- Dark Fire (The Last Dragon Chronicles)
Dark Fire Author(s) Chris d'Lacey Cover artist Angelo Rinaldi Country United Kingdom Language English Series Last Dragon Chronicles Subject(s) Dragons Genre(s) Fantasy novel Publisher Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. Publication date July 2009 (UK), May 1st, 2010 (US) Media type Print (Hardback) Pages 464 ISBN 978-1-84616-954-0 OCLC Number 319210568 Preceded by The Fire Eternal Followed by Fire World
Chris d'Lacey has also said in his blog that there will be a total of seven books in the series, with the sixth being titled Fire World. In the final two books, all mysteries and secrets are revealed and the series will come to an end.
Its prequels in The Last Dragon Chronicles are:
Set Time: Present
Part One: Wayward Crescent
Arthur, Liz, and Lucy are traveling to meet Rupert Steiner, a former colleague of Arthur's who has been visited by Gadzooks. They discover the message Gadzooks left - Scuffenbury, the name of an ancient hill which, legend has it, contains the body of a dragon. Meanwhile, at Wayward Crescent, David arrives to ask Zanna for more information about Gwilanna, as he has been charged with seeking her out and destroying the dark fire she possesses - the inverted remains of Gwillan's fire tear. Instead of helping him, Zanna transports herself to Gwilanna, charging David with Alexa's care in her absence.
Zanna finds herself on Farlowe Island, where Gwilanna is attempting to use ichor from Gawain's isoscele and the threat of handing the dark fire to the Ix to coerce the Fain into illumining her to a dragon. She also planned to sacrifice David to underline her threat, but she decides to use Zanna in his place. However, rather than summoning the spirit of the dragon Ghislaine, Gwilanna summons a Darkling, which mutates a flock of ravens into semi-Darklings before being destroyed by Grockle, under the supervision of David, who then takes the obsidian which contains the dark fire.
David and Zanna return home to discover that their neighbour, Henry Bacon, has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. David is reunited with Liz and Lucy, and receives a message from the dragon G'Oreal, who dismisses David's suggestion that the dark fire could be transmuted and used to reanimate Gwillan. David then learns about Scuffenbury, and suggests that Lucy travel there with Tam Farrell. He also reads an extract from her journal, and suggests she post it online in dragontongue, as a message to other daughters of Guinevere.
David goes with Liz to visit Henry in hospital, and Henry dies during their visit. Gwilanna attends the funeral in order to try to deal with David, but he refuses her and she leaves. At the reading of the will, the group meet Henry's sister Agatha, a powerful sibyl. They also discover that Henry has left Liz and Lucy £50,000; David his collection of Arctic memorabilia and Zanna his house. The will also asks that the Arctic memorabilia be left in place, implying that Henry expected David and Zanna to marry. After this, Agatha gifts Zanna with healing knowledge, and suggests that she make her peace with David.
Zanna goes into town with Alexa and Gretel to open her shop, but on the way the group are attacked by the semi-Darkling flock and are rescued by Tam, who destroys them with the bear spirit, Kailar. Zanna is injured, but uses her new healing knowledge to mend the wound. Tam talks to David about Rupert Steiner, who has approached him with a story about translations of dragontongue found on the Hella glacier expedition. Lucy informs David that Sophie emailed her, trying to contact him, and David leaves for Africa. Lucy then receives a phone call from an old friend, Melanie Cartwright, who has seen footage of a Pennykettle dragon - presumably Gadzooks - moving on the television, and is concerned over her own 'special' dragon, Glade.
David arrives in Africa to find Sophie's wildlife sanctuary in flames, which Grockle extinguishes. Sophie is already dead, and Grace is preparing to cry her fire tear. However, the semi-darkling which began the fire is still present, planning on inverting Grace's tear to create dark fire. Pieter, Sophie's fiancee, tries to kill it, but it kills him instead. David then distracts the Darkling with the dark fire he already possesses, captures it and sends it back to the ix with a warning to leave the Pennykettle dragons be. Mutu, one of Sophie's colleagues, tells David that he saw a woman dancing in the flames. David then leaves Africa, taking with him Grace's petrified body, and her fire tear, caught by Groyne during the struggle.
When he returns home, David is greeted by Zanna, asking why Alexa has grown angel wings. David informs her that Alexa is a new species - an angel, a bridge between dragons and mankind - and when the dragons are revealed, people everywhere will aspire to be like her. He also tells her that the people, as the bears have already done, will travel to Ki:mera, the Fain's home world.
