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Book Blitz Urban Fantasy Novel: The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons



The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons
Dan Elish
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Urban Fantasy

Born To Fight?

Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won’t let him forget when his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking.

But when he’s attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand.

Killing the giant locust was only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of the Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad’s death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose…


“… destined to be a kid-pleasing classic. Readers will be captivated as Ike is drawn into the mysterious and dangerous world … I dare any fan of Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, Wonder Woman, Superman—any rollicking adventure story—to pick up The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons and not get hooked.

~Deborah Heiligman, Award-winning author of Vincent and Theo

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Ike was dying. With school about to start he’d never have the chance to tell Diego

and Kashvi what was going on now. Why hadn’t he called last night?

“Well,” Mr. Changar said, “looks like it’s time to say goodbye.”

Ike looked toward the gate. In keeping with Branford tradition, Headmistress Bergman, a trim elderly woman, had come out to greet the students as they entered the school. He sighed.

“Yep,” he said. “That’s how it looks.”

He shook his head, deeply annoyed but unable to say anything. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kashvi give her father a quick hug.

But then as Mr. Changar let his daughter go, he squinted into the distance. “Well, well,” he said. “That’s certainly interesting.”

“What?” Kashvi said.

Mr. Changar pointed down 89th Street.


Ike turned and looked. On the far horizon, over the Hudson River, was a large black dot. It was interesting—also strange.

“What is it?” Ike asked.

“Don’t know,” Kashvi said.

Diego brushed his hair out of the way and squinted. “It’s a black dot,” he said. “What’s the big deal? Nothing to worry about.”

Ike wasn’t so sure. To his alarm, the dot was picking up speed and growing larger and larger by the second. It wasn’t making enough noise to be a helicopter and it didn’t look wide enough to be a plane.

But whatever it was, it was certainly something. In fact, the dot was coming so fast now most everyone else in the vicinity had noticed it, too.

“Yo,” someone cried, “is that a giant dirt ball?”

“No, it’s a tornado.”

“In New York? Not a chance.”

Ike didn’t think so either. It wasn’t tall or thin enough to be a tornado. But as the dot grew bigger, he did notice two longish spires curling off its top. And the closer the dot came, the taller the spires grew until Ike suddenly knew what they were.

Antennae,” he whispered with a shiver.

What else could they be? Worse, it wasn’t long before Ike noticed the dot had a mouth. And atop its back was a barely discernable blur, the rapid fluttering of two powerful wings. Then all the disparate elements—the antennae, the mouth, and wings—seemed to meld together, revealing its unquestionable identity.

“It’s a bug,” Ike cried. “A locust.”

“Is it real?” Diego asked.

A day earlier, Ike would’ve said the bug was a giant robot or a clever special effect. But that was a day earlier.

“I think so,” Ike said.

“Who cares if it’s real?” a parent yelled. “It’s bigger than a subway car.”

“Cripes,” somebody else said. “We’ve gotta move.”

With the locust two blocks away, the sidewalk exploded into a cacophony of terrified shrieks and shouts as parents and kids alike ran for it, scattering lunchboxes and knapsacks as they went.

“Come on,” Diego said, tearing for the street. “We’re out of here.”

But Ike was frozen with equal parts terror and disbelief. The bug was a block away, thundering ten feet over the sidewalk as though it had been shot out of a cannon. And now that it was closer, Ike could finally make out its body in more detail—its four small front legs and two giant back ones. Its scaly, light green skin and, worst of all, its eyes. Two giant black circles, one on each side of its head—focused directly on him.

“Ike?” Diego called from behind a parked car. “Come on. Hide.”

Ike wheeled around, looking frantically up and down the sidewalk. Hide? Suddenly, there wasn’t enough time. The school door was too far away and the cars were all locked. With the raging bug seconds away, Ike knew there was only one thing that could save him …

His father’s sword.


Author Bio:

Dan Elish is the author of nine novels, including The School for the Insanely Gifted, BORN TOO SHORT: The Confessions of an Eighth-Grade Basket Case, an International Reading Association Students’ Choice Award Recipient (Simon & Schuster), the book for the Broadway musical13, slated to be a movie by CBS Films, and The Worldwide Dessert Contest, which was recently optioned for TV. In addition, Dan is a writer of TV shows like PBS’s Cyberchase.

