Dragon and Thief, the first novel in the Dragonback series, was named an American Library Association Best Book For Young Adults. The second novel, Dragon and Soldier is another fast-paced, compulsively readable SF adventure featuring an odd couple of reluctant partners on an unusual quest.
Draycos, a golden-scaled draconic K'da poet-warrior, was on a scout fleet ship when it was attacked, with him the lone survivor. Forced to find a new symbiotic humanoid host, he found Jack Morgan. Jack has been on his own, making his way by shipping interstellar cargo on the ship he's inherited from his Uncle Virgil, a con-man and thief who met with a fatal accident. Draycos has vowed to uncover those behind a vast conspiracy to wipe out his people, while Jack is determined to find out who framed him for a crime he didn't commit. Virgil, who survives as "Uncle Virge" in the ship's computer, is against their plan. But Draycos once saved Jack's life, so Jack feels an obligation to this strange creature who can slip onto the boy's skin, pressing against it like a living tattoo. Knowing that mercenaries were involved in the ambush that killed Draycos's fleet, Jack enlists in a mercenary outfit that practically enslaves adolescent recruits.
But the soldier's life isn't exactly what Jack had bargained for, especially when a mysterious girl is recruited into his group. Strange things are happening, and people and events are not always as they seem.
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Timothy Zahn is the Hugo Award-winning author of more than a dozen original science fiction novels and the bestselling Star Wars trilogy Heir to the Empire, among other works. He lives on the Oregon coast.
Gr. 7-10. As in Dragon and Soldier (2003), the first book in the Dragonback Adventure series, there's plenty of humor, and the adventure and danger levels crackle. Still grappling with issues of ethics and morality, 14-year-old Jack Morgan, who has become the symbiotic humanoid host for Draycos, the draconic K'da poet-warrior, feels obligated to help Draycos track down the entities behind a deadly plot to kill off the draconic race. Knowing that mercenaries were involved in the ambush that left Draycos the only survivor, Jack enlists in a mercenary army that recruits teenagers. His spaceship computer, which has the virtual personality of Jack's reprobate dead uncle, is totally against the plan, and Draycos and Jack do, indeed, encounter treachery on many sides and find themselves fighting for their lives. Add to the mix another recruit, Alison Kayna, who knows too much about being a mercenary and seems to have a mysterious agenda of her own. To be continued . . . . Sally Estes
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