In the Dragon's Den, David gathers the dragons in an attempt to transmute the dark fire and return it to Gwillan. Gollygosh will extract the dark fire from the obsidian, Groyne will mix it with Grace's Fire Tear and some icefire to neutralize it, and G'reth will wish for Gwillan and Grace to be reanimated. However, while David explains what will happen, Gollygosh is momentarily corrupted by the dark fire, and releases it early. The Dark Fire then enters Liz's unborn child - Joeseph Henry - and she goes into labor. While Zanna tends to her, David reanimates Grace with Alexa's help. He then sends Lucy with Tam to Scuffenbury - not noticing that, in the Dragon's Den, Gwillan is draining Grace's auma into himself.
Part 2: Scuffenbury Hill
Lucy and Tam travel to Scuffenbury. On the way, Lucy reads the article describing the last meeting of dragons, describing how eleven of the last twelve dragons shed almost all of their fire tears, then went into stasis, while the twelfth, Gawaine, ingested all eleven tears and planned to use them to defeat the Ix. Lucy and Tam arrive at their guesthouse, which is run by Hannah and Clive, and has one other guest, Mrs Gee. They climb Glissington Tor - the dragon's burial site - that evening, and that night Lucy has a nightmare about a cat, which she encountered earlier in the day, bringing her a Semi-Darkling.
In Wayward Crescent, Liz is comatose, but seems unharmed, when Gwillan suddenly wakes up. Melanie Cartwright comes to visit with her mother, Rachel, and dragon, Glade, who can sense moods.artwright's but before they have time to ask questions Gretel puts the humans to sleep, and Glade goes upstairs to try to check on Liz and the baby. She finds that Liz is alright, but the baby is gone - its body is in stasis, and its auma has been transferred to Gwillan. The Cartwrights leave, and David contacts G'Oreal, informing him that Grockle is destroying the semi-Darklings.
Early next morning, Tam and Lucy climb Scuffenbury Hill to see the unicorn. While they are there, cairn stones - the remains of a monument on Glissington Tor - begin to rise from the earth and rebuild the cairn, revealing more chalk carvings - a unicorn's horn. Mrs Gee, a sibyl, has rebuilt the cairn to try to wake the unicorn and the dragon, but Hannah, who claims to know all the Tor's secrets, warns her that this legend is false, and waking the dragon requires a red-haired girl, touched by the spirit of a dragon. She also explains that the dragon in stasis is Gawaine, who came to Scuffenbury seeking the unicorn Teramelle's healing to help her give birth, and offers to help Mrs Gee claim the dragon in return for one of its scales.
Gwendolen, left in the hotel to watch for the mysterious cat, is shocked to discover that not only is the cat real, it can do magic, and communicate. It tells her it is truly a girl called Bella. The TV news is showing pictures of dragons being freed from hills all over the world, and Hannah tells Lucy that she can wake the dragon if she touches it and sings - and that there is a tunnel under the cairn which will lead Lucy to the dragon to touch her (Gawaine).
At Wayward Crescent, Zanna is puzzled by e-mails Lucy is receiving, which David tells her are from other daughters of Guinevere. He also gives her Tam's article, telling her that Gawaine, the dragon in Scuffenbury and the one chosen to fight the Ix, was Gawain's mother, and her plan to destroy the Ix was to draw the Ix to her, then sacrifice herself in the Fire Eternal - a plan which the new Wearle has adopted.
Tam and Lucy travel through the tunnels to wake Gawaine, but as the dragon stirs, Hannah betrays them. Tam is trapped underground, and Lucy cornered by Mrs Gee, but with her and Hannah talking, Lucy escaped with Bella. In the chaos of the dragon's awakening, Mrs Gee, Hannah and Clive are all killed and the hotel collapses. Meanwhile, Melanie and Rachel Cartwright are attacked by the last surviving semi-Darkling, who injures both of them before taking Glade. Glade sends a distress signal to the Pennykettles, which is intercepted by Gwillan.
Lucy calls David for help, and he sends Grockle. With his help, Lucy places some of her tears in Glissington cairn, although Bella tries to stop her. The tears reflect moonlight onto the unicorn's horn, bringing it to life, and it frees Gawaine. However, as Zanna discovers through an email Bella sent Lucy, Gawaine was betrayed and one of her children murdered by a sibyl disguised as a red-haired maiden, and when she sees Lucy, she attacks. Grockle fails to defend Lucy, but, as Lucy is a descendantof Gawain, the flames do not harm her, and Gawaine is distracted for long enough that David can arrive to help.
