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Literature: Dragons in Our Midst
Dragons in Our Midst is a series of four novels written by author Bryan Davis. The series follows the adventures of two teens, Billy Bannister and Bonnie Silver. Billy is devastated to find that his father is in fact a dragon disguised in human skin to hide from a centuries-old dragon slayer and his squire. Bonnie has known that her mother was a dragon for years. Both teens carry on traits from their dragon heritage. Bonnie has wings that she keeps hidden in a large hiking backpack, while Billy can breathe fire. When they are found and attacked by a slayer, they must fight for their lives.

Dragons in Our Midst was followed by another four-book series, titled Oracles of Fire. The first book, Eye of the Oracle, was a prequel to the DioM series, while the three others, Enoch's Ghost, Last of the Nephilim and The Bones of Makaidos, were all sequels to DioM. This series shifts its focus to other characters that were mostly in the background in the first series, such as Walter, Billy's best friend, and Ashley, an anthrozil (half-dragon, half-human) with a mind far more intelligent than a normal human. It also introduced several new characters, such as Sapphira Adi and Elam, the centuries-old teenagers. It also introduced several new villains, such as Goliath (a dragon, not the biblical giant), Mardon and Semiramis.

A third series, titled Children of the Bard, began in 2011, starring Billy and Bonnie's twin children.

A graphic novel of the first book is due in 2014. A Kickstarter project for it is underway.


These series provide examples of:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: This happens to Makaidos and Thigocia, who are the only two dragons to escape The Great Flood by being on Noah's Ark.
  • Affably Evil: Devin.
  • The Ageless: Anyone who eats the fruit of the tree that grew from the seed Morgan stole from Eden's Tree of Life. Notably: Morgan herself, Naamah, Sapphira, and Elam.
  • A God Am I: The eventual goal of most of the villains.
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Averted, Larry stays either True Neutral or Lawful Good the entire series.
  • Anyone Can Die: Whether they stay dead is another matter...
  • Animal Nemesis
  • Animal Stereotypes: Both played straight and subverted with the dragons.
  • Arc Number: 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13... pretty much any number that is significant in The Bible.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Heaven.
    • While Sheol/the seven circles and Hell would probably be Descending To A Lower Plane...
  • The Atoner: Naamah
  • Babies Ever After
  • Back from the Dead: Many, some several times.
  • Badass Normal: Walter Foley. He's the human sidekick who loves lame jokes, food and taunting fire-breathing dragons.
  • Battle Couple: Billy and Bonnie
    • Also Elam and Sapphira, Ashley and Walter.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: Sapphira at the beginning of her story, although thankfully nothing more came out of it than a Meaningful Rename. Her primary masters were either straight and female or too preoccupied with science and world domination to notice.
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Big Bad: Possessed Arramos.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Most villains who aren't the above mentioned Big Bad.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Just about all of them, but especially Tears of a Dragon and The Bones of Makaidos.
  • Blessed with Suck: Billy and Bonnie's anthrozil powers don't necessarily endear them to people. Billy accidentally sets off the school fire alarm when his fire breath is first developing and is subsequently framed for smoking, and Bonnie is mistaken for a monster while escaping from the school (with Billy in tow).
    • Of course, their abilities eventually are turned around to be Cursed with Awesome, though both tropes are played back and forth throughout the series, depending on the situation they’re in.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Larry.
  • Body Surf: Morgan.
  • Break the Cutie: Walter was a fun-loving boy scout in the first book. Just about everything goes downhill for him for a long, long time. He turned out pretty well in the end, though.
    • Karen and Paili also fit this trope rather well.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Played with several of the couples, but never truly used.
  • Cast Herd: The first series cast was large, but manageable. The second series added entire hordes of new characters.
  • Catch Phrase: Ashley's "Too much information can make your brain choke".
    • Also a Meaningful Echo of sorts for the audience when the prequel, Eye of the Oracle, reveals Ashley's mother Thigocia saying "Too much information can be taxing on our brains", several thousand years before Ashley was even born.
    • Thigocia also repeats the Catch Phrase verbatim while cradling the newborn Ashley.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Justified: dimension hopping equals horrible reception.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sapphira, Acacia, Clefspeare, Arramos, and Elam all take turns. Though not in that order.
  • Collapsing Lair: In The Candlestone.
  • Combat Medic: Ashley in The Bones of Makaidos.
  • Cool Gate: Sapphira has the ability to create portals in space and across dimensions via her abilities as an Oracle of Fire.
  • Cool Old Guy: Professor Hamilton, Merlin, and technically Valcor and Clefspeare, as well as about half of everyone else that lived longer than the normal human life span should allow.
    • There's also Barlow and his group of knights.
    • Enoch, as well.
  • Cool Old Lady: Hartanna and many of the female dragons.
  • Cool Sword: Excalibur, obviously.
