping premise. For fans of the fantasy genre, this project truly offers a little bit of everything. There is love, action, betrayal, fighting, and a unique take on dragons.
Film: The first book in this series already feels like a feature film in many ways. There is a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Strong characters and nice world building would make this adaptation the perfect opportunity for a first film in a franchise.
TV: There is so much happening in this story that it would have more than enough content and storylines for a vivid and exciting television show. The world building is quite strong. So many characters, storylines, and ways of life are introduced. The possibilities for each season of TV really would be limitless.
1. Great premise.
2. Fast pace.
3. Interesting character dynamics.
4. Confident writing style.
5. Unique perspective on the fantasy genre.
We meet Erandus, a dragon whisperer, and his father Cavan as they work in the dragon field on a farm in Yavecan, draining the blood from a dead dragon. Erandus and his family are slaves for a cruel man named Grali. Erandus’ parents have worked for years in order for Erandus to go free, but now that the time has come, they aren’t sure he’ll be allowed to. Hannah, Erandus’ mother, tells him that their land is on the verge of war. If Yavecan’s ally, Amalia, fights, then they will have to as well.
Suddenly, a griffin attacks the town. Erandus and his father face it to save Hanna. They’re nearly killed, but bowmen shoot the griffin and save their lives. The griffin is an indication that Yavecan is indeed breaking.
Four weeks later, Erandus and his wife, Nadatarania, are headed to the coast to meet a ship and engage in dragon trading. With this deal, they’ll have enough money to move to Amalia. The ship doesn’t show up though, and Nadatarania grows anxious waiting hours for it. Just as they’re leaving, a ship arrives. It’s not clear if it’s the one they’re waiting for though, so Erandus and Nadatarania hide in order to make sure they’re safe. This area is dangerous for dragon traders, after all.
Erandus and Nadatarania realize the ship does belong to the Hans, who they were supposed to meet, but Grali’s arrangements must’ve fallen through, because the Hans try to kill them. Erandus and Nadatarania kill their enemies and flee.
They get back safely to the city, but they lose the dragons and a lot of Grali’s money on the way. Erandus and Nadatarania agree it is too dangerous to tell Grali they lost his dragons, as he once cut off Nadatarania's father’s arm when a similar incident happened. Grali finds out the truth though, and he tells Erandus if he doesn’t go back to the shore and retrieve the dragons, he will harm Erandus’ father, who is already injured from a dragon incident.
Erandus visits his father and sees that he needs the help of a Healing Spellbinder to survive. Nadatarania tells him she has a cousin, Telow, who can help. Erandus and Nadatarania buy and steal two weapons, leave to get the dragons, and plan to travel to find Telow afterwards. They just hope Cavan can survive until their return.
When they arrive back on the shore, Erandus and Nadararania see that more ships have arrived, and some of them belong to Nirukan soldiers. It appears that two legions have teamed up to attack, and the pair has stumbled onto the invasion. Erandus tries to tell the dragons to leave the ships and attack the soldiers, but the fleet has a master dragon trainer (a Maestro) on board, so he is unsuccessful.
Erandus and Nadatarania are spotted and must fight off hordes of soldiers. Erandus uses the sword Nadatarania stole and realizes it is unbelievably powerful. A soldier grabs Nadatarania and kills her in front of Erandus. He wants to die too and join her, but the Maestro instructs the Hans men to take him as a prisoner instead.
Erandus wakes in a cell and is tortured. The Maestro wants him to spellbind, as he believes all Yavi can do, but Erandus says he can’t do it. When he’s left alone, a mysterious figure comes to Erandus and then disappears again.
Unexpectedly, Yatah, the blacksmith that Erandus and Nadatarania stole the balem blade from, enters Erandus’ cell. Yatah reveals that she is working with the Maestro and his men, and she’s arrived to help Erandus master spellbinding.
When the Maestro and the guard return though, they don’t know anything about Yatah. The guard cuts off Erandus’ arm and he passes out from the pain. When he wakes, his arm has been bandaged. The Maestro, Chaklee, still believes Erandus is a spellbinder, and he might be right, because Nadatarania materializes in front of Erandus. She tells him that she is the one who took Yatah’s form.
With only days left to learn to spellbind, Nadatarania helps Erandus successfully tap into his powers and do it. He is a healing spellbinder. Erandus is able to heal his own arm. He also discovers that he is a unique kind of spellbinder. His emotions fuel his powers.
Chaklee and Erandus strike a deal. Chaklee will free Erandus’ parents if he goes to Luest and assassinates the Chief Priest Nbuto Ghana. The deal falls through though when Chaklee suspects Erandus of being untrustworthy and attacks him. During the fight, Erandus spellbinds and burns the ship. He escapes into the water.
Once free, Erandus immediately goes to heal his father, but he learns he died two days prior. Erandus sneaks onto Grali’s land to save his mother. While there, she tells him that his father was secretly able to spellbind too. Then Erandus goes to the Chief Priest to warn him of the Hans impending attack, but Grali is able to convince the priest that Erandus can’t be trusted and he must fight his way to freedom.
Erandus visits Yatah, believing she is one of the few people he can trust. After they talk, Erandus believes he still has information that the chief priest needs. He returns to the palace, but the captain of the guard doesn’t believe that there is a second invasion coming. Erandus is nearly killed, but Nadatarania saves his life. Erandus learns that the more Nadatarania does for him though, the farther away from him she is pushed. The two escape the palace and Erandus focuses on saving his mother.
Erandus spots his mother alive, but cannot rescue her yet. He decides to fight the Hans with the Yavecans. After an intense battle, Erandus kills Chaklee. He doesn’t feel better though, because it doesn’t bring the woman he loves back to life. Erandus tries to rescue his mother, but the life on Grali’s farm is all she knows. She insists on going back to it.
After the battle, Erandus has little choice but to become an advisor to the priest. Yatah reappears to Erandus and reminds him of his wife. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.