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The Dragon's Familiar: 2nd Edition of Compelling Fantasy Novel Fuses Welsh & Finnish Folklore with Stunning Illustrations by Larry Elmore

Written by Lawrence J. Cohen, ‘The Dragon’s Familiar’ is the culmination of decades of diligent research by the author into the wondrous tapestry of some of Europe’s most powerful folklore. Releasing the novel’s second edition, Cohen is taking his work to a mighty new level by melding his original narrative with a series of captivating interior illustrations by acclaimed American fantasy artist, Larry Elmore.


Jersey City, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/09/2013 -- While many authors write their first book on a whim, New Jersey’s Lawrence J. Cohen has been researching the foundation of his debut release since he was a teenager. Fascinated with European folklore, Cohen spent dedicated many years at New Jersey University to studying Merlin the Magician, Math the Ancient, Vainamoinen, and associated Welsh and Finnish lore.

Fusing all he learned with his passion for fantasy novels, 2008 saw Cohen release the first edition of ‘The Dragon’s Familiar’ - a captivating novel for younger readers that is steeped in Welsh and Finnish folklore. Five years after its original release, Cohen is now delighted to announce the book’s second edition with interior illustrations by Larry Elmore.


Twelve-year-old Cory Avalon was just another kid lost in Brooklyn's childcare system. He had no idea he was born with the gift of magic until the day he stood too close to that eldritch mirror in an abandoned building, and fell through the shadowy veil into the enchanted world of Abydonne. Recognized as a rare magus, Cory is quickly apprenticed to the king's royal wizard, Math the Ancient, to learn how to control his innate arcane talents before they overwhelm him.

However, Cory's power grows too quickly for even his master to contend with. In three short months, the boy learns how to hurl magical lightning, erect energy shields, turn invisible, and even how to fly. After Cory summons a young golden dragon for his familiar, Math confides in his brother wizard Ilmarinen, and in a shaking voice, whispers the words "archwizard" and "boy of the prophecy"

Why does Master Math think Cory can defeat the evil Asmodeus in his stronghold of Abollydd, and why is he being sent to learn from the mysterious enchanter Vainamoinen, who lives in an enchanted fortress, floating in the clouds? Based upon rich Welsh and Finnish mythology, the author weaves a complex and beautifully crafted tale which can only be called the Fifth Branch of the Mabinogion.

As the author explains, teaming up with Elmore is a dream come true.

“Elmore single-handedly created the whole ‘look’ of the world of Krynn in the ‘Dragonlance’ series. He brought a similar vivid spectacle to my own writing by making the villains look properly menacing and my young hero protagonist look brave and innocent. His illustrations inspire readers right when they open the book and are greeted with a map of Abydonne,” says Cohen, who brings extra realism to his writing through his regular role-playing of the book’s characters.

Containing, “This could be the most passionate and researched fantasy book on the market. I’ve taken part in Renaissance Fairs, table top gaming and LARP (Live Action Role Playing.) Aside from containing real folklore, I’ve actually swung the wooden staffs, held real crystal balls, and worn the long robes that I write about. Most writers simply state that their character took out a crystal ball; I can describe its weight in my hand, and how candlelight looks when reflected through its depths. It’s awesome to have such synergy with my work.”

To date, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. Children’s Bookwatch called The Dragon’s Familiar”, A joy to read for fantasy lovers of all ages. Highly recommended!” One reader for Barnes and Noble commented, “Wonderful fantasy novel, like Harry Potter meets Dungeons and Dragons! The original manuscript was Lawrence Cohen’s senior project for his bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from New Jersey University. He got an A+ for his novel!”

With the book’s popularity set to increase, interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible.

‘The Dragon’s Familiar’ (Second Edition), published by iUniverse.com and Penguin Books, is available now: http://amzn.to/GIbXnZ.

About the Author: Lawrence Jeffrey Cohen
Lawrence Jeffrey Cohen has been crafting fantasy stories since the age of ten. Characters and worlds are culled directly from ancient European folklore, as well as numerous sessions of the game Dungeons and Dragons. Cohen earned a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from New Jersey University in 1988. His current projects include Dragon’s Orb, the sequel to The Dragon’s Familiar, as well as Castle Ravenwood, set in the world of Krynn (Dragonlance) which he’s attempting to sell to Wizards of the Coast.