Meanwhile, the last surviving semi-Darkling ingests Lucy's auma from the tears she left at Glissington Cairn. It uses the power in the tears to renew itself, and call the Ix towards it, and a full Darkling is born, with the ability to self-replicate, which it does until there are four Darklings. Realizing the danger, David gives Lucy the narwhal tusk talisman which he thinks is Groyne so that she can be transported home, not realizing that the tusk is in fact Gwillan, who has taken Groyne's abilities, and Lucy has only been moved across the valley.
Gawaine and G'lant - the combined force of David and Grockle - begin to fight the Darklings. One invades Gawaine's mind before she destroys it, but G'lant restores her before permanent injury can occur. One then distracts G'lant while the remaining two attack Gawaine. One destroys her wing and poisons her blood, although it is near-fatally injured in the attempt, and falls to the ground near Lucy, who has been joined by Bella. As it attempts to attack the girls, Tam emerges from the ground and destroys it.
Agatha Bacon arrives at Wayward Crescent, and Zanna leaves for Scuffenbury after entrusting her with Liz's care. She arrives near Gawaine, who is gravely injured, and begins trying to heal her with Teramelle's help. The unicorn warns her to hurry, as Scuffenbury is the site of a portal to the Fire Eternal, and the portal will soon open. Meanwhile, 'Agatha Bacon' is in fact Gwilanna, who wishes to deliver Liz's child. She refuses to listen when Arthur explains that Gwillan now possesses the child's auma, and delivers a child made of clay - the body in stasis. In her frustration, she smashes it, releasing the dark fire trapped inside, which kills her and travels to Scuffenbury. Alexa is then taken by the white dragon of the New Wearle to Scuffenbury.
At Scuffenbury, G'lant continues to fight the two remaining darklings. Gwillan traps one, purifying its auma and turning it into a dragon, which is no longer any threat. At the sight of Gwillan, the ix lend all their power to the remaining Darkling, and it overpowers G'lant, but Gawaine drags it into the Fire Eternal, sacrificing herself to save G'lant and fulfill the task the Old Wearle entrusted her with - eradicating the ix. Teramelle, invaded by the dark fire, follows her, but the dark fire escapes and begins to destroys the dragons which have gathered around the Fire Eternal.
In the chaos which the dark fire causes, David, Zanna, Alexa and Gadzooks come together, and Gadzooks begins writing a word. David reassures Zanna that everything will be alright, but things will be different. Then David, Lucy, Tam, Zanna, Bella and the assembled dragons disappear, transported to another world. The book ends with the word Gadzooks was writing: "sometimes"...
- David Rain - An author who spent five years in Ki:mera, the Fain world, and is now discovered that he is a Fain. The Fain intended for him to be born to Liz and Arthur. Because of Gwilanna, this was prevented. He was simply materialized when Arthur wrote with the blood from the claw of Gawain. He is illuminated with Grockle, and is called G'lant when fused with him. He can also become a polar bear, called Ingavar. He has four dragons: Gadzooks, Gollygosh, G'reth and Groyne.
- Zanna Martindale - A sibyl with healing powers. Alexa's mother and David's fiancée, who is bitter about his disappearance. Gretel is her dragon.
- Alexa - Zanna and David's daughter, an 'angel' who bridges the gap between humans and dragons. She makes a horse which magically turns into a unicorn.
- Elizabeth (Liz) Pennykettle - A daughter of Guinevere who makes animated dragons out of clay. During the end of the Fire Eternal and throughout Dark Fire, she is pregnant with her son, Joseph Henry. She enters a coma when the dark fire enters her womb, and does not wake for the rest of the book. Guinevere and Gwillan are her dragons.
- Lucy Pennykettle - Liz's daughter, a daughter of Guinevere who wakes Gawaine. She is in love with Tam, and idolizes David. Gwendolen is her dragon.
- Arthur Merriman - A physics professor, Liz's partner, and Joseph Henry's father. He was blinded by an encounter with the Ix in Fire Star.
- Tam Farrell - A reporter for The National Endeavor who shares the aumas of Kailar and Avrel. He has the power to turn things into ice.
- Joseph Henry - Liz's unborn child. He transfers his auma to Gwillan and puts his human body in stasis. He demonstrates incredible power at the end of the book by turning a darkling into a dragon.
