The excerpt, which describes a dragon-keepers' ritual on an alien planet, includes a scene where young adepts are beaten with dragon-venom laced whips. Because the venom has aphrodisiac properties, the result is a bizarre parade where young dragon-keepers are marched through the streets covered in blood and brandishing giant erections. Unfortunately, it wasn't the greatest excerpt to hand out: Con-goers found it laughable when they read it outside the context of the rest of the series, which is about a peasant revolt in an oppressive monarchy.
The blue [dragons] are stronger, have a wider thrust of flame, and can last an entire Fall. The browns are stronger yet, with a wider and longer thrust of flame, which is another reason they are often appointed as wingseconds. The bronze, of course, is the strongest of the fighters, having great depths of reserve and the most potent flame in length, depth and duration: the bombers you might say. They are invariably wingleaders, with two wingseconds; either or both can be browns.
The queens don't like to be left out of the action and flame-throwers are their method of defence since they can't digest firestone. They fly low as it's the best way to catch whatever Thread might escape the upper level flights.
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