  • Cool Teacher: Professor Charles Hamilton. Why did I never learn about King Arthur in high school?
  • Cursed with Awesome
    • This trope swaps places with Blessed with Suck back and forth throughout the series, depending on when/where/with whom the characters find themselves.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Sapphira, Acacia, and Paili. Bonnie as well, when she was younger.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Bonnie. She's in peril a lot, but it doesn't stop her from doing her best to thwart the bad guys and help Billy save her (sometimes, she even saves him).
  • David Versus Goliath: Whenever any of the kids are fighting, but especially when the Watchers and Nephilim show up.
  • Death by Origin Story: Ashley's parents.
    • Most of the dragon race.
  • Death Is Cheap: Which made Karen's death even more of a punch to the gut.
  • Designated Victim: Bonnie, especially in the first few books. To be fair, this doesn't stop her from getting her moments.
  • Destined Bystander: Walter.
  • Development Hell: The movie has been in pre-production for…a long time. A reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaalllllllly long time.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Walter, of the patient friend variety
  • The Dragon: Puns aside, there are several, but Palin probably fits the description best. No, not Sarah. Or Michael.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost happens to Sapphira.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Do they ever.
  • Easy Evangelism: Subverted. If anyone converts to Christianity, there is going to be a LOT of work to get them to that point.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both Palin and Naamah have their moments of this.
    • Doctor Connor, a Mad Scientist, did something, evidently either lethal or incapacitating, to the pedophile he caught assaulting Stacey.
  • Evil Gloating: Devin loves doing this.
  • Evil Minions: Most of Devin's present-day lackeys.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: How Billy learns his true heritage in the first book.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The first series is about dragons and half-dragons trying to fit into the modern day world, while also trying desperately to stay hidden.
  • Face-Heel Turn
  • Fallen Angel: The Watchers.
  • Fiery Redhead: Karen
  • Fingore: Shiloh loses a finger while trapped in the sixth circle. It very briefly becomes a source of romantic angst early on in her relationship with Gabriel.
  • Foreshadowing
  • Foster Kid: Bonnie. At first. Also Matt (Charlie) and Lauren (Karen).
  • Freakiness Shame
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Ashley.
  • Gambit Pileup: It can get pretty confusing, with Morgan, Devin, Mardon, Semiramis, possessed Arramos, Valcor, Merlin, the Professor, and a few others all contributing.
  • Generation Xerox: The Prof looks a LOT like his distant ancestor, Merlin, to the point that several of the dragons (notably Clefspeare) think he is his ancestor when they first meet him.
  • Gentle Giant: Yereq. The other Nephilim, not so much.
  • God: The Big Good
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Inverted. Bonnie has leathery draconic wings, while the Watchers have more typically angelic wings.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In Tears of a Dragon, Billy and Bonnie arrive in Dragons’ Rest only to find that all the former dragons have been living identical versions of a single day over and over again, but without any memory or realization of anything beyond the given day they’re currently in.
  • Happily Married: Marilyn and Jared Bannister, Carl and Catherine Foley, dragons Makaidos and Thigocia, eventually Ashley and Walter Foley, Billy and Bonnie Bannister, Elam and Sapphira, and Shiloh and Gabriel Drake.
  • Healing Hands: Not really healing “hands” so much as “wings”, but a few of the dragons and anthrozils (most notably Thigocia and Ashley) have the ability to heal others under the right conditions.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: Palin.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: What Devin claims to be, and Palin thinks he is.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The dragons, especially around King Arthur's time.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Billy Bannister. However, he does use a handgun when he loans his sword to Walter, and given that the sword is Excalibur...
  • Heroic BSOD: Sapphira She almost commits suicide due to depression/loneliness.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Acacia. She jumps in front of Billy, taking the sword thrust meant for him .
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Honor Before Reason: Several.
  • How Do You Like Them Apples?: Morgan produces fruit that is essentially identical to that of the Tree of Life in the original Garden of Eden.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Of the non-romantic variety, Sapphira and Yereq.
  • Humanity Ensues
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: After Sapphira cuts her hair short, that’s how people tell her and Acacia apart.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal
  • Immortality Seeker: Morgan, successfully.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Sapphira and Acacia’s brilliant blue eyes (Sapphira is actually named after them), though they are occasionally taken for Occult Blue Eyes by superstitious humans. Since they are Oracles of Fire, this has a hint of Heavenly Blue.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: THE ENTIRE SERIES.
  • Insufferable Genius: Larry, as well as Ashley at times.
  • Interspecies Romance: Any dragon/human relationship.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: In Tears of a Dragon, Morgan threatens to kill Walter if Ashley fails to release Devin from the candlestone.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Clefspeare comes off as this at times, especially in the first book.
  • Joan Of Archetype: The Maid in "The Bones of Makaidos".
