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WATWWN #04: The Prince and the Dragon
When a young prince meets a beautiful girl from a faraway world, what gift might he give her to prove his love, and dangers await when his quest leads beyond time and space, beyond himself, into the World of Dream?
The Prince and the Dragon (formerly The First Red Rose) is the fourth book of When All The Worlds Were New and is available on Kindle and paperback.
A long time ago when all the worlds were new and your grandparents were yet young, there lived on a distant world a young prince whose name (as closely as we can spell it in the letters of this day and age) was Yian. Of his world, little is remembered except that it was beautiful, with great forests and mirrored lakes and sparkling oceans not unlike our own. Along the coasts were cities of finely carved stone and soaring towers of steel and golden glass reflecting the light of a sun perhaps somewhat more yellow than our own, a star unremarkable among the millions, lost somewhere in the great spaces of the constellation we call the Hunter, the great warrior of our winter skies.
As a youth, Yian rarely saw the Hunter (or, as his people called it, the Lover, resplendent in the blue of young stars) for he was rarely outside. Yian spent much of his childhood in the library of his mother the queen, reading ancient tales and modern stories written by the lore-masters and entertainers of his own age. By his teenage years, he had grown to be quite intelligent and well-learned. Even at a young age, he studied many of the hidden secrets of his world’s history and the magic of letters and words in his own language. As he grew up, he read tales in the scripts of other worlds, and within him grew a deep respect for the power behind them. He was quite content until one day his father, the king, interrupted his studies.
“Son.” The king was annoyed that the youth was scrawling notes from a book onto a piece of paper and not giving him full attention, but had become quite used to Yian’s absentmindedness. “You just passed your sixteenth cycle and are coming into manhood. You must expand your studies to include the offices of kingship. Law and justice, social and economic matters—”
“Yes, Father,” Yian said, scrawling a note to find books on such matters and add them to his already-long reading list.
The king sighed. “Also, I think it would be wise for you to travel and see the world, and perhaps look for a young woman to be your queen, eh?”
Now Yian was, though handsome enough, a somewhat awkward young man and quite shy. He had not given much thought to girls and, thanks to all the time he spent in various libraries or studying with elder lore-masters, had little chance to meet many except at social events at court he usually departed as soon as decency allowed. He blushed and mumbled an assurance that he would keep it in mind and asked his father about travel arrangements to the city across the great lake, on the edge of Paradise Forest. The library there was the greatest in the world, he told his father excitedly.
His father only rolled his eyes and hoped he would discover something more interesting there, that might lift his eyes from his books for a little while.