That is literally how many dragons I had to sort through over the weekend thanks to all your nominations and seconds.
I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY, YOU DRAGON-OBSESSED MANIACS.
What is it with fantasy authors and dragons, anyway? Don't they have better things to write about?
And yes, I know my hair is on fire. So would yours be, if you had just been coping with that many dragons. Excuse me while I dump a bucket of water over my head.
Whew. That's better. Now, let's talk about our five finalists. The competition was fierce, as you can imagine, but we finally have our contenders for the Most Magnificent Dragon Silmaril. They will be appearing today in their dragon forms (regardless of whether they possess the ability to shapeshift into human form), which is why I'm holding this opening ceremony in Malcolm's cavern. He was not happy about me making him move all his treasure into a different chamber.
Let me just open the envelope here…it's a little charred…okay, here we go. First dragon:
Amber/Lady Dragon from the Rizkaland Legends series by Kendra E. Ardnek
A proud, impetuous woman who can transform herself into a dragon thanks to a magic dragon scale, Amber has been corrupted over the millennia by the dark sorcery she wields. She possesses the ability to transform her enemies into statues of ice. Unable to age or die, Amber has lived six thousand years, and has ruled two worlds. With the power of the dragon's scale, will there be a third?
What's that? No, thank you, ma'am. This is the Afterverse. It's already got plenty of people/monsters/what-have-you trying to take it over. Very crowded field of candidates. I'd try a different universe if I were you. No, you're not allowed to turn me into an ice statue just because you're annoyed. You signed the same form everybody else did. Check Paragraph 19; it clearly addresses ice magic. My lawyer thinks of everything.
Clefspeare from the Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis
Clefspeare is also known by the human name Jared Bannister, and was granted a human guise centuries ago through divine intervention. A noble creature and a loving father, Clefspeare has a strong sense of honor and will protect those whom he loves, no matter the cost.
You know, I've got to say, it's refreshing to meet a dragon without any megalomaniacal or kleptomaniacal tendencies. A pleasure to have you here, sir. Please ignore the other dragons; they mean well. Except possibly Amber.
Saphira from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
A good-hearted blue dragoness, and the loyal companion of the hero Eragon. Saphira is wise, proud, and fond of combat. The latter quality makes her rather terrifying at times, but at the end of the day, she will do what is right.
I already told you, Eragon couldn't come. Humans aren't allowed in this ceremony. Yes, I'm an exception. I'm the host. Get over it. And stop looking at me like I'm an hors d'oeuvre.
Next, we've got…hoo boy. This is gonna get awkward.
Julio Aquino from the Crockett and Crane series by Kyle Robert Shultz
Julio's personality and behavior are deceptively youthful, but he's actually thousands of years old. Julio is fiercely loyal to his friends, but has some mysterious and unresolved conflict with his family–specifically, his father. He speaks in a pronounced Quixotan (a.k.a. Spanish) accent.
Look, Julio, this is just as difficult for me as it is for you, so don't start. Just stand over there with the others. It's not my fault, I'm not the one who got you on this list. Blame the nominators. And you had better not FWOOM anything if you don't win the award.
Malcolm Blackfire from the Beaumont and Beasley series, the Blackfire series, and any other Afterverse series he feels like showing up in by Kyle Robert Shultz
A Caledonian (Scottish) dragon with a short temper and a lack of patience for the shenanigans of non-dragonish species, particularly humans. Malcolm's moral scruples usually outweigh his love for treasure and setting things on fire. However, he's willing to do things others might consider questionable for the greater good, and there is a great deal of undisclosed darkness in his past.
Yes, thank you, Malcolm, I'll stop you right there. I know all about your family issues, and I couldn't care less. Sort them out on your own time. Just stand there next to your son and shut up. Yes, I did just tell you to shut up. I'm your author. I'm allowed to. And don't you dare set my hair on fire again.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have our five dragons. The rest is up to you. It's time for you to vote! Use the form below to vote in all the categories for the Silmaril Awards. Be sure to visit the rest of the participating blogs via the links at the end of this post to learn more about the finalists in the other categories!