With the Earth on the brink of recolonisation by dragons, David Rain is sent on an important mission: to seek out and destroy a trace of dark fire, the deadliest force in the universe. But with success could come a terrible price, the sacrifice of a beloved clay dragon. How much does the life... read more
Part One: Wayward Crescent
Arthur, Liz, and Lucy are traveling to meet Rupert Steiner, a former colleague of Arthur's who has been visited by Gadzooks. They discover the message Gadzooks left - Scuffenbury, the name of an ancient barrow which, legend has it, contains the body of a dragon.... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Part One: Wayward Crescent
Arthur, Liz, and Lucy are traveling to meet Rupert Steiner, a former colleague of Arthur's who has been visited by Gadzooks. They discover the message Gadzooks left - Scuffenbury, the name of an ancient barrow which, legend has it, contains the body of a dragon. Meanwhile, at Wayward Crescent, David arrives to ask Zanna for more information about Gwilanna, as he has been charged with seeking her out and destroying the dark fire she possesses - the inverted remains of Gwillan's fire tear. Instead of helping him, Zanna transports herself to Gwilanna, charging David with Alexa's care in her absence.
Zanna finds herself on Farlowe Island, where Gwilanna is attempting to use ichor from Gawain's isoscele and the threat of handing the dark fire to the Ix to coerce the Fain into illumining her to a dragon. She also planned to sacrifice David to underline her threat, but she decides to use Zanna in his place. However, rather than summoning the spirit of the dragon Ghislaine, Gwilanna summons a Darkling, which mutates a flock of ravens into semi-Darklings before being destroyed by Grockle, under the supervision of David, who then takes the obsidian which contains the darkfire.
David and Zanna return home to discover that their neighbor, Henry Bacon, has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. David is reunited with Liz and Lucy, and receives a message from the dragon G'Oreal, who dismisses David's suggestion that the dark fire could be transmuted and used to reanimate Gwillan. David then learns about Scuffenbury, and suggests that Lucy travel there with Tam Farrell. He also reads an extract from her journal, and suggests she post it online in dragontongue, as a message to other daughters of Guinevere.
David goes with Liz to visit Henry in hospital, and Henry dies during their visit. Gwilanna attends the funeral in order to try and deal with David, but he refuses her and she leaves. At the reading of the will, the group meet Henry's sister Agatha, a powerful sibyl. They also discover that Henry has left Liz and Lucy £50,000; David his collection of Arctic memorabilia and Zanna his house. The will also asks that the Arctic memorabilia be left in place, implying that Henry expected David and Zanna to marry. After this, Agatha gifts Zanna with healing knowledge, and suggests that she make her peace with David.
Zanna goes into town with Alexa and Gretel to open her shop, but on the way the group are attacked by the semi-Darkling flock and are rescued by Tam, who destroys them with the spirit Kailar. Zanna is injured, but uses her new healing knowledge to mend the wound. Tam talks to David about Rupert Steiner, who has approached him with a story about translations of dragontongue found on the Hella glacier expedition. Lucy informs David that Sophie emailed her, trying to contact him, and David leaves for Africa. Lucy then receives a phone call from an old friend, Melanie Cartwright, who has seen footage of a Pennykettle dragon - presumably Gadzooks - moving on the television, and is concerned over her own 'special' dragon, Glade.
David arrives in Africa to find Sophie's wildlife sanctuary in flames, which Grockle extinguishes. Sophie is already dead, and Grace is preparing to cry her Fire Tear. However, the semi-Darkling which began the fire is still present, planning on inverting Grace's tear to create dark fire. Pieter, Sophie's fiancee, tries to kill it, but it kills him instead. David then distracts the Darkling with the dark fire he already possesses, captures it and sends it back to the Ix with a warning to leave the Pennykettle dragons be. Mutu, one of Sophie's colleagues, tells David that he saw a woman dancing in the flames. David then leaves Africa, taking with him Grace's petrified body, and her Fire Tear, caught by Groyne during the struggle.
When he returns home, David is greeted by Zanna, asking why Alexa has grown dragon wings. David informs her that Alexa is a new species - an angel bob, a bridge between dragons and mankind - and when the dragons are revealed, people everywhere will aspire to be like her. He also tells her that the people, as the bears have already done, will travel to Ki:mera, the Fain's home world.
In the Dragon's Den, David gathers the dragons in an attempt to transmute the dark fire and return it to Gwillan. Gollygosh will extract the dark fire from the obsidian, Groyne will mix it with Grace's Fire Tear and some icefire to neutralize it, and G'reth will wish for Gwillan and Grace to be reanimated. However, while David explains what will happen, Gollygosh is momentarily corrupted by the dark fire, and releases it early. The Dark Fire then enters Liz's unborn child - Joeseph Henry - and she goes into labor. While Zanna tends to her, David reanimates Grace with Alexa's help. He then sends Lucy with Tam to Scuffenbury - not noticing that, in the Dragon's Den, Gwillan is draining Grace's auma into himself.
<edit>Part 2: Scuffenbury Hill
Lucy and Tam travel to Scuffenbury. On the way, Lucy reads the article describing the last meeting of dragons, describing how eleven of the last twelve dragons shed almost all of their fire tears, then went into stasis, while the twelfth, Gawaine, ingested all eleven tears and planned to use them to defeat the Ix. Lucy and Tam arrive at their guesthouse, which is run by Hannah and Clive, and has one other guest, Mrs Gee. They climb Glissington Tor - the dragon's burial site - that evening, and that night Lucy has a nightmare about a cat, which she encountered earlier in the day, bringing her a Darkling.
