I wanted to take a moment and express myself on the role of women in Dragon’s Trail, because this has been mentioned by some readers. The book seems to be kind of exploding right now, so I want to put this here for reference.

Dragon’s Trail has very few female characters. I acknowledge this. The series, however — which right now is plotted at five books plus a prequel — has many, and in critical roles. Dragon’s Trail was originally over 700 pages long. It ends abruptly because I believe that the story works better broken into five books than four. There is an entire second half to this initial arc, which sets the scene for the rest of the series, and women play a huge part in what’s coming up. Book II is still in a draft form (I’m on Draft #3, and writing furiously), but as it stands right now, 2/3 done, it already passes the Bechdel test with multiple scenes.

Mouse over for Book II badass chick spoilers. Or, if you don’t want spoilers, don’t mouse over, and just trust me. There’s some cool stuff coming up.

In no particular order:

  • Adielle kicks Renaldo’s ass.
  • Daorah liberates a concentration camp.
  • Most of the Pegasus Guard are female.
  • Karra serves as Adielle’s adviser and their ideas are instrumental in crushing the rebellion.
  • Jarrod’s new captain in the Order of the Stallion is female. And lesbian. And a badass.
  • The rebels’ sorcerer is female, and she even scares the hell out of Ulo.
  • We learn why Karra was so immensely and immediately attracted to Jarrod and why she bonded with him. (I had this in Dragon’s Trail, but it bogged down the pacing. It flows better as expository backstory.)
  • The first big fight between sizeable armies in a long time shows how many knights and soldiers are female.
  • We learn that one of the knights who fought beside Jarrod and Carter against Elgast is female.
  • Karra saves Jarrod in what I hope will become one of the most epic “my girlfriend is awesomer than your girlfriend” moments in the history of fantasy.

Anyway. Have fun. And please understand, Dragon’s Trail is only the opening of a long story. Have faith. Book II is coming.

— JM