Desert Fire

When fires don’t burn you, you seek out the hottest flames of all.

Brand is a warg, a wolf-shifter, and a fire mage, outcast and rejected by his people because of his true nature—and because he helped save a former friend.

Now, with no home, no family, no friends, and with an ability he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t know where he belongs. With nothing to loose, he heads to the land of the dragons to see if their fires are hot enough to burn him.

But once there he’s taken prison and bought to the royal palace. There he meets someone special, someone who isn’t afraid of him or who judges him, and Brand starts to believe that perhaps he can find a place to belong after all.


Published: June 8, 2016
Publisher: Arctic Circle Press
Genres: Fantasy
Wordcount: 20,000
Tags: dragons, fantasy, shifter, witch


Why am I here?

Brand stared down at the dry ground beneath his feet, and then let his eyes roam the landscape ahead of him. The ground was dry and cracked for as far as he could see. Hills and mountains rose on the horizon, some giving off steam, a tell-tale sign that they were volcanoes.

Brand had never seen volcanoes before, only heard of them in stories. Stories about this dry, hot, wretched land he was currently standing on. Turning his head, he looked back the way he had come. The mountain range reached out on both sides, closing off this land from the one from which he had come. Trees could be still be seen, but they had thinned the closer he had come to what was called the Dragon Territories.

Why was he there indeed...

His eyes strayed to a group of three men, standing at a distance from him, conversing lightly. They were lowly criminals, crude and filthy, but he had needed them to get there. They had been there before—and he hadn’t.

And as to the reason: dragons and volcanoes. Those were the reason he was there, standing on that dry land, eyes again going to the sky, looking for the mythical creatures the other three were there to hunt. Brand was also hunting, but his intention was not to kill. He just wanted... confirmation, so to say. Confirmation of what he was, of what he could do.

A dragon’s fire... The lava of the volcanoes... Those were said to burn hotter than any bonfire. No fire had ever burned Brand and so he was there to see if the hottest of fires could do him harm. Because if it couldn’t... he was what he was. If it could, he did not know what he was. Either way, he still could not go home.

“Hey lad, you plan on slaying dragons with that little dagger?”

Brand turned his head slightly, gazing down at the dagger attached to his belt. “I am not here to slay dragons,” he revealed, taking several steps ahead. His horse followed him, stopping when he did.

“You are not slaying?” The man’s voice got dangerously low. “Then what are you doing here?”

“I am merely curious.” Brand hadn’t exactly lied to them when he’d met them at an inn on the other side of the Black Mountains. He had overheard them talking about hunting dragons, and as dragons were said only to exist at the other side of the mountains, he had asked to join them. He hadn’t said he wouldn’t slay dragons, but he hadn’t said he would either.

“Curious?” Brand heard boots stalk towards him. “What do you mean you’re curious, you little—“ He broke off as a big shadow fell over them.

Brand lifted his head and stared up at the creature blocking his view of the sky. He could not see much detail, but he could see the leathered wings beating powerfully to keep the big beast up in the air.