Tor, Oct 2003, 25.95, 416 pp.
Arlian was the only survivor of the dragon assault on his village, but during his escape he was captured and sold as a slave. Escaping, he swallowed a mix of human blood and deadly dragon venom that turned him into an almost invincible hybrid dragon-human. However, the curse of his transformation is that he constantly will turn less human until the day he dies.
Arlian wants revenge on those who killed his family and friends, harmed him and turned him into what he is today. Though Arlian has no support from his hybrid peers, he knows how and when to kill a dragon. While the dragons hibernate during the middle of winter, Arlian begins a genocide slaughtering of the beasts in their lair. However, for every action there is a reaction and in this case, new evils from the no longer checked malevolent wizards and monsters attack. Desperate to right what he has wrought Arlian experiments on animals to see whether the elixir that transformed him will create other magical beings. His hybrid comrades and the surviving dragons will kill him to stop him.
The final entry of Lawrence Watt-Evans' Dragon trilogy (see DRAGON WEATHER and DRAGON SOCIETY) is an exciting epic fantasy that works when Arlian struggles with moral dilemmas that symbolizes modern science leading readers to ponder the issue of where to draw a line. When the story line turns to action-packed sorcery skirmishes, fans of the author will take delight, but a strong entry could have been superlative if the ethics question remained front and center throughout rather than in and out.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner