I’m delighted to introduce YA author Sofi Croft to my blog. She is here to tell us about the Dragon of Krakow, which inspired her new novel, ‘Indigo’s Dragon’.Her post below also includes an intriguing extract. There are purchase links at the end of the post. Don’t miss out on this brand new Accent YA adventure. Over to you, Sofi…
The Dragon of Krakow is a famous dragon from Polish folklore. He lived in a cave in Wawel Hill, on the banks of the River Vistula, and spent most of his time terrorising the population of Krakow. The cave, located underneath Wawel Castle and Cathedral, is now free of the dragon and has become a popular tourist destination. A metal dragon can be found outside the cave, breathing fire every few minutes.
Stories about the Dragon of Krakow have been told since at least the 12th century, and as with most stories of that age that are many different versions. All of the ones I have found end with the dragon being destroyed; sometimes slain by a prince, but more often poisoned by a tailor or shoemaker using a sheep stuffed with sulphur.
The Dragon of Krakow was one of the inspirations for Indigo’s Dragon. I took the story and thought what if …? I expanded it, weaved in other threads, and twisted it into another tale.
Like living things stories often grow, evolve and reproduce, and I hope by borrowing and changing the story of the Dragon of Krakow I have not done it an injustice, but helped to keep it alive.
Here is a short extract from Indigo’s Dragon, which features the indestructible story of the Dragon of Krakow:
Rue sat and pushed her fingers into the sand. ‘He grew up in Krakow, when the city was young. It was beautiful. Cobblestone streets, wooden buildings, roofs painted gold and blue, willows drooping into the clear blue waters of the River Vistula, and a stone castle on a green hill overlooking it all. The people were peaceful and happy.’ She turned to Indigo and her eyes darkened with anger. ‘That was before Smok came.’
‘The dragon?’ Indigo sat next to her, and she continued.
‘Krakow never recovered from the damage he did. Dragons can be so destructive.’ Rue shook her head. ‘Over time the smoke cleared, the ash washed away, houses were rebuilt, crops grew back, livestock recovered, and trade returned. But it wasn’t the same. Every family had lost a loved one, either killed by Smok, or by the starvation he caused. The people changed from peaceful to warlike. They built armies and weapons. They were scared, suspicious, and selfish, thinking only of self-preservation. Orava was a tailor. He made beautiful clothes for the king and the princess. Smok turned him into a killer.’
‘Orava killed Smok?’ Indigo felt a pang of grief. He had thought Smok was alive – Omi kept pointing to the sky and saying his name, as if she were waiting for him.
Rue nodded. ‘Orava filled a sheepskin with explosives, sewed it up, and planted it near Smok’s cave.’
‘Boom,’ Indigo whispered, remembering the picture on the side of Opi’s book.
‘Orava never forgave Smok for making him do that, or for what he did to the town. He’s still angry about it, and the anger eats away at him.’ Rue looked at Wojtek, who was now swimming towards them. ‘So you see he has good reason to hate him. To hate all dragons.’
‘Indigo’s Dragon’ (Indigo’s Dragon #1) by Sofi Croft is a children’s fantasy novel full of adventure, mystery, monsters and dragons.
It is published by AccentYA on 23rd June
You can find out more about Sofi and her books on her website www.soficroft.com