The Dragons series (also called The Last Dragon Chronicles, but we're going with the first title used for the series here) is a group of bestselling children's fantasy novels, by the English author Chris d'Lacey. The series began in 2001, and is still going. As of this writing, there are seven main books in the series, plus a spinoff series for young readers.The series begins when David, an Ordinary College Student, starts looking for a place to stay during his term. He finds a woman named Elizabeth "Liz" Pennykettle, who is renting out part of her house on a street called Wayward Crescent. David moves in with her and her ten-year-old daughter, Lucy. Liz is an artist - she makes clay dragons, and even gives David a dragon of his own, whom he names Gadzooks. As David settles into life with the Pennykettles, he starts noticing strange things - movement in the corner of his eye here, the feeling of being watched there, and odd noises everywhere. Through his adventures with Lucy, he soon realizes that there is more to the Pennykettles than there seems. Some of the dragons they make are just statuary, but some of them are alive. David refuses to believe this at first - but his sudden inspiration to write stories, and Gadzooks' own pen and paper, soon force him into believing that there is more to Wayward Crescent than meets the eye.David is soon dragged deep into the secret history and world of dragons. Liz and Lucy are among the last protectors of the world's dragons - descendants of Guinivere, a maiden who befriended the last "true" dragon. Dragons aren't the big beasts they once were - now, they must take clay bodies. But they still have dragon's sparks, deep down. And David and the Pennykettles must protect them from all who would do them harm!The books in the main series are:
Beauty Equals Goodness: All of the protagonists are described as - at the very least - good-looking at some point. Then, most bad guys are ugly as road kill. AND THEN you have everyone who got infected by the Shadow - horribly deformed. But they're back to being pretty after it's gone.
Bratty Half-Pint: Lucy, Grella and Rosa all slot into this trope at some point in their lives.
Cerebus Syndrome: One of the most dramatic examples in recent children's fiction - the first book is an adorable, harmless romp. By the third book, we have David killed via an ice spike through the chest.
The Chosen Many: Liz and Lucy aren't the only descendants of Guinevere running around, and on the flipside, Gwilanna isn't the only nasty sibyl...
In Fire World, the Tapestry of Isenfier features David, Rosa, Penny, Angel, Gadzooks, and Mathew.
Cover Drop: From Fire Star onwards, a dragon matching the cover art is described somewhere in each book.
Disappeared Dad: Lucy's father. It wasn't his fault he left; not really. She and her mother get him back.
Eye Scream: In the Fire Ascending. When Hilde orders a raven to peck an eye from a dead man's socket so as to bring vengeance to his murderer. And again, only pages later, the same bird shows up with BOTH eyes gouged out as a warning from Voss. What a charming guy, right?
Express Delivery: It does not take long for the quickened bronze egg to turn into a baby. Too bad Gwilanna turned him from a perfectly normal (well, for a Pennykettle) boy into a dragon.)
The Fair Folk: The Fain, though they are far from the fairies of traditional myth.
Hell, Ms. Gee's death too, which occurs shortly after Hannah's. She has her flesh stripped away by being drenched in gallons of dragon urine from the awakening Gawaine, to the point where there's nothing left but her skeleton - which then disintegrates.
Fusion Dance: This happens when the Fain "commingle." By the end of Book Four, David also contains Ingavar, Thoran, Dr. Bergstrom, and G'lant. That's a lotta people in one body.
Similarly, in the third book in the series, Firestar, it's revealed that Zanna is pregnant with David's baby. Since this is a children's book series, no direct reference to them having sex is ever mentioned. However, this is actually a bit of Crap Gotten Past The Radar—early in the book, around the time said baby would logically have been conceived, it's mentioned that the two characters "spent the night keeping each other warm," said with a knowing leer.
This from Firestar. Read this while keeping in mind that Zanna was sitting on David's lap. Wow. Try reading this WITHOUT saying it in a seductive voice. It's impossible
"She never lets me catch her up."
"Been spending a lot of time keeping each other warm?"
In the second book, Dr. Bergstrom lets David use his good luck talisman for, well, good luck. When he discusses the matter with Zanna later, he asks her, "Did you shake his totem?" This elicits a shocked "Pardon?!" before David explains himself.
Gorn: The series has plenty of dark and violent moments, especially Fire Star, but Dark Fire is suddenly bloody as hell.
The Hero Dies: David dies at the end of Firestar. Initially, this looked like it would be the end of the series, making it an unusually harsh ending for a book aimed at the 8-12 bracket. The series didcreep on, and David came Back From TheHigher Plane Of Existence, with the implication being that he became one with God(ith) and saw all the knowledge in the universe through his daughter's eyes, but if unexpected, the ending of Firestar can be a real punch.
Mr. Vice Guy: Henry Bacon of is staid, grumpy, and old-fashioned to the point of being stifling. He's not exactly a Friend to All Children. He's even the primary antagonist of the first book in the series. However, as the later books prove, he is nonetheless a loyal neighbor who truly does care about his neighbors and their friends. Even if he does think they're a little loopy.
His alternate in Fire World, Mr. Henry,averts this trope by being a definite good guy.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: In Fire Ascending, after the universal mess that had been created got repaired, so to speak, the universe took one more change. It plays the entire series off as books writen within the series. See The End... Or Is It?.
The End... Or Is It?: The ending of Fire Ascending, though specified as definite by D'lacey, seemed...less then definite. Though the ending was played off as a Nested Story Reveal, Bergstrom had the mark of Oomara which David never knew about, and Gadzooks came alive on Elizabeth's grave...
Perky Goth: Zanna has pale skin, and wears black make-up and black clothes, but is relatively happy and has fun a lot more than normal stereotypical goths. Though she has reformed into more Hipster territory by the time The Fire Eternal kicks off.
A lot of things in Fire World have semi-colons in them, to a vast extent. To name a few, theres the world itself, Co:pern:ica, with machinery known as Com:puters, and they can send E:coms with them. Harlan teaches Phy:sics, and has a Tech:nician, Benard.
Rewriting Reality: One of the first indications of anything supernatural going on is that David's short story he's writing about a squirrel is actually happening outside effectively parallel with his typing. As in, he mentions that the squirrel jumps onto a washing line and the Pennykettles' voices drift in from the window exclaiming about precisely that (though he doesn't pay any attention.) Debatable as to whether he's writing reality or simply being precognitive, but it seems to be the first.
The Fire Eternal reveals that Arthur can do it too.
Gywneth had her hand in messing with the flow of time by writing her dead counterpart back into reality.
Shout-Out: In Fire World, some authors on the books bear resemblance to real life authors. A more obvious Shout-Out is to Alice in Wonderland, when David finds a book called Alicia in the Land of Wonder.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Alexa in Book Four. It's strongly implied that she chose her own parents and family before her birth, and has been manipulating things behind the scenes for a long time beforehand.
Writers Cannot Do Math: If Gawain was the last dragon 50,000 years ago, why was there a dragon fighting monks at the monastery Arthur serves at in present day? That would give a range of 1000 years, give or take, from present day.