Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited, is the first book of the Diana’s Dragons fantasy trilogy by J.R. Schumaker.
Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited (The New Edition), published in 2021, (originally published 2017) is a love-based fantasy novel. Yes, the characters, human and dragon, experience terrible trials and countless evils. But the powerful resolutions arise from kindness, connection, and love, rather than the traditional routes of violence and outright opposition. This is not to say our hero, Diana Santos, and Clarin, the matriarch of the DragonKin, take the threats to their existence lying down.
Through one electrifying (sometimes literally) trial after another, although Love is always the answer, the tools are magic, cunning, cleverness, strength, and stealth. And the occasional fire-breathing battle. Because even within Love, dragons and their heroic friend must defend themselves, their hatchlings, and the future of dragon magic.
Young Adult and Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction Inclusive of Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Ethnic Identities
J.R. Schumaker based her human characters on her own family and friends, making her hero half hispanic (identifying as Latina or Latinx), like her children, who are of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent.
The supporting characters are loosely based on her family’s friends, whose backgrounds include mixed-race, Black, Hispanic, Vietnamese, and anglo, among others. The author does not pretend to have any special insights into ethnicities outside her own, and is deeply grateful for all opportunities to expand her exposure.
The mom character is very anglo, being written from the perspective of J.R.’s life experience (but not based strictly on J.R.). In real life, J.R. did apologize for throwing her daughter “the whitest quinceanera ever.” But the attempt was genuine!
Any apparent cultural appropriation is unintentional and if any is perceived, the author will immediately respond and attempt to resolve any mistakes. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
J.R. herself, her children and grandchild, their closest friends, and J.R. ‘s friends identify with many sexual and gender orientations, some of which are evolving. Creating and maintaining safe, healthy space for each to express themselves and be free to be who they are is the only expectation J.R. puts on herself as a parent, mentor, friend. This space is offered to her characters and, J.R. hopes, carries on to the readers.
Amazon Description of Middle Grade, Y/A Fantasy Novel, Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited
“Someone is stealing dragon magic. Twelve year-old Diana Santos and the dragonkin face a sinister intruder who uses the power of ancient secrets against them. It has been two years since Diana’s father brought Clarin, a terra dragon, and leader of the dragonkin to Diana. Clarin leaves Diana with an unparalleled gift that makes Diana more than just humankin. But will it be enough? Will Diana be able to help her father and the dragons thwart the corruption of the dragonkin’s ancestral powers?
Diana and the dragons—terras, ghosts, suns, and seas—together with their friends, Nicki, Jake, and a handful of trusted adults, must overcome the evil in their own backyard using everything at their disposal to stop the villain among them.
Marcurious Illsworth torments the dragons and their allies—even the dragons’ unborn hatchlings—in the pursuit of a plot that reveals more darkness as it unfolds. In their struggle for victory, Diana risks unspeakable loss, and the dragons risk a fate worse than extinction.”
Diana’s Dragons: The Awaited has received resounding praise from readers of all ages and genders. Diana’s Dragons: The Stolen is slated for publication in 2022. To purchase the book, please visit dianasdragon.com.