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Literature / Dragons And Dwarves

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Dragons and Dwarves is an Urban Fantasy duology by SA Swann, consisting of Dragons of the Cuyahoga and The Dwarves of Whiskey Island. Twelve years ago, a portal opened in Cleveland to a world of magic, and the magic spilled through, followed swiftly by refugees from the despotic feudal nation on the other side. Magic works within a radius of a few miles of the gate, and elves, dragons, and other creatures of magic can survive there.


Dragons of the Cuyahoga: Kline Maxwell is the Cleveland Press's City Hall reporter, and he doesn't cover 'fuzzy gnome' stories: the general run of magical happenings that were tabloid fodder before the Portal. When the dragon Aloeus dies, though, his editor doesn't give him a choice. Within hours of starting the story, Maxwell learns that it really is political, and in deeper waters than he normally swims.Now he's being pursued by criminal wizards, elven cops from the Special Paranormal Unit, and gargoyles from who knows where. Prophecy and conspiracy envelop his life, and getting the story takes second place to survival.

The Dwarves of Whiskey Island: The fallout from the Aloeus case has started to settle, and Kline Maxwell is getting back into his ordinary life. The major story at City Hall is a respected longtime city councilman who resigned for unknown reasons before going home and committing suicide. Maxwell gets a call from a mysterious dwarf, who claims he knows why the councilman did it. When Maxwell goes to meet him, he's been bloodily murdered, and the other dwarves in town insist they don't know him. As Maxwell investigates, more and more clues point towards some coming apocalypse.


This series contains examples of:

  • Aliens In Cleveland: Dragons, elves, dwarves, and wizards actually, but the effect is much the same.
  • Blue-Collar Warlock: The criminal mage Bone Daddy, covered in tattoos and making a dodgy living selling illegal things. He's actually an undercover cop, but still counts.
  • Functional Magic: Force Magic type. Mana collects around patterns, meaning that practically any type of ritual will suffice to call it. It only works within a few miles of central Cleveland though.
  • Mana: The energy that powers magic, which spills through the portal and allows things like dragons to exist.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same:The titular Dwarves of Whiskey Island are a pretty standard flavor; they give the accent, horned helmets, and axes a miss, but keep all the other standard traits.
  • Square-Cube Law: Magic allows dragons to ignore it. Aloeus dies by flying into a no-mana zone.
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