In Wayward Crescent, Liz is comatose, but seems unharmed, when Gwillan suddenly wakes up. Melanie Cartwright comes to visit with her mother, Rachel, and dragon, Glade, who can sense moods. Gretel puts the humans to sleep so they don't get in the way, and Glade goes upstairs to try and check on Liz and the baby. She finds that Liz is alright, but the baby is gone - its body is in stasis, and its auma has been transferred to Gwillan. The Cartwrights leave, and David contacts G'Oreal, informing him that Grockle is destroying the semi-Darklings.
Early next morning, Tam and Lucy climb Scuffenbury Hill to see the unicorn. While they are there, cairn stones - the remains of a monument on Glissington Tor - begin to rise from the earth and rebuild the cairn, revealing more chalk carvings - a unicorn's horn. Mrs Gee, a sibyl, has rebuilt the cairn to try and wake the unicorn and the dragon, but Hannah, who claims to know all the Tor's secrets, warns her that this legend is false, and waking the dragon requires a red-haired girl, touched by the spirit of a dragon. She also explains that the dragon in stasis is Gawine, who came to Scuffenbury seeking the unicorn Teramelle's healing to help her give birth, and offers to help Mrs Gee claim the dragon in return for one of its scales.
Gwendolen, left in the hotel to watch for the mysterious cat, is shocked to discover that not only is the cat real, it can do magic, and communicate. It tells her it is truly a girl called Bella, who was turned into a cat by Mrs Gee. The TV news is showing pictures of dragons being freed from hills all over the world, and Hannah tells Lucy that she can wake the dragon if she touches it and sings - and that there is a tunnel under the cairn which will let Lucy touch the dragon.
At Wayward Crescent, Zanna is puzzled by e-mails Lucy is receiving, which David tells her are from other daughters of Guinevere. He also gives her Tam's article, telling her that Gawaine, the dragon in Scuffenbury and the one chosen to fight the Ix, was Gawain's mother, and her plan to destroy the Ix was to draw the Ix to her, then sacrifice herself in the Fire Eternal - a plan which the new Wearle has adopted.
Tam and Lucy travel through the tunnels to wake Gawaine, but as the dragon stirs, Hannah betrays them. Tam is trapped underground, and Lucy captured by Mrs Gee, but Bella helps her escape. In the chaos of the dragon's awakening, Mrs Gee, Hannah and Clive are all killed and the hotel collapses. Meanwhile, Melanie and Rachel Cartwright are attacked by the last surviving semi-Darkling, who injures both of them before taking Glade. Glade sends a distress signal to the Pennykettles, which is intercepted by Gwillan.
Lucy calls David for help, and he sends Grockle. With his help, Lucy places some of her tears in Glissington cairn, although Bella tries to stop her. The tears reflect moonlight onto the unicorn's horn, bringing it to life, and it frees Gawaine. However, as Zanna discovers through an email Bella sent Lucy, Gawaine was betrayed and one of her children murdered by a sibyl disguised as a red-haired maiden, and when she sees Lucy, she attacks. Grockle fails to defend Lucy, but, as Lucy is Gawaine's kin, the flames do not harm her, and Gawaine is distracted for long enough that David can arrive to help.
Meanwhile, the last surviving semi-Darkling ingests Lucy's auma from the tears she left at Glissington Cairn. It uses the power in the tears to renew itself, and call the Ix towards it, and a full Darkling is born, with the ability to self-replicate, which it does until there are four Darklings. Realizing the danger, David gives Lucy the narwhal tusk talisman which he thinks is Groyne so that she can be transported home, not realizing that the tusk is in fact Gwillan, who has taken Groyne's abilities, and Lucy has only been moved across the valley.
Gawaine and G'lant - the combined force of David and Grockle - begin to fight the Darklings. One invades Gawaine's mind before she destroys it, but G'lant restores her before permanent injury can occur. One then distracts G'lant while the remaining two attack Gawaine. One destroys her wing and poisons her blood, although it is near-fatally injured in the attempt, and falls to the ground near Lucy, who has been joined by Bella. As it attempts to attack the girls, Tam emerges from the ground and destroys it.
Agatha Bacon arrives at Wayward Crescent, and Zanna leaves for Scuffenbury after entrusting her with Liz's care. She arrives near Gawaine, who is gravely injured, and begins trying to heal her with Teramelle's help. The unicorn warns her to hurry, as Scuffenbury is the site of a portal to the Fire Eternal, and the portal will soon open. Meanwhile, 'Agatha Bacon' is in fact Gwilanna, who wishes to deliver Liz's child. She refuses to listen when Arthur explains that Gwillan now possesses the child's auma, and delivers a child made of clay - the body in stasis. In her frustration, she smashes it, releasing the dark fire trapped inside, which kills her and travels to Scuffenbury. Alexa is then taken by the white dragon of the New Wearle to Scuffenbury.
At Scuffenbury, G'lant continues to fight the two remaining Darklings. Gwillan traps one, purifying its auma and turning it into a dragon, which is no longer any threat. At the sight of Gwillan, the Ix lend all their power to the remaining Darkling, and it overpowers G'lant, but Gawaine drags it into the Fire Eternal, sacrificing herself to save G'lant and fulfill the task the Old Wearle entrusted her with - eradicating the Ix. Teramelle, invaded by the dark fire, follows her, but the dark fire escapes and begins to destroys the dragons which have gathered around the Fire Eternal.
In the chaos which the dark fire causes, David, Zanna, Alexa and Gadzooks come together, and Gadzooks begins writing a word. David reassures Zanna that everything will be alright, but things will be different. Then David, Lucy, Tam, Zanna, Bella and the assembled dragons disappear, transported to another world. The book ends with the word Gadzooks was writing: "sometimes".
We’re hiding the errata, movie connections, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.