At the very beginning of Dragonflame – the final book in the Dragoncharm trilogy – the wingless dragon Wyrm watches as a herd of ungainly creatures called zirafae gallops across a vast, grassy plain. Due to forces beyond Wyrm’s control, these mythical zirafae are now mere ghosts of their former selves. Soon these charmed beasts will transform into their natural counterparts, and a little more magic will have leaked out of the world.
Here’s how I set the scene for this eerie encounter:
“The sound of grass was constant as the sea. Savannah waves brought movement to this waterless ocean. The brush of stalk on stalk was the dry and ceaseless whispering of dryad voices, a soft, insistent undercurrent of thought and dream. It spoke as it moved, the grass, and its voice was warm and wholesome. Strong.”
Here’s the place I was thinking about when I wrote it:
I’ve spoken before on this blog about the appeal of the African landscape. A windswept savanna might seem an unusual choice for a book about dragons, but as soon as I’d imagined one of those magnificent mythical beasts prowling the long grass and watching the big game thunder past, I knew the image would end up in the books somewhere.
As for the mythical zirafae, can you guess what they turned into?
In part 6 of this occasional series, we’re off to the north of England to seek out a cove that’s a very long way from the sea. Now where in the world could that be …?