Jack Morgan is a fourteen year-old reformed thief and con-artist who is framed for a theft when transporting Braxton Universis cargo. Hiding from the megacorporation's security force on an obscure planet he witnesses the near total destruction of the advance scouts of the Shontine and K'da refugees.
The lone survivor of the entire group is the dragonlike K'da. K'da must bond in their two dimensional tattoo like form with their hosts every six hours in order to survive, but the poet-warrior Draycos' host is dead so he bonds to a scavenging Jack. The K'da seeks to teach Jack about truth and honor as they set off clear Jack's name and find the betrayer of the refugees before all of Draycos' species are destroyed.
This report prepared by ACG
Tor, Feb 2003, 24.95, 255 pp.
His parents died years ago and his only living relative Uncle Virgo recently passed away, leaving fourteen year old Jack Morgan by himself except for the virtual essence of his deceased guardian. Jack has been set up to take the fall for stolen valuable cargo. He is an easy frame, as he is guilty by association or in this case blood, as his late uncle was a known con man.
Jack flees to a remote planet, but in the skies observes a fight with one of the combatant ships crashing near him. The only survivor of the wreck is the K'da dragon Draycos. Jack might have felt he had plenty of troubles, but he soon learns what it's like to have the weight of the world on your back. Draycos exists either as a two-dimensional "tattoo" on his host's skin or as a three-dimensional dragon. His current host died during the attack and with no one else around, he persuades Jack to become his new host. This unlikely pairing of a warrior poet with a bungling teenage thief leads to adventures neither anticipated when they joined at the hip.
Clearly targeting the young adult audience, though the older Norton readers will enjoy the novel, DRAGON AND THIEF is an exciting science fiction adventure story. Readers will appreciate the relationship between the intelligent experience dragon and the exuberant youth, which makes for a fine time for the audience. The worlds seem real and the joining seems strangely plausible requiring author Timothy Zahn to bare his back so his fans can see his tattoo.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner