“On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron Gas Station for the dragon he’d hired to help on the farm.” This dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye. Sarah can’t help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul but is seemingly intent on keeping her safe from the brutal attentions of Deputy Sheriff Emmett Kelby. Kazimir knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm because of a prophecy. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents – and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself. From the bestselling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy comes a heart-stopping story of fanaticism, hope, bravery and impossible second chances, set in a world on the very brink of its own destruction.
Too deeply in debt to engage human farmhands, 15-year-old Sarah Dewhurst's father is forced to hire a dragon to clear their farm's fields for planting. With Cold War tensions running high in an alternate 1957 America, employing a dragon, especially a rare Russian blue, is sure to be an unpopular move, but Sarah, who is biracial (black and white), already experiences daily racism in small-town Frome, Wash. Kazimir, the dragon, soon shows a mysterious interest in Sarah, offering protection from an unknown killer and indicating she may be the prophesied key to averting an apocalypse. In Canada, meanwhile, a teen called Malcolm, trained by a dragon-worshipping cult from childhood as an assassin, makes his way toward Frome on what he considers a "blessed" \nmission to save dragonkind. The relationship between Ness's (And the Ocean Was Our Sky) inclusive human cast, which encompasses characters of various ethnicities, belief systems, and sexual orientations, and his dragons feared as immeasurably powerful and philosophical, yet derided as rustic and used as sharecroppers makes for an interesting Cold War analog. The densely layered, expertly paced plot builds and twists while revealing an alternate universe that cunningly echoes our world and its history. Ages 14 up. \n