Julius Heartstriker, youngest son of Bethesda the Heartstriker, scion of the greatest dragon clan in the world, was perfectly content to spend his entire life sitting in his room playing video games. That is until his mother blasted in, magically sealed his dragon form, and threw him out into the world. Now Julius has to prove that he can be a successful dragon, in the only city in the world where dragons are killed on sight.
Unfortunately, Julius is without a doubt the worst dragon in the world. He is polite, friendly, has no ambition, and hasn't murdered a single person in his life. If he can't do something impressive before his mother's deadline is up, she'll eat him.
Nice Dragons Finish Last is the first book in The Heartstrikers.
This book provides examples of:
- Adventure-Friendly World: The Detroit Free Zone. It is ruled by the water spirit Algonquin, who pretty much only cares about spirits, dragons, and pollution. Everything else is fair game. Emergency services are privatized (so you need to pay a fee to call 911), and bounties are placed on dangerous magical animals instead of a government organization dealing with them.
- Big Eater: All dragons, even in human form. Julius is surprised that the seal reduces his appetite, but even with it in place he still eats a ridiculous amount of food.
- Brought Down to Normal: Bethesda put a seal on Julius, which not only prevents him from taking dragon form but also limits some of his abilities in human form. He's still an impressive physical specimen in human form, but no longer blatantly superhuman.
- Curse: Marci mistakes the seal Bethesda put on Julius for a curse. That's not quite wrong, but Julius notes that it's more complicated than that. Even if Marci did somehow manage to unseal Julius (which is actually possible; Bethesda is extremely powerful but not actually a mage, and Marci specializes in curse-breaking), all that would do is piss off Bethesda and make her kill them both.
- Moral Myopia: Bethesda's morality can be summarized as "I am right, you are wrong." Whenever she does something terrible to her children, it's for their own good—and even if it's not, it's for Bethesda's good. If they so much as talk back to her, then they are terrible and ungrateful brats.