This is the seventh book in the Dragon Knight series.
The Earl of Cumberland convinces the King to raise taxes--something that many nobles are very unhappy about. One noble starts hiring knights to attack the Earl's property in revenge. Jim Eckert, the Dragon Knight, is dismayed when Sir Brian, his best friend, offers his services to this noble so that he can earn the eighty pounds his betrothed's father demands as a bride price. The Dragon Knight is drafted by the King's war captain, Sir John Chandos, to counter these hired knights in order to defend the Earl's property, and Jim finds himself facing his best friend in battle. Sir Brian is wounded and Jim uses his magical powers to take him away to Malecontri.
Jim and Angie Eckert's ward, the infant Lord Robert Falon, is stolen away from Malecontri by underground Naturals called Gnarlies. Jim sets out with a rescue party—Sir Brian, Master Archer Dafydd, and Hob—to the Gnarly kingdom. They are joined by a Gnarly prince seeking vengeance against his uncle who killed his father and took the Gnarly throne. When they arrive, they discover that not only has Jim's friend the Mage Carolinus been captured by the Gnarly King, but that Robert's kidnapping is linked to his aunt, Agatha Falon (book #5), in league with Jim's old nemesis, the Earl of Cumberland (book #2). The Earl wants the Gnarlies' help in destabilizing the kingdom so that he can take over as king. It is up to Jim and his friends to defeat the Gnarly King and save Carolinus and Robert.
This report prepared by Ursawolf