'The Nightsilver Promise' Book Club: Day 2

By: OwlCrate Jr

“Remember, sometimes we find that which we need rather than that which we want.”

Welcome back to day 2 of our book club read-along of The Nightsilver Promise by Annaliese Avery, featured in the November 2021 OwlCrate Jr box, Dragons!

Remember: this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 13 - 25 of The Nightsilver Promise. Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box per post! 

Thanks so much to Cheryl from An Other Tales for taking over this read-along. Without further adieu, Cheryl, let’s get back into it!

The story continues . . .

Chapter 13: The Fall of Roach

Hearing the loud clatter of the falling armor, Paisley and Corbett race upstairs to the attic and out onto the roof in pursuit of Dax and Roach, where Roach holds a knife to Dax’s throat! Paisley pleads for Roach to release her brother but Dax tells her he doesn’t have a choice — it is in his track to give her what she wants. Paisley attacks, but Roach sends his cogroaches upon her and they bite and scratch Paisley as she advances on Roach. Corbett deploys a small device that lets out a high pitched scream that deactivates the cogroaches and as Paisley and Roach struggle, they both fall off the roof. Paisley grabs ahold of the metal gutter and reaches a hand to Roach, but he slips and falls to the ground!

Chapter 14: The Treasure of Knowing

Dax tells Corbett to go inside to get something to help Paisley, then uses his dragon leg to pull her back onto the roof. Once safe, they race downstairs and outside to check on Roach, but find that he is gone . . . he must have survived the fall!

Back inside, Dax informs the group that Roach is after whatever Violetta put in the Dragon Vault. Paisley tells Dax their theory that their mother is still alive because of the warm Nightsilver watch. They make plans to get cleaned up and head to the Dragon Vault to retrieve whatever their mother has there and use it to barter for her life.

Little do they know that Roach, through the use of some remaining cogroaches, is eavesdropping nearby and is aware of their plan . . .

Chapter 15: Corbett’s Mistake

As everyone is getting ready to head to the Dragon Vault, Corbett accidentally discovers that Dax is Dragon Touched! Corbett promises not to say anything, but Dax and Paisley are nervous. However, there is no time to lose as they must get to the vault and try to save their mother.

Chapter 16: The Master of Lies

Roach relays the information regarding the morning’s events to the Dark Dragon. She tells him to follow the children to the Dragon Vault immediately, where he will persuade them to hand over the Heart Stone. It is revealed that Violetta is being held prisoner by the Dark Dragon — she, Roach and the Master of Spies (who is so far unnamed, but is known to Violetta) took her from the observatory after the presentation. Violetta refuses to use her machine to reset all the tracks as that will call forth the Great Dragons and break the Veil (the place where the dead reside). In order to force Violetta’s cooperation, the Dark Dragon threatens to hurt Paisley and Dax once they get ahold of them.

Chapter 17: London Above

The Dragon Vault is located in Kensington Above, a giant floating community nestled in a snow globe-like structure where elegant buildings, climate controlled Spring temperatures, and golden gilded finishes make up this beautiful borrough. The Dragon Vault itself is even more spectacular — a giant fortress that looks like a mountain forged into a castle, adorned with twisting turrets and huge metal dragons. Beautiful, yet savagely scary. Oh, and it's guarded by lethal Dragon Walkers and a huge metal gate that resembles the teeth of a dragon that will slam down upon you if you enter the vault with ill intent! Nothing to worry about . . .

Chapter 18: The Dragon Vault

To gain entry into the vault, one must recite an oath to the Great Dragons stating your name and that you arrive with no ill intent. The vault itself is luxurious, decorated with gilded marble, small desks of dark, polished wood, and jewel-coloured cushions. Everything is lush and expensive.

The group meet Grand Mistress Io, who is all-seeing and is in charge of the Dragon Vault. She takes them to a small private antechamber and informs them they don’t have long to complete their quest, that things are in action just outside her seeing. Soon they will be betrayed and one of them will enter the veil. So, not very happy news at all.

Chapter 19: Dragon Tales

Mistress Io tells them that the Dark Dragon is one of the cogs that move against them . . . but who exactly is the Dark Dragon? Dax relays the story of the four Soul Sisters:

Many turnings ago, before the purging of the dragons, four sisters — the Soul Sisters — were entrusted with guarding the soul of the first dragon, Anu. One sister, Sabra (you guessed it, the Dark Dragon), wanted to use the Soul, resembling a large black diamond, to dominate the hearts and minds of everyone in the world to do the Great Dragons’ bidding. She tried to steal the soul and her sisters cast her out, leaving her to wander the world in darkness.

Over time the remaining sisters continued to squabble and disagree over the Soul and eventually the youngest sister smashed it into four parts and each sister was to take a piece, agreeing to keep her piecesafe and to never unite them until the Great Dragons returned. One of these pieces is known as the Soul Fire — the source of electrica in the Northern Realms, recently stolen.

The last piece of the soul was stored in a sacred trove in the Dragon Walker mountain hold. Sabra, the Dark Dragon, was not allowed a piece. (I’m guessing she’s a wee bit salty about that!)
Now she seeks to unite them all . . .

Chapters 20 & 21: The Wealth of the World & The Daxon Trove

As the group descend down into the vault, Paisley and Dax recap what they know so far: the Dark Dragon, Sabra, stole the Soul Fire from the North and has kidnapped their mother. The Dark Dragon is convinced that the comet Wolstenholme is a Great Dragon and that she needs their mother to perform her experiment again . . . but why her? It then clicks into place: their family possesses the Heart Stone! Does this mean Paisley and Dax are related to the Soul Sisters?

With their Dragon Walker guard, Odelia, guiding them through the cave-like underground tunnels of the vault, they arrive at their trove. With a drop of Paisley’s blood, the hidden lock is revealed and Paisley and Dax enter. The trove is full of jewels, antique furniture, marble statues, and even a nightsilver filigree-covered Dragon’s egg (which Dax quickly pockets), but no Heart Stone. Instead they find the necklace with its stone missing. As they are about to leave the trove, they hear screaming from the antechamber.

Chapter 22: The Mistress of War

As Roach approaches the jaw-like doors of the Dragon Vault, he’s a little uneasy. After all, he’s arrived with ill intent! But one of the Dragon Walker guards at the entrance turns out to be allied with the Dark Dragon and quickly knocks out the other guard and, using her special gift of mind manipulation, is able to trick the gates to let Roach past.

Back to the group in the vault: a great fight between Odelia and another Dragon Walker, Lorena, who’s also secretly allied with the Dark Dragon. Lorena shoots great bursts of fire at Odelia, who attempts to fight and block her attacks with her giant dragon wings, but she isn’t fast enough to catch one errant fireball that snakes up her arm. Now weakened, Lorena launches a fireball at the group which hits Dax in his braced leg!

Lorena is intent on kidnapping the children for the Dark Dragon and stealing the Heart Stone. As she advances on the group, Paisley throws the necklace behind Lorena (who doesn’t know the stone is missing) and Odelia pins Lorena when she dives for it, smothering her with her dragon wings. With Lorena now unconscious the party regroup. Odelia uses Lorena’s blood to heal her fire wounds and discovers that Dax’s leg, which should be burned, is unharmed . . . and scaled. Odelia pledges her oath to the Dragon Lord.

Chapter 23: Flight of the Fitzwilliams

With no time to waste the group flees further down into the vault as sirens begin to blast overhead. Odelia opens a secret passageway in the wall and they narrowly escape Roach and a now conscious Lorena. This hidden passageway leads to an escape hatch, where escape pod ships await. The group escapes to lower London.

Chapter 24: The Dragon in the Dark

Roach, Lorena, and three other Dragon Walkers chase the group and arrive at the escape pod too late, but Lorena uses a compass tracking device to follow the fleeing airship. They’ll now be able to track the pod wherever it lands in London.

Chapter 25: Geronimo

Now that yet another person knows Dax’s secret, Paisley is even more nervous, however Odelia swears she will give her life to protect the Dragon Lord. (So, I guess she can be trusted for now!) Odelia explains that most Dragon Walkers want unity, recognition, and freedom, but that the Dark Dragon seeks to go against everything they believe in by sending a track in reverse and messing with the Veil.

Once out of the escape pod, Paisley decides they should visit the Natural History Museum to visit Doc Langley, the dragonologist their mother was working on a project with. Disguising Odelia, the group heads off to the museum.

Discussion Questions

  1. The Dragon Walkers possess various Dragon Touched abilities such as breathing fire, mind manipulation, wings that repel fire, eternal youth, strength and more. What Dragon Touched ability would you choose? Can you think of one not mentioned in the story?
  2. Do you have a favourite character in the story so far?
  3. Do you think Paisley and Dax are descendants of the Soul Sisters? If so, which one?
  4. Any ideas on how the story will end? Will Paisley be able to alter her destiny?

See you on Friday as we discuss Chapters 26 - 36 and the end of
The Nightsilver Promise!

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