'The Orc King' is a New York Times bestseller. Maybe because it has scenes where ogres battle elves and pegasi! Top that, Junot Diaz!

Chieftain Grguch watched the darting and swerving pegasus with amusement and grudging respect. It quickly became clear to him that the ogres would not take the flying pair down, as his closest advisor had predicted. He turned to the prescient Hakuun then, his smile wide.

"This is why I keep you beside me," he said, though he doubted that the shaman, deep in the throes of casting a spell he had prepared precisely for that eventuality, even heard him.

The sight of a ridden pegasus over the previous battle with the elves had greatly angered Grguch, for he had thought on that occasion that his ambush had the raiding group fooled. The flyer had precipitated the elves' escape, Grguch believed, and so he had feared it would happen again—and worse, feared that an elf on high might discover the vulnerable Clan Karuck as well.

Hakuun had given him his answer, and that answer played out in full as the shaman lifted his arms skyward and shouted the last few words of his spell. The air below Hakuun's lips shuddered, a wave of shocking energy blaring forth, distorting images like a rolling ball of water or extreme heat rising from hot stone.

Hakuun's spell exploded around the dogding elf and pegasus, the air itself trembling and quaking ins shock waves that buffeted and battered both rider and mount.