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These stories seem to cover a lifetime. But it all takes place in less than a year. In a multi Universe run by huge corporations and enormous security/mercenary groups who fight for whoever pays their price and a small group of traveling judges who try to keep some sort of justice and a large Army that helps the judges and supposedly ft ights for what is right, more or less. Its a place familiar to us in Star Wars and other Sci-fi futures, but it starts out with a youngboy hiding out alone on what he believes is and unowned planet, feeling a bit lost and alone after the death of his uncle just a couple if years before when he was 11. Suddenly a spectacular show, ships fight in the planet's atmosphere and before he knows what is happening one of the crafts falls to the ground. Young Jack runs to the ship, sure that noone survived, when suddenly a 2 dimensional human sized dragon- like figure, a flat picture of something that is life-sized is lying over a door looking like a cartoon whispers for help. His partner dead, the dragon awaitas his certain death. However Jack is curious and tries to figure it out, when suddenly the figure slides up his arm up his arm and flattens itself around most of his body, melting it seems, into his skin, looking somewhat like a tattoo. This creature is not, however, a helpless body and soon figures out enough English to talk to him and tries to make the boy feel safe. For a couple of days they rest and speak in broken English as the dragon recovers and learns extremely quickly from the computer how to speak English and grows a fairly large vocabulary in just a day. They talk and the human sized dragon explains his symbiotic nature and they get to know each other fairly quickly the poet Dragon, Dracus introduces himself and explains that he is a poet warrior from another galaxy from which he had come as a scout to finalize the deal to buy a small uninhabited planet from the refugees from his planet and their symbiotic h o etc as well. Only the enemy who had a machine that kills people but cause a no damage to others gas killed everyone in the scouting party and is preparing to destroy both the K'da race and the So teaches Jack about fighting for what is right Lost people groups find one another. A boy changes raised to be a great thief suddenly partnered to a strong caring poet warrior willing to sacrifice himself for others . Jack becomes the valiant leader of a people but by an almost unbelievable and circuitous route. He starts as a child mercenary qiven a quick 2 week militaty training then sent to die. There he meets a young girl who is his age but seems pecularly soldier like, a girl who has many secrets. Then gets himself arrested and put into a slave colony by officers of the mysterious a leader of the evil plotters of this double genocide that was planned. Caught, beaten then left to die painfully in a small metal hu. He is rescued by a kindly woman who helps young kids in the colony of slave. He, escapes, taking his rescuers and a very few willing to risk their lives for freedom with a great deal of luck and Draycor ever trying to help his dragon partner find who is planning to kill his people. Then he hides on a planet and ends up being a herdsman for a group of animal like dragons they discover, always, despite his cynical outlook, caring for those weaker than himself and suddenly, this orphan kid gives hope to others and becomes a folk hero as he is caught in terrible situations because of trying to figure out how to grow to be a man of valour and wisdom like the great dragon who is his partner now for life. It is a great coming of age story with fantastic o c creatures surrounded by evil, but with much more help than a n he ever thought he would have. The story is addicting and the characters become like close friends as you enter this weird world of tomorrow. Great young adult reading.
Hey, I'm not too proud to say that I read young adult stories sometimes. I was able to borrow the first three books of the Dragonback series, but found them engaging, which enticed me to spend money on books four, five and six. I was not disappointed.
Not only were the main heroic characters well developed, Mr. Zahn painted fairly full portraits of even the antagonists. Only the Valahgua were less substantially developed as there was little backstory, dialogue involving them, or direct interaction with Jack or his compatriots. Jack, Alison, and Taneem especially evolved substantially over the course of their dangerous adventures.
Don't assume that these books were all about personal growth though. The twists and turns of innumerable plots keep you waiting expectantly for the next surprise foil or success of both good & bad guys' machinations. I would highly recommend this for boys or girls of middle or high school age (or even their grandparents 😏)!
I read the first 3 books and then picked up this combination for the last 3 books. Definitely easier to follow the story once the reader becomes familiar with all the players. Multithreaded plots, layers of character interactions, and good action sequences. I appreciated that the protagonists struggled to reduce character deaths. It was good to see them strive always for valor and honor.
The series ends well, with all story threads resolved and our heroes facing a promising future. This was a difficult series at the beginning, but once sufficiently through the narrative it became easier.
I first found these books years ago when they first came out. Since that time I've revisited them 4 times and enjoy the series as much now at 52 as I did back then. Well written story line, engaging characters and a sentient tattoo make this a good read for anyone.
Jack and his symbiotic dragon friend have to get out of many scrapes in these books. While trying to get information to save the dragon race from extinction they make many friends. Exciting adventure good read for adults and young alike.
And binged all of them! So glad I did! great pacing, and deals with more layered Emotions and maturing than most YA books do. The very end is a bit pat, but the roller coaster along the way for each volume was satisfying and accessible. I would like a symbiont now!
But not for older adults. Glad I caught this on sale. This is perfect of 14 year olds. The action is great. The twists are interesting but foreshadowed if you older adult. Grab for the young teen in your circle.