Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus saves his village from the brink of starvation –for whenever he releases an arrow, his aim is true. But despite his skill and strength, Markus is unable to confront his tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, he distracts himself by needlessly shooting the forest creatures.
When Markus takes no heed of the village prophet’s warning that his actions will attract The Hunter’s Curse—for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate—the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now, Markus must flee the dragon without killing it … or his beloved brother will be the next to die.
Scene from Curse of the Ice Dragon
With a tentative step onto the vast, frozen wasteland, Markus gingerly made his way across the ice, pick in hand in case he fell through a crevasse. Scaling ice was difficult enough without a monster in pursuit, but he felt comforted in the knowledge that the dragon would not possibly be able to sustain her weight on the ice. If the beast continued to pursue him, she would surely fall through and he would be spared her threat.
Markus smiled at the thought of Lydra plummeting into the abyss. He’d seen it happen once to a herd of elk that had chanced upon a lake during the first freeze of winter. A young hunter then, he had been stalking these animals one morn when they caught scent of him and rushed onto the frozen lake. Foolish they were to try to cross. They would have fared better facing down his arrow. In an instant, the elk all perished, sucked down through a break in the ice.
Walking gingerly, yet swiftly with numbing feet was proving a difficult task. Markus tried to stay on the higher ridges, avoiding the pits of sunk-in snow. Mayhap traversing the glacier with the thaw of winter was safer. After all, he could clearly see the sinking snow holes, which he knew to be crevasses. His walk became brisker, more confident. The dragon would not be able to maneuver this glacier with her large, clumsy body.
Casting another glance behind him, Markus almost stumbled over his own feet. He gazed in horror at Lydra sitting perched at the cusp of the glacier, blowing a long curtain of ice in front of her. With a deep intake of breath, the beast’s chest ballooned before she blew out another stream of ice, frost dripping off her fangs with each hiss of air. She was making the path thicker and impenetrable.
She was building a bridge across the glacier! Looking up from her perch, Lydra leveled Markus with a crimson, sinister glare.
Swallowing a lump of fear, Markus struggled to breathe through his constricting lungs. This was no dumb animal. Nay, Markus was the fool. He had considered himself safe on this glacier, but he had proven himself to be no more intelligent than an elk.
Lydra did not try to traverse the ice bridge on clumsy legs – she used her belly instead. The shimmery scales that coated her distended stomach must have been smooth as well, for she slid seamlessly along the surface. When she reached the end of the bridge, she stopped herself with the tips of her long fangs and stood up before blowing yet another bridge of smooth ice across the glacier.
Turning, Markus picked up speed, knowing that with his weighted, frozen feet, he put himself at greater risk of falling through the ice. But he had no choice. The dragon would be upon him before he crossed to the mountain. With his quickened pace, he narrowly missed several crevasses. The dragon had come so close to him now that he could almost feel its frozen breath at his back.