- Gwilanna - A sibyl desperate to be illuminated to a dragon. She is killed by the Dark Fire at the end of the book. She disguises herself as Agatha Bacon to trick the Pennykettles.
- Rupert Steiner - Arthur's colleague, who translates Dragontongue in pictures taken on the Hella glacier expedition.
- Melanie Cartwright - Lucy's old friend. Glade is her dragon.
- Rachel Cartwright - Melanie's mother, injured by the last semi-darkling when he captures Glade.
- Sophie Prentice - David's ex-girlfriend, who is killed in a fire started by one of the semi-darklings at the animal sanctuary where she works. Grace is her dragon.
- Pieter - Sophie's fiancee, killed by a semi-darkling while trying to avenge her.
- Mutu - One of Sophie's colleagues.
- Henry Bacon - The Pennykettle's neighbour, he dies at the beginning of the book and leaves his house to Zanna.
- Agatha Bacon - Henry Bacon's sister, a powerful sibyl who helps Zanna. During her appearance at the end of the book, she is really Gwillana in disguise.
- Bella - A daughter of Guinevere turned into a cat by Mrs Gee. She knows the legend of Gawaine, and tries to stop Lucy from waking the dragon who will want revenge on a red-haired girl.
- Mrs. Gee - A sibyl who has travelled to Scuffenbury with Bella to 'claim' Gawaine. Killed when Gawaine awakes.
- Hannah - A believer in dragons who knows the secret of waking Gawaine, and betrays Lucy to Mrs. Gee. Killed when Gawaine awakes.
- Clive - A believer who assists Hannah running the hotel. Killed by Mrs Gee when Gawaine awakes.
- Teramelle - A unicorn who tried to heal Gawaine, and entered stasis with her. Also known as the Scuffenbury Horse.
- The semi-darklings - Created during Gwilanna's attempt to raise the spirit of Ghislaine, eleven darkling/raven hybrids who work for the Ix. They are hunted down and all but one killed by Grockle.
- The darklings - Born at the end of this book from the last of the semi-darklings, the Ix try to use them to destroy Gawaine and G'lant, but ultimately fail.
- The Old Wearle - The last twelve dragons of the last Dragon Age. Includes Galen, Gessine, G'larne, Gyrrhon and Gawaine.
- Gawaine - A dragon matriach, chosen by the Old Wearle to destroy the Ix but forced to enter stasis in Scuffenbury after giving birth. She is released at the end of the book, and dies destroying the Ix.
- Gawain - Gawaine's son, and Liz and Lucy's ancestor.
- The New Wearle - A new gathering of dragons assisted by the Fain. Includes G'Oreal, David and Grockle (known as G'lant), an unidentified purple reader and an unidentified white dragon.
- G'Oreal - The leader of the New Wearle.
- Grockle - A dragon born at the end of Icefire. He is illuminated with David, and together they are known as G'lant.
- The Pennykettle dragons:
- Gwillan - A house dragon who shed his Fire Tear at the end of The Fire Eternal, creating the dark fire. He is reanimated by being combined with Joseph Henry, and demonstrates incredible power at the end of the book by turning a darkling into a dragon.
- Gollygosh Golightly - A natural healing dragon created by David who releases the dark fire from the obsidian and it accidentally enters Liz's baby.
- Groyne - David's dragon, who can turn invisible or become a narwhal tusk talisman.
- Gadzooks - David's dragon, who can manipulate dark matter by writing. During this book, he is working for G'Oreal.
- G'reth - David's dragon, a wishing dragon created by Lucy Pennykettle.
- Grace - Sophie's dragon, a listener who sheds her Fire Tear after Sophie's death but is reanimated by David after a failed attempt to raise Gwillan.
- Glade - Melanie Cartwright's dragon, who can sense moods. She is captured and badly injured by the last of the semi-darklings.
- Gretel - Zanna's potions dragon, who assists her when healing. Made by Liz, but used to belong to Gwilanna
- Gwendolen - Lucy's IT dragon. Can plug into her computer to give or get information
- Guinevere - Liz's dragon, helps kiln every Pennykettle dragon.
- Gawain - Lucy's dragon, created in the image of the real Gawain, and is present at the kilning of every Pennykettle dragon.
- ^ 
- ^ Zookie's Notepad: Chris d'Lacey's Blog 27/09/09
- ^ Zookie's Notepad: Chris d'Lacey's Blog 26/07/09
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