Elysium (ĭ-lĭz'ē-əm) n. a place or condition of ideal happiness.
Cockaigne (kŏ-kān) n. an imaginary land of easy and luxurious living.
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
It was all a lie. The beautiful grief of the orphaned princess Othyli for her legendary father, wasn't real. The treacherous enemy who hired a dragon to imprison her for more than a decade, didn't exist. The sage judgment with which she guided the land into this era of unprecedented peace, was a veneer disintegrating before growing madness. How could Othyli ever live up to the reverence, trust, and loyalty the people of Cockaigne had for their idealized queen?
Reality was overwhelming every one of her illusions. Frantic to preserve them, Othyli reenters her estranged kingdom disguised as a traveling mercenary, to find the one wizard who can restore the fantasy. Instead she discovers that the wizard has fled, gangs of Dark Riders terrorize her people, and the age-old government teeters on collapse. To save both the kingdom and herself, Othyli must face the horrors of her past, learn to trust both rogues and rebels, and become the leader her realm so desperately needs. Behold, the Dragon Queen comes.
The dragon is dead. After eleven years in isolated captivity, Queen Othyleana is finally free. Free to rejoin her people, her court, her kingdom; free to rule without messenger birds carrying every petition and reply; free to celebrate, and marry. The curse is finally over. She should be thrilled. She would be… if it weren't such a perfect lie.
Both mother and father lost by her seventeenth year, Othyli inherited the throne under an ominous cloud. When the dragon arrived, no one imagined that the beast had been sent by the Queen herself, to protect her country, Cockaigne, from her - because her madness was getting worse, the nightmares eroding an already tenuous sanity. Now, Othyli must secure another dragon before anyone learns the truth.
Disguised as a traveling mercenary, with fighting skills eleven years honed, Othyli reenters her estranged kingdom to find the one wizard who can restore her sanctuary. Yet only hours into her quest, Othyli discovers what the message scrolls never revealed. Cockaigne is under attack, and the wizard has fled. The government is collapsing from within, and Othyli's people are in mortal danger, plagued by Dark Riders. Nearly all of the wizards have disappeared. The realm lies unprotected as this Dark tide grows, and the Riders are not the only threat. Under the strain of the attacks, traditional governance is crumbling and conspirators grasp for political control. Against both Riders and dissenters stands only Othyli herself and an underground Resistance - a network of courageous rebels as elusive as ghosts.
Othyli must choose: her plan, or her people. Reluctantly drawn forward, Othyli's alias provides a view of her country no previous monarch has had. She soon realizes that even if Cockaigne regains its Queen, the monarchy must change. Her travels also reveal the malignant nature of the Rider threat. Arbitrary as the attacks appear, they flow with purpose from the north. In the icy mountains, a Savior has come, determined to save all people from the angered gods. Conversion is the only solution, and the Dark Riders are the devoted apostles of this urgent mandate.
Othyli's search for insight and solutions sows unintended seeds of lasting change: victims are rescued, enemies revealed, allies united, and new relationships forged. Her journey also forces her to enlist the dubious aid of a man whose secrets and scars rival Othyli's own.
As tales of her unintended heroics spread, a new legend rises. Yet to have any chance of success, Othyli must finally face both the horrors of her past and the demons in her present. She must become the leader Cockaigne so desperately needs. She must prove to everyone, including herself, that there is a path to both restoration and peace - that the legend is not a lie.