A High Fantasy series of books written by James Stevens, the first book of which can also be purchased in audiobook format.
In the kingdom of Gawl, the people's pride and joy are the Dragon Knights. They are warriors of noble lineage who bond with dragons and raise them to help defend the kingdom. A dragon will only bond with one who has a pure heart and mind, and great lengths are taken to make sure that only trained knights are present when a hatching takes place.
No one knows this better than Ammon, an orphan who was lucky enough to land the job of tending the hatching chamber where the eggs are, and will be paid per egg that successfully hatches. Most of the eggs are doing very well, aside from the runt of the litter, and he hopes to be able to earn enough to finally purchase a small farm he can live off of. However, an unusual chain of events cause him to be bonded to this strangely small egg, earning the enmity of Lord Tirate, the heir to the throne, who needs a dragon to finalize his claim to it. Now Ammon needs to flee the city with his dragon, Folger, and gain the aid of the Dragon Knights who oppose Tirate's rule.
This work contains examples of:
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Calla Azar, Dragon eating slugs.
- Bling of War: It's tradition for Knights to use their dragon's discarded scales to make armor and weapons. Since Folger is a never before seen gold mutation, it's justified with Ammon.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Ammon lost his mother when he was very, very young. It turns out that she and her husband were nobles, members of the powerful House of Les, and were assassinated by Tirate.
- Femme Fatale: Lea, the beautiful female assassin.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Ammon buys himself one at the start of the book, and Boris also prefers the sword.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Dragons cannot bond to a wicked person, which does not reflect on Lord Tirate, who has been to multiple hatchings and has never gotten a dragon.
- Lost World: Many people thought that there was nothing beyond the mountains to the north of Gawl, as they seemed impassible and the mountains are too tall even for dragons to fly over—the cold at such altitudes will kill them. Ammon finds an abandoned city there, the capitol of Laton, and soon the residents return and join forces with him.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're basically Bond Creatures, and can't breath fire without a regular diet of Calenta stones, that is. Folger is also very special, being the only known golden dragon in history.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Erik, Tirate's uncle, is a legitimately good monarch.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Lea notes that Ammon is pretty to look at, and wouldn't mind him as a slave as part of her revenge.
- Samus Is a Girl: El is really Eliva.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: El's appearance in a blue dress takes Ammon's breath away.
- The Smurfette Principle: There's only one known female Dragon Knight in Gawl. She's joined by El and Lily at the end of book one.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Cold is not good for dragons.
- Would Hurt a Child: Tirate's immediate response after finding that the last dragon egg has hatched and bonded to Ammon is to try and kill him. When he starts raising taxes to fund his war and imprisons the people who can't afford them, he has them work as hard laborers to pay it off, and the children of these unfortunate families are also fair game to him.