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The Fire Within (The Last Dragon Chronicles #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  22,603 Ratings  ·  1,314 Reviews
Best-selling author Chris d'Lacey brings us a magical story about mysterious hand crafted clay dragons who have unusual powers.

When David moves in with Liz and Lucy, he discovers a collection of hand crafted, clay dragons that comes to life and has magical powers. David's personalized dragon, Gadzooks, can forecast the future, and inspires him to write a story which reve
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Orchard Books (first published September 27th 2001)
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Aug 14, 2008 Mindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The fantasy parts of this book were believable but the reality parts were not. The characterization of the main character was completely ridiculous and unbelievable. The language was terrible (who says "Aren't you supposed to be at college" instead of "aren't you supposed to be in class?" The word college was seriously over-used, like the author had to keep pointing out that he was in college since his character wasn't nearly mature enough to be in college and any guy actually in college would N ...more
Ker Malkin
YAY! A dragon book! I LOVE DRAGONS!

But disappointingly so, it's NOT what I had expected for a dragon book to be 'cause it's mainly centered on squirrels! *annoyed* I know, right?! What was the author thinking?

David is this tenant who rented a room in Elizabeth Pennykettle's household. Liz owns a bunch of clay modeled dragon figures since that's what she "does" for a living and evidently have those things unwavering around the house, mostly on shelves. They don't move but they seem very alive.

May 13, 2013 Wooga rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A Fire Within, Dull and Treacly Without

"Hrrr Durr" said that dragon. If you missed it the first time, don't worry, they'll point this out like 50 other times, because it's very poignant that the dragons are...well, special.

This book is so lame. I realize this was a much lower reading level thanI thought it would be, but even my 7 yr old niece would find this book too overly precious, tautological, and redundant. There's clay dragons that are magical and cry purple fire tears and go hrr (DONT FO
I was pretty disappointed with this one. Quite a few of my kids at school really like this one and the series. It has a pretty cool core idea with some dragon lore and living dragon statues, but then like 80% of the book is about saving some squirrels! Who cares?! Seriously. The little girl and the main 20-yr-old freaking out so much about the squirrels isn't really believable and it definitely isn't interesting.

The book suffers from a semi-common JF fiction problem of the characters acting weir
I decided to read a children’s book as a change of pace, and Chris D’Lacey’s The Fire Within was a perfect choice. A young college student, David, moves into the home of mother and daughter, Elizabeth and Lucy, expecting just a room to sleep in and food to eat. But he soon becomes part of the family, helping Lucy in her quest to save the squirrel next door which was left injured when its tree was chopped down. The novel has a beautiful mixture of nature and fantasy, with delightful relationships ...more
Sarah AlObaid
This is the first book in a middle grade series about David, a college student, who moves in to live with a mother and her daughter. The mother, Liz, makes those clay dragons and David believes there is something strange going on in the house and is doubtful as to whether the dragons are real or not. (Spoiler alert: they are)
This was a quick, fun read but i would have enjoyed it more had i read it when i first acquired it: six years ago. Also, practically the entire plot was revolving around res
Anthony Dimario
Dec 30, 2013 Anthony Dimario rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-series
Before I start let me just imply that I read this years ago when I was younger and part of the second, so I am a tad biased writing this review for it being one of my favorite childhood books.

Now, for the actual review. Who doesn't like dragons ? And that's exactly what the book is filled with to the brim. A twenty year old college student named David moves into the Pennykettle household as a temporary tenant. There he meets Liz, the single mother who works as a potter and creates clay dragons t
Ival Crisp
Oct 23, 2011 Ival Crisp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fire Within is one of those books that might not seem very special, or as if it would be a worthwhile read, yet is actually a story that will touch the hearts of all who decide to open its cover. In my opinion, the writing style of this first installment is most suitable for someone of a younger age than my own, yet the themes expressed have the ability to capture anyone's interest. This easy read is a favorite of mine and will always remain so.

