Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Mythological Dragon of Author Karin Rita Gastreich

Greetings and well-met to author Karin Rita Gastreich on her Magic Appreciation Tour for the audio release of her novel Eolyn, the prequel to her latest book release High Maga. Karin writes fantasy fiction with strong female characters, but I was most intrigued with her concept of Dragon as it fits into the magical world she has created. Karin is a lovely, intelligent lady and a talented author, and I am so pleased to have her on my blog. After you read the fascinating article on Dragon below, make sure you check out the YouTube audio preview. What an enjoyable, melodious excerpt! And don't forget to enter the Giveaway!


By Karin Rita Gastreich

 When Lori Fitzgerald invited me to visit her blog during this tour, I knew at once that I wanted to write a post about Dragon.  What could be a better fit, given the recent release of Lori’s romantic adventure, The Dragon’s Message?

 Dragons are extraordinarily versatile, given the fact that the basic blue print of “fire-breathing flying serpent” rarely changes. We have Smaug of Tolkien fame, the epitome of the greedy, destructive beast ready to wreak havoc on the world. We find Smaug’s polar opposite in Draco from “Dragon’s Heart”, who represents all that is honorable and true in humankind.  The wonderful Falcor, that fuzzy dragon from The Never Ending Story, is one of my personal favorites. Certainly, he’s the most huggable dragon on record. 


The variations on the dragon theme are endless, and I hope some of you will share your favorite dragon examples in the comments. Today I want to tell you a little bit about the role Dragon plays in Eolyn’s world.

 In the novel ‘Eolyn’, Dragon is not a biological or physical creature, but rather a spiritual entity.

 At the beginning of time, Dragon taught the legendary figures Aithne and Caradoc the ways of High Magic. Also called “Messenger”, Dragon was sent by the gods who supported Aithne and Caradoc’s search for cures and spells that could contribute to the welfare of their people.

 Many generations after appearing to Aithne and Caradoc, Dragon returned in its true form to teach the first mage warrior Caedmon how to use magic during the brutal struggle against the People of Thunder. This was a crucial turning point in the history of Eolyn’s people. Until Dragon appeared to Caedmon, it was forbidden to use magic to cause physical harm to another.  But through Dragon’s intervention, Caedmon brought magic to the battlefield, turning the tide of a war that would otherwise have ended in the annihilation of all practitioners.

 In his campaign against the People of Thunder, Caedmon formed an alliance with the warrior chief Vortingen.  Following their victory in that long and terrible war, Dragon appeared once more and granted Vortingen the crown of the Kingdom of Moisehén.  Vortingen and all his descendants were charged with protecting the mages and magas, and through them the traditions of Aithne and Caradoc.

 Although Dragon has appeared in its true form only a handful of times, as a spiritual entity it can take on the shape of any living creature.  As a result, Dragon has walked the earth on countless occasions. When Eolyn makes her pilgrimage into the forest to petition for a staff of High Magic, her tutor Ghemena advises her to be prepared for all possibilities when receiving a visit from Dragon. Dragon can appear as something as innocuous as an ant, or as fearsome a bear.

 No matter what form it chooses, Dragon reveals to the initiate what elements are to be incorporated in his or her staff.  Under the traditions of the Old Orders, it was widely taught that Dragon appeared as a male to mage initiates and as a female to maga initiates, although there were of course exceptions to this rule.  If Dragon does not appear during the pilgrimage of the initiate, it is understood that the Gods for whatever reason have judged High Magic to be an inappropriate burden for the petitioner. 

 Dragon is often referred to in Eolyn’s world as the Silver Serpent.  In its true form, Dragon’s scales are iridescent and highly reflective; they can take on a variety of colors.  Nonetheless, artwork in Moisehén portrays Dragon only in silver.  The sigil of the ruling House of Vortingen, for example, is a silver dragon against a purple night.  Eolyn’s ally Corey of East Selen wears a clasp on his cloak in the form of a silver Dragon. At a key moment in their relationship, Prince Akmael gives Eolyn a silver bracelet with images of the many forms in which Dragon has been known to appear: winged serpent, snake, lion, butterfly, river otter, fish and many others. Each figure on the bracelet blends into the next, creating a single creature as fantastic as imagination itself.

 One of the most beloved and feared entities of Eolyn’s world, Dragon is the guardian of her people and the patron of all mages and magas. It is not a wild creature that razes villages, nor is it a companion that can be flown into battle. Rarely does Dragon appear in its true form, yet it constantly intervenes in the lives of Eolyn’s people, in intimate and complex ways. Every time a spell is invoked and the power of the gods is made manifest in Eolyn’s world, Dragon is at work.

EOLYN [audio edition]
Karin Rita Gastreich (author)
Darla Middlebrook (narrator)

Sole heiress to a forbidden craft, Eolyn lives in a world where women of her kind are tortured and burned. When she meets Akmael, destined to assume the throne of this violent realm, she embarks upon a path of adventure, friendship, betrayal and war. Bound by magic, driven apart by destiny, Eolyn and the Mage King confront each other in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of a millennial tradition of magic.


"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes will satisfy fans of traditional epic fantasy, with a romantic thread." – Publishers Weekly


“Magnificently written.” –Kindle Book Review


Link to YouTube Preview:

Purchase Link: 

 About the Author


KARIN RITA GASTREICH lives in Kansas City and Costa Rica. An ecologist by trade, her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance.  Karin's first fantasy novel, EOLYN, was released by Hadley Rille Books in 2011. The companion novel, HIGH MAGA, is also available from Hadley Rille Books. Karin’s short stories have appeared in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and A Visitor to Sandahl.   She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at and at


Author Web Links:


Blog Heroines of Fantasy:

Twitter:  @EolynChronicles


About the Narrator


With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.​

Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrates podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.  She is able to produce retail quality audio books from her home studio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan - Canada.


Narrator Web Links:


Twitter: @GypsyCatVoice



Rafflecopter Giveaway:

1 comment:

  1. Lori, thanks for hosting me! I love the dragon pics you found. :)