Illustration Showcase – The Return of the Dragonriders trilogy by Raina Nightingale

Map of Aneri


The Return of the Dragonriders Trilogy, of which DragonBirth is the first, takes place on the continent of Aneri in the world of Areaer. DragonBirth primarily takes place in the Greater Aravin Mountains around Treas.


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The Rider’s Passage


The Rider’s Passage is a tunnel or tunnels through the Greater Aravin Mountains, one of only two ways to pass from one side to the other, though it is a hard way to travel, as there is not much food to find. It is lit by glowing rocks.

“The floor at her feet, and as best as she could tell the rest of the walls and roof, was a pale green rock with very distinct and delineated strata. Throughout it were set somethings that glowed and sparkled. She could see those nearest to her well enough to tell that they were many-faceted and the light was a little mottled and variated. They came in almost every color imaginable, pure and bright. Never before had she seen such color, so pure, clear, and not merely bright, but actually glowing its own tones.”


Silmavalien and Minth; when Minth hatches in her room

Silmavalien’s eyes fell on the dragon and she loved him. The beat of her heart harmonized with his. The rhythm of her breath merged with that of his. Their whole bodies vibrated with the same force and energy as they stared into one another’s very different eyes, the one having dark brown irises and black pupils, the other a dim, pale minty glow. They were so different and yet they were so close and the differences served not to separate them but to draw them closer together. It was wonderful, impossible, totally new.


Noren and Elninya

Elninya hatches at the end of DragonBirth.

“Noren felt that he would burst with the unbearable energy of the love and joy of the wondrous unity he could not now live without, now that he had known it. “Elninya … Elninya … Elninya …” he murmured.”


The Volcano of Ellen Island

In DragonSword, the obsidian dragon Onyxalis must swim through the Volcano of Ellen Island and emerge again to receive the power he needs to be the Obsidian Guardian.

When they looked above their heads, they saw the volcano spouting, like a much bigger lava-spout, far above their heads and against the gray and cloudy sky. It dissolved in red droplets, beautiful but scary. “What if one of those falls on us?” asked Silmavalien.

“It won’t,” said Oaeiae. She stood now with her back to them, watching the volcano. “I told you, I will make sure of that.”

Images and sensations from Onyxalis reached them. The sun-like brilliance in the hot depths of the lava. The strength of the lava surging up and flowing out of the pressure underneath. The essence entering into his body. He was still searching through the thick brightness for the Dragon-sword.


Firutrilia, the Healer of the Ellenari

Firutrilia is an Ellen, a being with a relationship to time and space incomprehensible to mortals. She is the Healer and herbs are also part of her domain. Noren and Silmavalien meet her in DragonSword, when she helps them heal wounded dragons they have rescued.

When they reached the dragons, who looked dead already, the Ellena whom Silmavalien had not seen before turned towards her. She glimpsed a black robe under the cape. She wore a black mask through which glinted white eyes that reminded Silmavalien of Lisila. Silmavalien was taken aback to see that she covered her face with a mask.

“Call me Firutrilia,” she said, holding out her hands with a mass of green in them. “Take these and place them in the dragons’ wounds.”

When Silmavalien did so she was surprised to find that just a touch of the herb completely staunched the flow of blood.

Perhaps they would all live.


About the Author/Illustrator

Raina Nightingale has been writing high fantasy since she could read enough words to write stories with the words she could read. She loves dragons and magic and beautiful worlds, complete with mountains, storms, stars, forests, and volcanoes! She also loves compelling and realistic characters. DragonBirth is her first novel in her High Fantasy setting of Areaer.

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