YA Fantasy Showdown

Photo courtesy kirasanta


Can influence the thoughts and actions of others
Queen Dragonrider of Ramoth
Can travel between places and times
Can speak to all dragons of Pern


Short tempered
Doesn't always think things through
Photo courtesy Greenwillow Books


He's Eugenides
Very smart, can do far more than he ever lets on
Expert sword fighter
Has the support and communication of the gods
Doesn't reveal his secrets


Short tempered
Has only one hand
Really doesn't like killing people

How we think the fight might go...

Lessa flew on her golden mount, looking for her next target. She found him at last in a low valley, not very big across, but quite deep. She had no idea why she would choose to wait for her there. He must know who he was fighting.

She asked Ramoth to stop, hovering twenty feet above him. She wouldn't let her guard down like with that last one.

He sat, one knee up near his chest, the other one hanging over a rock.
He glanced up to her and waved once.

“How long have you been here?” she said, calling out over the beat of her dragon's wings.

Eugenides shrugged. “An hour or so. I lost track.” It was a lie, but thieves were good at that, he thought to himself. He rose and blinked.

"What is that thing?" he asked. "It's kinda ugly."

Lessa bristled.

"This is Ramoth. She is a dragon of Pern. A queen dragon," she said for emphasis.

"Well, if she is a queen, then a thousand pardons. We all have our queens, right? But it looks like a horse. A really big horse with wings."


"I hate horses."

Lessa leaned down on her mount. "Just try and take her from the sky," she said.

Eugenides bowed. "Shall we begin then?" he asked.

"You first."

"A gentleman could never. Not that I'm a gentleman, but I'll still give you the honor."

Lessa smiled. My pleasure, she thought and pulled out her flame thrower. A queen may not be able to eat firestone, but that wasn't the only way to start a fire. Eugenides' mouth hung open for half a second before he dove for the nearest rock. Flame sputtered all about him. He curled into a ball. By the gods that woman had a temper! He picked himself up, unsheathing his sword. He looked for a way to get up to her. There were rocks a plenty, but he needed time to get up them. Time he didn't think she would give him. Another blast of flame came at him. He ran ten feet to the right, to the next largest rock outcropping.

Should I bite his head off? It might be faster, Ramoth said to her mind.

Not yet. But it may have to come to that. He's a fast little thing. I want a better shot at him. How low can you go?

As low as you need, Ramoth said.

Eugenides ran along the length of the cliff's wall, climbing up where he could, dodging flame the rest of the time. If he could only get to her, there would be a very different story being told. Twenty more feet and the cliff started back on itself. They were reaching a dead end.

Ramoth's wings came frighteningly close. He made a grab for them but missed and rolled down the hill, erasing what little progress he'd made. He heard Lessa laugh above him.

"Did you really think you could get on my dragon? You're a fool. You're trapped in a corner and out of range. Admit it, you've lost."

Eugenides looked up at her, his sword at the ready in his good hand.

"I am many things, but never a fool. One thing you should know--always be aware of your surroundings," he said, slicing through a rope behind him. The sound of a piece of metal was followed by a rumbling. Then he ran like a madman, underneath the belly of her dragon. The sound made her stop. An intense rumbling, coming louder and faster than a raging river. She looked up. Half of the cliff face was coming down on her. She turned her dragon to run, but it was far too late.

The dust began to settle and a figure began search through the rubble. He moved with an absolute silence, not disturbing even the most precarious of rocks. He climbed steadily higher until he saw the face of the dragon and the woman. He could hear her coughing.

 “How... how could you have known? That we would fly to this corner?” she choked. The taste of blood was stronger.

 He knelt. Ramoth shuddered with shaking breaths underneath both of them.

 “I didn't. But there are more than ten traps planted around this  valley. This was the first one you came to.”


 “I don't need a lot of time to think. Give me ten seconds to think and I can work with a problem,” he whispered. “Give me a minute and I'm great. Give me an hour... " he shrugged.

She choked again. He stood, looking at her, covered in dust and rock. “I'm going to kill you now. Just because I don't like to doesn't mean I can't. I can, I will, and I must. There are too many things for me to protect. You dragon is dying and you won't last much longer. Please consider this a mercy killing,” he said, and it was done.

Predicted winner: Eugenides

Lessa is from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight and Eugenides is from Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series


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