If you want to learn more here at the blog, I've:
Interviewed Resa Nelson
The Dragonslayer's Sword
The Iron Maiden
Do check the links at the bottom as there is currently a giveaway running on Goodreads you might want to enter.
Mapping My Characters’ Journeys through
the Dragonslayer World
When I created my Dragonslayer world, I modeled it on the beginning of the Viking era and works like Beowulf and the Icelandic sagas. Because I’m a lifelong fan of Viking culture, I’ve traveled throughout Scandinavia to gather research material and inspiration. So although the Dragonslayer series is set in a fantasy world, it draws from our world.
The Dragonslayer’s Sword, introduces Astrid, the female blacksmith who is the hero of the series. We meet her when she’s a child who has spent her life on an island owned by her family, who give her to a childseller. When he takes her from the island, they travel through the Northlands, which are modeled on Norway and Sweden, and all of it feels new and exciting to Astrid. During book one she travels throughout the Northlands from jagged mountain passes to fjord-like coasts to deep, dark forests. She also visits a series of islands, which are based on the islands off the coast of Scotland (the Faroes, Orkneys, Hebrides, etc.), which were explored by Vikings. In this and all the other Dragonslayer novels, many of the places I describe are based on sites I’ve visited and the notes and photographs I took while there.
The Iron Maiden), Astrid’s plans to stay in the Northlands, but unexpected events cause her to travel to the Midlands, which are inspired mostly by Denmark. Her traveling adventure begins in a port city in the southeastern corner of the Northlands. This port city is inspired by Birka, a major trading city in Sweden during the Viking era. She crosses the sea between the Northlands and the Midlands. One of her most important destinations is a forest temple that has been ravaged by the army of Krystr, a warrior king who spreads a new religion, forcing it upon others. This was inspired by a real-life incident during the Middle Ages. In addition to my own travels, I drew upon library research to create this temple and its destruction.
The Stone of Darkness), Astrid covers more of the Midlands and ventures into the Southlands, inspired by France and Italy. Because I’ve seen little of France and have never been to Italy, I turned to a different source for my inspiration –paintings by Impressionists like Van Gogh and Monet! Astrid travels through the countryside, sometimes on horse and sometimes on foot, passing farmers in their fields, spectacular waterfalls, and villages, some bustling and some abandoned. She encounters a magnificent mansion, mysterious alchemists, women warriors, and the sprawling camp of the deadly warrior king.
The Dragon’s Egg), Astrid’s journey returns to the Northlands. But other characters accept a quest that takes them to parts of the world that might be nothing more than rumor: the Land of Ice (inspired by Iceland) and the Land of Vines (inspired by North America, which the Vikings called Vinland).
Although The Dragon’s Egg brings the series to an end, I plan to start a new series where my Dragonslayer characters will explore the rest of their world. You’re welcome to sample the Dragonslayer series by downloading a free ebook of two short stories I wrote that take place in that world. There’s no information gathering or obligation—just a simple download at http://www.resanelson.com/files.
Learn more about and Purchase Resa Nelson’s 4-book Dragonslayer series:
The Dragonslayer's Sword (Book 1)
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.
Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?
The Iron Maiden (Book 2)
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty. She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route. In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once. It’s a decision she must make every day.
The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.
Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.
Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.
The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4)
In the fourth and final book of the Dragonslayer series, Mandulane’s army is poised to attack the Northlands in the name of a powerful god, but in truth Mandulane is using the act of spreading this new faith as a way to disguise his own personal greed and hunger for power. Astrid has succeeded in warning her beloved country of imminent danger, and the Northlanders scramble to set up a clever defense, never realizing a spy in their midst is poised to take critical information directly to Mandulane.
After sacrificing herself in order to set her brother Drageen free for the sake of protecting the Northlands, Astrid finds herself controlled by the stone of light. Although it forces her path of destiny, Astrid learns she must make one final choice about who she wants to be. Most important of all, her new sweetheart Trep encounters a dragon that entrusts him with the care of a dragon’s egg. Trep embraces a dangerous journey and accepts the duty of protecting the unhatched dragon, knowing that its safety could impact the fate of the entire world.
Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended." She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Resa lives in Massachusetts. Visit her website at http://www.resanelson.com.
Find Resa Nelson and Links:
Ebooks ($4.99 each) are available directly from Mundania Press (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
(get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)