Dan has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and is represented by Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

Website / Goodreads



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Ike laughed. Leave it to Elmira to get in the last word. For soon, Ike had the great creature back in the sky. When he looked over his shoulder, Ike saw his three Order-mates finally sprinting toward their respective dragons, climbing three separate ladders. Alexandro was the next to get his into the air, zooming straight up on Kansas City. A moment later, Elmira on Seattle, and Lucinda on Pittsburgh, took off at the exactly same time. Soon the four dragons were flying in formation, close enough for the kids to shout back and forth.

“I love this,” Alexandro cried. “Even easier than riding a lion.”

“You never rode that lion,” Lucinda said.

“Did too. I’ll show you the pictures later.”

“I never realized the force of the wind would be so strong,” Elmira yelled. “The G forces must be close to five hundred and forty.”

The best was yet to come. To his left, Ike saw Alexandro give Kansas City a small pinch. The dragon released a blast of fire that left a trail of smoke one hundred feet long. Ike smiled. What was he waiting for? He gave Detroit a pinch of his own and the dragon let loose a whoosh of flame that spiraled a good two hundred feet into the sky. As the fire blew out of his mouth, the

beast jolted forward so powerfully Ike had to squeeze hard with his legs to keep from falling off.

“Yee-haw,” Ike cried.

“Quite a kickback, eh?” Alexandro yelled.

“Sure is,” Ike called.

“Take that, locusts!” Lucinda exclaimed.

Again, Pittsburgh proved female dragons were every bit as powerful as their male counterparts, letting fly a gust of flame that spiraled out a good two hundred feet in no more than two seconds.

Finally, it was Seattle’s turn.

“Death to the bugs,” Elmira called.

With a powerful whoosh, her dragon proved that he had the goods as well.

“Who is the best Order, eh?” Alexandro cried, whooshing by Ike.

“The Tenth Order,” Ike replied.

“You’re bloody well right it is.”

Ike laughed. The next thing he knew, the dragons were swooping this way and that, weaving in and out and around each other, flaming at anything and everything.

Suddenly there was a stealth military helicopter flying soundlessly by their side. A soldier was at the controls and another was leaning out the side with a camera.

“Hey,” he called to Ike. “Over here.”

Ike grinned widely. Holding the reins with one hand, he reached for his sword and pressed the button, exposing the blade and waving it over his head.

“I love it,” the photographer yelled.

Suddenly, Ike loved it, too. All of it. The dragons. His new friends. The thrill of standing up for himself as the rightful leader. Even the prospect of being on TV. Being “the next in line” wasn’t half bad. He retracted the sword’s blade, tucked it back in his belt, and swooped below the helicopter as the dragon let loose a thunderous blast of fire. Once he had gotten his shot, the cameraman gave Ike a thumbs up but then pointed back toward the Order.

Ike looked back over his shoulder. These dragons were even faster than he thought. After what had felt like a short ride, the Order was already a distant dot of green in the middle of a vast swath of brown. The cameraman held up six fingers. Ike understood. At the six mile radius of the no-radar zone, he tugged on the left rein, bringing the dragon on a slow arc back toward the Order.

But there was a problem. Kansas City and Pittsburgh hadn’t gotten the message. Instead of slowing down to turn back, the two dragons thundered forward, gaining speed.

“You think you can outrace me, mi compadre, eh?”

“Sure do, mate,” Lucinda cried. She was holding onto her hat with one hand and the reins with the other. “This dragon of mine’s got raw power.”

“Raw power? Your dragon? He is slower than my nonna—and she uses a walker.”

“Pittsburgh is a she. And she’ll destroy your mangy beast any day of the week.”

“Hey,” Ike yelled. “Stop.”

In a blur of light lavender and dark red, Kansas City and then Pittsburgh rocketed by.

“Wait. The no-radar zone.”

It was too late. Before Ike could stop him, Detroit had wheeled around. Flapping his mighty

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About Author

Creator of Bookstanista, a book and book style website, Nicole is a 30-something mom and wife to a Viking. A fan of Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast, she lives and breathes books. Her home library now consists of over 300 e-books and 500 paperback and hardback books. When she's not reading or reviewing books, you can find her interacting with authors or dreaming of a world with books and unicorns and toting around her Angora rabbit: Denim-Cyan.

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