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Chris D'Lacey

Chris d'LaceyChris d’Lacey (born 1954) writes books for children of all ages, but is best known for his series The Last Dragon Chronicles which have sold nearly four million copies worldwide. He was born in Malta, but has absolutely no memory of the island and has never been back. Most of his life has been lived in Leicester, England. He now lives in Devon, England.

His early ambition was to be a songwriter, and he did not begin writing fiction until he was in his early thirtie

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The Fire Within: Charmingly whimsical

The Fire Within by Chris d'Lacey

The Fire Within is the opening book of Chris d’Lacey’s Last Dragon Chronicles. Interestingly enough, despite the series’ title, and the dragon on the cover, there are surprisingly few dragons in the book. In fact, one could make an argument that the dominant creatures are squirrels. Yes, squirrels. But somehow, it works (dragons play a much larger role in succeeding books).

The novel begins when David, a college student, takes a room with the Pennykettles — mother Liz and young daughter Lucy. Liz makes clay dragons in her upstairs studio, called the Dragon Den, and the house is filled with them. David finds the pair a bit odd, especially the way they speak of the dragons as if they were alive. When Liz makes David a special dragon, Gadzooks, which she claims will help him with his wri... Read More

Icefire: Older, darker, more complicated

Icefire by Chris d'Lacey

Icefire is Chris d’Lacey’s second book in the Last Dragon Chronicles, following up on The Fire Within and continuing the story of David, the Pennykettles (Liz and Lucy), and the clay dragons that are much more than they appear. The Fire Within seems a wholly different construct from the succeeding novels — simpler, lighter in tone, feeling a bit younger in terms of target audience. Icefire begins the shift toward older, darker, more complicated storytelling.

Dragons play a much larger role in Icefire, as one might expect, and we start to get a sense of the clay dragons as distinct personalities. They still seem to lean a bit young to me in terms of readership, though one in particular faces s... Read More

Fire Star & The Fire Eternal: Too much going on

Fire Star &  The Fire Eternal by Chris d' Lacey

Books three and four in Chris d’Lacey’s The Last Dragon Chronicles are The Fire Eternal and Fire Star respectively. I’ve reviewed the first two separately, but as these two share many of the same problems, I’ve decided to review them together.

The first book, The Fire Within, introduced the major characters and the basic premise of the Last Dragon, Gawain, who died ages ago but whose lost Fire Tear might still play a role in today’s world. Connected, somehow, to that dragon are young Lucy Pennykettle and her mother Liz, who makes clay dragons, some of which are animate and have special powers. Their tenant David Rain gets mixed in with the dragon mystery, but mostly he and the others ... Read More