**** Watty Award Shortlisted (Most Imaginative Setting) 2012 *****
"The Dragon-kin oft play out more lives than regular man. Not because they live longer, in fact the opposite is more likely true, but because life has this wonderful habit of dealing them the strangest of hands."
The man they call the Dragon-herd has already had three when he meets Kiara, but she is only just starting to live at all. In a land where no magic leads to dark magic, Kiara is the girl that lost her power. Outcast and considered nothing more than evil waiting to happen, Kiara has spent her whole life trying to prove that she is a creature of good.
But, sometimes, a single fateful meeting is enough to ruin a lifetime's dedication.
As a distant terror begins to stir, the girl that had always fought to prove her virtue is torn from her humble beginnings and thrown into the Dragon-herd's shadowed world. It's a pity empathy never really was a dragon thing because there are lives to save and she's not even sure what counts as good anymore. Perhaps no magic really does lead to dark magic, or perhaps this cursed little girl might just find out that black and white is not as clear cut as it first seemed to be.