  • Kill It with Fire
  • Killed Off for Real: Palin, Karen, Professor Hamilton, Merlin, Acacia.
    • Even then, most of them get to make a final appearance for the wedding scene.
  • King Arthur: There are heaps of references to the myths, considering that Billy is the second coming of Arthur, but Arthur himself also appears in person during the period of Eye of the Oracle that covers medieval Britain and the transformation of the dragons.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Several, Barlow and his knights being literal examples.
  • Knight Templar: Devin, Palin.
  • Large Ham: Many of the characters from time to time, but especially Walter.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Light Is Not Good: The Watchers.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Makaidos tries to invoke this with Thigocia to get out of the Adam and Eve Plot (see above). Subverted eventually when they become deeply in love and devoted to one another.
  • Love Redeems: This trope is played with quite a bit.
    • One really interesting inversion of this trope occurs when Naamah is saved by Elam. She tried to seduce him when she was evil, and it is only after she gives up on trying to make him love her and begs him for genuine forgiveness that she is redeemed.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Grandfather, actually.
  • Made a Slave: Elam, by Morgan, after being kidnapped from his family. This is the series’ explanation for why the Biblical character vanished from record.
  • Mad Love: Roxil. Poor girl.
  • Mad Scientist: Mardon
  • Magical Computer: Larry
  • Manly Tears: The author doesn’t shy away from this trope for his male heroes.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Any dragon/human relationships (anthrozils excepted).
    • Sapphira and Elam started out as this, but after Elam became immortal and hung around for a few thousand years, the age difference was very minimal.
  • Meaningful Name: Mardon and Morgan give these to the underborns to remind them of their place.
    Mardon: We give all the laborers names that reflect the sadness of their lot in life. It only makes sense.
  • Meaningful Rename: In Eye of the Oracle, Mara (whose name means “bitter”), is given the new name “Sapphira” (after her brilliant blue eyes, to signify that even though she is a slave she has beauty and value. Never mind who gave her the name change).
  • Merlin: The original, in the flesh. See King Arthur above, though Merlin is crucial to a much greater portion of the story.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Most battles in this series involve an assortment of dragons, humans, anthrozils, Oracles of Fire, and centuries-old teenagers, as well as a Biblical giant and a talking horse.
  • Music for Courage: Many times in Eye of the Oracle. There’s also Bonnie’s rendition of Psalm 139.
  • Mysterious Transfer Student: Bonnie, who is introduced in the first book with a rather large backpack that she never takes off.
  • Name's the Same: As mentioned above, this Palin has nothing to do with politics or comedy routines.
  • Never Bareheaded: Sapphira wears a coif/headscarf/hat/veil/sunglasses at all times to hide her stark-white hair and unnaturally brilliant blue eyes. Overlaps with Please Keep Your Hat On, although it’s Sapphira invoking the trope for herself, not others requesting her to enforce it.
  • Noble Demon: Palin. Had the perfect opportunity to kill Bonnie, but did not take it. Later defied Devin in the slayer's attempt to kill several of the heroes. He was promptly Killed Off for Real for his actions.
    • Not to mention the reason he dies (the second time) is that he tries to convince Devin that what they've been doing is wrong.
  • No Loves Intersect: For the most part, Karen and Namaah are the exceptions for their respective possible love interests. Karen dies, then Naamah... re-dies...
  • Nosy Neighbor: Walter starts out as this.
  • The Obi-Wan: Professor Hamilton for Billy, Walter, and Bonnie; Enoch and his oracle for Sapphira and Acacia.
  • Official Couple: A whole slew of them by the end of The Bones of Makaidos: Bonnie and Billy, Ashley and Walter, Sapphira and Elam, Gabriel and Shiloh, to name a few.
  • One-Winged Angel: Devin
  • Our Dragons Are Different
  • Out of Focus: Billy and Bonnie are rarely mentioned in most of the Oracles of Fire.
  • Personal Gain Hurts
  • Pet the Dog: Palin.
    • A lot of Mardon's interactions with Sapphira.
  • Playing with Fire: Sapphira and Acacia can make it, Billy breathes it. And of course, any of the dragons in their native form can also breathe fire.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Walter Foley, especially in the first four books. Not as much in Oracles of Fire, but he definitely has his moments.
    Walter: So we have... Me, Elam, Billy, Bonnie, Valiant, Candle, Yereq, Sir Barlow, and Sapphira. That's nine of us and the dragons. [whistles] I don't know about you, but if we're facing hundreds of crazed warriors trained to kill, I'd like at least ten.
  • Power Glows: Excalibur, some of the time.
  • Power Nullifier: Candlestones, to dragons and anthrozils.
  • Power Trio: In the early books, Billy is id, Bonnie superego, Walter ego.
  • Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: There are loads of these.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Excalibur
  • Rage Against the Heavens: What most of the villains are doing, though their methods and time frames all vary. None of them are ultimately successful.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Ashley, who was raised by her grandfather Isaac Stalworth after her parents' deaths. Subverted in that we learn Isaac Stalworth is not actually her grandfather, but just a family friend.
  • Really 700 Years Old: More than half of the characters.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Prof. Hamilton.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Bonnie's father.
  • Red Shirts: Most of Devin's underlings, no matter what century.
  • Second Coming: The main character, Billy Bannister, is the second coming of King Arthur.
  • Sibling Team: Acacia and Sapphira, whenever they're actually in the same place at the same time.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Twins Valcor and Hartanna definitely show shades of this.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Watchers and the Nephilim.
  • She's All Grown Up: Paili, who took on a human name, grew up in the real world, and got married and had a kid.
  • Slave Mooks: Many in the first act of Eye of the Oracle, both underborns and kidnapped humans who were Made a Slave.
  • Spider-Sense: Billy and the dragons have an ability to sense immediate danger.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Between Bonnie and Shiloh, who are cousins. This becomes very plot relevant.
  • Take That: Against the entire human race, courtesy of the possessed Arramos.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Nabal uses this on many of Morgan’s underborns, specifically Mara (albeit very briefly) and Elam’s fellow brick-maker (who died from the experience).
  • Team Hand Stack: Billy, Walter, Ashley, and Bonnie have one of these in The Bones of Makaidos before the final battle.
    • Walter, Billy, and Ashley also have one at the end of The Last of the Nephilim.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Interestingly subverted: a lot of emphasis is put on killing honorably (through fair fights) instead of dishonorably (ambushes, back stabbing, etc.), but this doesn't stop several of the heroes from having a fairly high kill count, especially the dragons.
  • Through His Stomach: Though she wasn’t setting out to win his heart originally, Sapphira befriended Elam by feeding him through a hole in the wall when they were slaves. Later, they often refer back to this event (with the wiggling fingers gesture) as shorthand for “I love you.” Elam also says that he would devote his life to “the girl who risked her life to feed me."
  • Took a Level in Badass: Most notably Walter, Billy, and Bonnie.
  • Tower of Babel / Curse of Babel: The Eye of the Oracle features the actual Biblical story—now with dragons and inter-dimensional science.
  • Tsundere: Ashley's a mild type B, her tsun-tsun side appearing towards Walter, mostly during his jokes.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Several different people. Doctor Conner, Roxil, Goliath, any dragon who ended up in Dragons Rest, the original ten female dragons who became human, Arramos (sort of), Billy, Bonnie... the list goes on.) It would actually probably be easier to list the subversions.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Roxil and Goliath.
  • The Vamp: Naamah before her Heel-Face Turn.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Morgan had some limited uses of this power in her backstory, as seen in early chapters of Eye of the Oracle when she transformed into a raven.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Walter proposes to Ashley by building a snowman kneeling in front of a snowwoman on the roof of a greenhouse. He rigs the hand of the snowman to melt, revealing an actual engagement ring it is presenting to the snowwoman. He then goes on to make a dramatic speech in true Walter style.
  • Weddings for Everyone: This occurs at the end of The Bones of Makaidos with the triple wedding ceremony of Walter and Ashley, Elam and Sapphira, and Billy and Bonnie.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Sapphira, Acacia, and Elam all go through bouts of feeling like this during the several-thousand-year period of waiting in Eye of the Oracle. Considering they were almost totally isolated for much of that period, it’s impressive that they didn’t suffer serious psychological issues.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: The forums would always be most active a few weeks before the book came out. One of the biggest topics was about Palin, specifically why he didn't kill Bonnie.
    • When a member guessed that Palin had a daughter at one point and couldn't bring himself to kill someone else's little girl, Davis's response was that the member was "sowing a fertile field" .
  • Winged Humanoid: Bonnie, the Watchers, Gabriel.
    • Also, it's implied in the epilogue for The Bones of Makaidos that one of Billy and Bonnie's twins will grow a pair of wings when he or she gets older.
  • Word of God: Averted. Even though the series is finished, Davis still refuses to tell fans whether Bonnie chose to stay an anthrozil or become a full blood human at the end of Tears of a Dragon.
    • She has wings in the end of The Bones of Makaidos, but it's still left open whether she had them or not before that whole thing with the tree.
  • World Tree: Morgan’s “tree of life” is a smaller version, planted from seeds of the original.
  • You Are Not Ready: The professor to Billy.
  • You Have Failed Me / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Palin. Though, technically, he was already dead.
  • You Shall Not Pass: In Enoch's Ghost.


Dragon Keeper TrilogyYoung Adult LiteratureThe Duplicate
DragonsFantasy LiteratureThe Dragonslayers

alternative title(s): Dragons In Our Midst; Raising Dragons
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