I owe a great debt to the people who helped me work out the technical details of this novel. Although I’ve dabbled in a number of languages, none of them were written with cuneiform (which is the model for the Draconean script), and although I’ve worked as an archaeologist, I never did so with clay tablets. So I would like to thank James Barrett Morrison of the Sumerian Language Tumblr for helping me work out how many tablets I needed for how much novel text worth of epic, how easily an expert would be able to parse the text at a glance, how long translation might take, and other such issues. Similarly, Professor Gojko Barjamovic of Harvard University answered a lot of questions about Akkadian translation and how the field of historical philology/linguistics works in general. Dr. Susanne Paulus at the Oriental Institute in Chicago oriented me on physical matters related to the creation and preservation of clay tablets. And on a very different note, Lisa Gemino liaised on my behalf with some firefighters for questions on, well, fighting fires.

I’d also like to thank the members of the Codex online writers’ group en masse for helping me brainstorm all manner of weird, random things I can’t describe without giving spoilers.