Literature: Kindling Ashes
Sixteen years ago, the strongest of the dragons who once flew free over the kingdom of Auland escaped extinction the only way they knew how; releasing their souls to reside in unaware humans. With a debilitating sickness spreading through their hosts, time is running out for them once more…
On the streets of the capital city, a teenage gold smuggler named Giselle struggles to survive with the help of the Voice inside her head. Her world is turned upside down when she catches an opportunity to travel to the mountains just as she has always dreamed, but there is a price to pay which she cannot avoid.
Far south in the country, Corran is the youngest son of the dragonslayer who led the battle all those years ago. He clashes with his brothers daily in a battle to prove himself and when he hears of dragon sympathisers nearby he is determined to turn it to his advantage - but these ‘Firesouls’ have news that will change his life.
Two souls cannot live in one body forever. The hibernation is over.
- Action Girl: Giselle grew up in the streets and so she knows how to scrap, but against an older person with greater strength and experience, she escapes instead.
- Big Brother Bully: Huw taunts Corran, deliberately injures him during sparring, and later tries to kill him for being a firesoul.
- Bittersweet Ending: One for each protagonist:
- Giselle transfers Baltair into his egg so she'll no longer feel his presence in her mind, but she will still be his flyer and neither of them will die from Soul Pains.
- Corran is captured by Ikjorians and seemingly abandoned by Frang, but since Frang is out of him he will won't die of Soul Pains. Also, he's matured enough to step out of his family's shadow and confront his problems on his own terms.
- Blue Blood: Corran is the youngest son of the noble Dunesdale family.
- Damsel out of Distress: Giselle is captured by raiders and bound hand and foot, yet she rescues herself by spooking them into thinking that Baltair possessed one of them and then sticks her hands against a camp fire to burn away the ropes. By the time she's done, she notes that rescuers have arrived.
- Deadpan Snarker: Frang delights in filling Corran's head with sarcasm, insults, and other things designed to annoy him.
- Despair Event Horizon: After Corran is denounced as a traitor by his family and pushed off a cliff, he gives up all hope and is content to lie where he fell until he dies. Frang isn't having any of that and inspires him to live longer.
- Dragon Rider: There were a lot of them about twenty years pre-story. They were the best defense Auland had against the Ikjorians.
- Family Honor: The Dunslade family is a dragonslayer family and all of Corran's angst in this book is about living up to this reputation.
- Grey and Grey Morality: Each side believes that this is a case of Black and White Morality but the dual protagonist system shows that each side has grievances. One dragon recalls how humans killed his mate, broke his Flyer, and smashed his eggs, while in the next chapter, a human recalls how that same dragon teared down towers and burned humans alive.
- Guile Heroine: Giselle relies on out-smarting enemies to stay out of their reach because they are usually professional raiders or bred dragon-slayers.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: A human body was not meant to host two souls, thus, humans suffer side effects of hosting a dragon soul inside them: Incurable Cough of Death is the first one and spontaneous combustion is the final one.
- Improbable Age: Giselle is a teenager and yet she is the leader of the Firesouls because she is host to the Alpha Dragon. He's the one they're truly following with Giselle as his interperter of sorts. For the same reason, she becomes the Alpha Flier.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe example-Baltair is amused to hear that tales of his exploits have grown wild in his absence.
- No Name Given: Giselle doesn't know the name of her dragon initially, so she calls him "Voice".
- No Social Skills: Giselle's only companion for over a decade was the dragon soul living inside her head so she has trouble relating to people living outside it. Sara had a time and a half teaching her how to say "thank you".
- Order Reborn: One of the goals of the Fire Souls is to re-establish the Flyer organization. Many of them have already learned the lore and skills necessary to become fliers.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Tilda's father was fine with Corran courting her because Corran was his favorite pupil. It was Lord Dunslade who issued the veto because he disapproved of his son marrying down.
- Sad Clown: Frang is constantly making jokes to cope with the fact that he could go up in flames at any moment and a family tragedy in his past.
- Street Urchin: Giselle is an orphan who lies in an alley. Her introduction is a gold smuggling job in a sewer.
- Saintly Church: The Temple of Lua and Soan is a complicated example. They provide Giselle a bath and a warm meal just for showing up and looking like she needed it, but also because she wants to become an initiate. She's there on a gold smugging assignment because no one would think to look for a hidden cache there, but Giselle thinks that this means that part of the clergy is part of the operation. She generally has a poor opinion of them because they thinks she's possessed, and she is, but by a dragon instead of an evil spirit but the clergy of this region isn't likely to see a difference because of the recent dragon war.
- Mineral Macguffin: Gold is a essential nutrient for young dragons. Without it they are flightless and stupid lizards. The pre-story war was about the supply of gold.
- Telepathy: Dragons can mind-speak with their flyers and only their flyers.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Dragons aided Auland for generations against invaders and also helped them build the wall, but when it was finished, the Auland government turned its back on them.
- Uptown Boy: Corran is the son of a noble and Tilda is the daughter of a tutor.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Corran's every action is driven by his desire to prove himself his father's son and become a dragonslayer.
- Worf Had the Flu: Corran losses his second bout in a tournament because his father demanded that he use his non-dominant hand. His reasoning was a "true warrior is equally skilled with both". When he gets into a real fight with raiders later in the story, he kills several of them without injury.