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Literature / The Last Dragon

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When the last dragon and the last elf
break the circle,
the past and the future will meet,
and the sun of a new summer will
shine in the sky.

The Last Dragon is a Young Adult novel by Italian author Silvana De Mari, first published in 2004 under the title L'ultimo elfo. It was published in the U.K. as The Last Elf. The story takes place in a (probably) post-apocalyptic world where the rain never stops and nearly everyone is barely eking out a living. The book follows a young elf called Yorsh, the Last of His Kind, who is taken in by two traveling humans despite the danger he poses to them: elves are not allowed outside of their designated villages, and if Yorsh is found, he and anyone helping him will probably be put to death. However, Yorsh has a purpose: he must find the last dragon and save the world.

The book is split into two parts: in Part One, Yorsh and the two humans, Sajra and Monser, travel through the Crapsack World of endless rain and constant danger in search of the last dragon. In Part Two, which takes place thirteen years later, Yorsh and a girl called Robi (Sajra and Monser's daughter) make a similar journey, for a somewhat different purpose.

Not to be confused with the 1985 film of the same name, or the 2008 novel Last Dragon, or the novel series The Last Dragon Chronicles.

The Last Dragon provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Interestingly averted. Yorsh, Sajra and Monser find a dog, and Yorsh names him Fido. Monser exclaims that that's a ridiculous name - dogs are called Paws or Patch or some such, not Fido. Yorsh later names a horse Lightning, to similar consternation. It's implied that humans are not particularly imaginative about naming, at least not with animals.
  • After the End: According to The Other Wiki, this book takes place after some devastating apocalypse has permanently clouded the sky.
  • The Caligula: The judge administrator of Daligar in Part Two starves his people, using the food they grow as fertilizer for a wall of flowers. He's also stark-raving mad.
  • Crapsack World: It never stops raining, which means it's hard to grow crops that won't drown, which means a lot of people go hungry. Worse, there's some heavy Fantastic Racism and a terribly oppressive pseudo-feudal society.
  • Fantastic Racism: Elves aren't allowed outside of specially designated zones, and they must all wear yellow so as to be easily identifiable. Penalties for leaving are extremely harsh, no matter how good your reasons - like, say, your entire village being washed away by the endless rains and you being the Last of Your Kind.
  • Last of His Kind: Both Yorsh and the dragon though not the one you think.
  • The Last Title: The title, in both languages.
  • The Prophecy: Sort of the point of the whole first part. There's another about whom Yorsh will marry, which causes more trouble than it should.
  • Saving the World: What the prophecy states that Yorsh will do.