Were dragons and humans ever really friends? After finding a golden shield that suggests they were, a young dragon called Mara intends to find out. After her parents refuse to help, she saves an injured magpie named Eagle-beak. When he reluctantly agrees to show her the way, Mara sets off with the feisty bird stuffed in her mouth.
When things mysteriously go missing from the castle, Prince Cameron is caught trying to solve the mystery by an old woman called Ms. Lightfire. He is sent away under Ms. Lightfire's care, joined by her black cat, Cameron's disgruntled manservant and two lanky soldiers. Before he leaves the king gives Cameron a sword, rumoured to have magical powers. A wizard then arrives at the castle and accuses the Old One of being the thief, and the king proclaims a 'dragon war'.
Cameron's party reaches a magical valley, but far from offering safety, Cameron is soon captured by goblins and carried away. Mara finds the Old One, and it is revealed that an ancient evil has returned to the world. The Old One sends Mara to the valley in the hope that humans can be warned. She flies to the valley and is able to warn Ms. Lightfire. They then set off and rescue Cameron, returning him to the valley.
The king and the wizard arrive at the Old One's cave, and the ancient dragon 'returns to the flame'. The wizard captures the king and goblins destroy his army.
Cameron convinces Mara to take him back to his castle, but when they arrive the city has been consumed by flames and the castle infested by goblins. They discover that Cameron's sword and the shield Mara had earlier found form a magical pair, that can be used to fight the wizard and the terrible power that lies behind him. They return to Mara's mountain and retrieve the shield.
The review of this Book prepared by Hamish Clark