The Spriggan Mirror is the ninth novel in the Legends of Ethshar, while “Sirinita’s Dragon” is one of the seven shorter works in the series so far. When I began writing stories set in Ethshar I had intended each one to stand on its own, and most of them do, but I must admit that The Spriggan Mirror probably works better if you’ve already read With a Single Spell, The Spell of the Black Dagger, and maybe Ithanalin’s Restoration. I’m assured by those who have tried it that it makes sense even if you haven’t read any of its predecessors, but I suspect it makes more sense if you’re familiar with at least the first of those three.
In assembling the second editions of the first six Ethshar novels I tried to pair each of them with a short story that was somehow related to the novel—for example, the heroine of “Portrait of a Hero” is a member of a family that plays a significant role in The Blood of A Dragon, so those two were paired. In the present volume I didn’t really have a choice, since only one short story had not yet been reprinted, but by good fortune there are some connections—The Spriggan Mirror and “Sirinita’s Dragon” both start and end in Ethshar of the Rocks, both have dragons in them….
Well, it’s something, anyway.
I do wish “Sirinita’s Dragon” didn’t have quite such a downbeat ending, though; it’s not a happy note to close on.
For the serious Ethshar fan, “Sirinita’s Dragon” may have confusing moments, since it doesn’t say which of the three Ethshars it’s set in, and there are references to Grandgate. Don’t let that fool you. Yes, the big famous Grandgate is in Ethshar of the Sands, but there’s a Grandgate in Ethshar of the Rocks, as well, where the old coast road enters the southern part of the city. It was originally intended to be the main entrance, but was quickly superseded by Eastgate, where a newer highway begins.
The Lady Nuvielle mentioned herein is indeed the same one who appeared in Ithanalin’s Restoration, but Lord Varrin has no connection with the famous wizard Varrin mentioned in The Spriggan Mirror, who created various spells a century or two back. Certain Ethsharitic names, such as Varrin, Dabran, and of course Kelder, recur fairly often.
“Sirinita’s Dragon” was originally written for an anthology called The Ultimate Dragon. This is its second publication.
The Spriggan Mirror was originally written as a reader-supported online serial; the text herein is roughly 5,000 words longer, and more polished than that first version. If you’d like to know more about that serialization, or about other Ethshar stories, past or future, please visit the Ethshar website at http://www.ethshar.com.
Gaithersburg, December 2005