As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

July 23, 2011

DRAGON AND THIEF by Timothy Zahn, 2003

Dragon and Thief: The First Dragonback Adventure (Dragonback (Quality))
Fourteen-year-old orphan Jack Morgan is hiding out. In a spaceship. Falsely accused of a crime, he pilots his Uncle Virgil's spaceship to a remote and uninhabited planet hoping to escape capture. When another ship crashes after a fierce battle, Jack rescues the sole survivor-- a K'da warrior names Draycos. It turns out Draycos can help Jack clear his name. All they have to do is team up. No problem, right? Until Jack learns that Draycos is not your average alien. (Amazon)

Review by Emily, bibliophile and high school student

This book hooked me by the title. I tend to read anything with 'dragon' in the title. Dragons fascinate me. So do thieves, for that matter. So when I saw this book, I absolutely had to read it, if only for the title. And then I read it, and it totally surpassed what I was expecting. After which, having not gotten the other books in the series, I had to wait in a fever of impatience to get to the library the next week. It was torture.

Dragon and Thief begins in a spaceship which is being attacked. It crashes, and a boy combing through the wreckage finds a dragon. Or rather, the dragon finds him. Because this is not just a dragon. Draycos is a warrior-poet of the alien race K'da, and if he cannot find someone within six hours, he will fade and die. And Jack Morgan is the only person that has come by who is not an enemy.

K'da are interesting. They shift between two-and-three dimensional forms, and they can slide underneath a person's skin - in fact, they have to in order to survive. They have amazing mental and physical capabilities, but they cannot use them unless they have a partner willing to host them. Otherwise, they simply disappear. This, coupled with the fact that most of them have a strong moral compass, is the only reason that they have not taken over all of the known worlds.

But because of this weakness, they are under attack by another race, the Valaghua, who have a weapon called the Death. It can simply slide through any material, and anything living that it touches withers and dies. To escape, they have fled to the planet on which Jack Morgan is currently hiding out. He has a warrant out on him, and for once, it was something he did not do. And now that Draycos is with him, he is once more on the run from enemies. This time, though, two whole races of beings are counting on his survival. The adventures that Jack and Draycos go through will leave the worlds forever changed.

Also, they're a really funny pair. Some of Draycos' misunderstandings of common human sayings are absolutely hilarious. In all, this series is a really good, rather quick read, with enough wit and wisdom to spare.

Market: Young Adult
Language: So far as I can remember, negligible
Sensuality: None
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: Stealing, moral ethics

Book formats:


MKHutchins said...

This sounds fantastic! Now I've got to go hunt it down...thanks for reviewing this.

Anonymous said...

Dragons and thieves are two of my favorite things, too! :) This sounds like a great series. Thanks for the review, Emily!