Throughout the entirety of the novel, a prevale
Nov 05, 2013 Maggie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was BORING!!!!! It should have been called "Conker's Life" or something to that effect. I was looking for dragon fantasy and I got a crappy story about squirrels. The characters were completely undeveloped, and I hated Lucy. That may sound harsh, but she maybe the most annoying character ever created. I was looking forward to reading the whole series. That is never going to happen. I made myself finish the book because I paid nearly $10.00 ( e-book) for less than 200 pages. The series ...more
Dec 05, 2007 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fantasy-series
A magical adventure about the power of dragons...

When David moves in with Elizabeth Pennykettle and her eleven-year-old daughter, Lucy, he discovers a collection of clay dragons that come to life. David's own special dragon inspires him to wrote a story, which reveals the secrets behind a mystery. In order to solve the mystery and to save his dragon, David must master the magic of the fire within--not only with his hands but also his heart.
Jan 29, 2015 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, read-2015
This book is so adorable! It has long time since I've read a children's book so engaging. The Fire Within was the perfect book to take me from the reading slump i was going to.

You know that book that catches your inner child and stirs your imagination? The book that makes you subtly believe in magic, but the way that only a child can.

This book made me laugh and cheer for all the characters, I got hooked by the plot and its mysteries, with that excitement that a child has when he's about to hear
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A dragon on the cover? Why don't we just draw Mr. Bacon on the cover?! The most sensible thing would have been a squirrel.
I don't get how the summary takes the smallest message of the book, makes it intriguing and a big deal, and then only mentions the idea a few times throughout the book. I mean "The Fire Within"? How is that of importance?
My friend asks: "Well, have you read the rest of the series?" But that's my point. I shouldn't need to read the rest of the series to understand a message
Mrs. Bajema
When college student David decides to board with Liz and her daughter Lucy he soon discovers all is not as it seems. Liz makes clay model dragons to sell, and Lucy is a rambunctious kid who really wants to find out where all the squirrels have gone. When Liz gives David his own dragon, Gadzooks, a tiny little dragon chewing on the end of a pencil, David's life takes some unexpected turns.

This wasn't exactly a dragon book, in the sense of having a dragon as a main character. It was an interestin
Jordan Grieve
I was expecting a fantasy book about dragons but it was really just a book about a college aged kid hanging out with a 7 year old, trying to capture and relocate a squirrel. The writing wasn't bad, although a tad basic, my only disappointment was with the intense focus on squirrels and the complete and total miss when it came to trying to hit my heartstrings. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but I've never met anyone that's even likes squirrels
Josh Neff
Mar 20, 2014 Josh Neff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not a terrible book, but it was defiantly not great. I did not like this book very much. I was hoping that it would be more focused about dragons than it was. The plot wasn't very good, and it was very shallow. I wished it would have been more interesting than it was. The book was mostly about squirrels and that was disappointing, because the cover had a dragon on it. When I picked it up I thought I was going to get a very interesting story about dragons. I would not recommend this ...more
Brooke Wayne
The Fire Within is about dragons so of course I picked it up... in 5th grade. Since I'm looking for new books and not having any success, I decided to re-read this book.
I will say that the language is really low-grade level, but I really like Chris d'Lacey's style of writing. It's so engaging in an indefinable way. I really love books like that; books you put down but wish that you could read all the way through without being interrupted.
One big problem I had with this book though is the obsess
Aug 31, 2016 Oliver rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is told from the perspective of David, a tenant at the Pennykettle household, with Liz Pennykettle, and her daughter, Lucy. The first few days, David has some odd experiences with clay dragons that Liz makes. He also helps her daughter find out what happened to a squirrel in their backyard.
I think that this book was very interesting, because it tells a story about Dragons, while still adding parts about the squirrels. I thought some parts were unrealistic, such as the clay dragons com
Feb 22, 2015 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2009 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
When I first opened it I thought it would be an okay book, if a little childish, but basically the writing was terrible. The parts with the dragons were swallowed up in a side story about squirrels that was completely unrealistic. Maybe if I was younger it would have seemed better.
Jan 12, 2013 Olyvia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I like The Fire Within. There are better books in the series. I think the book would be more interesting if there wasn't as much stuff about squirrels. Maybe that's just me. It is a very good series though.
Jun 16, 2008 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book but can't remember it well even though I only read it about a year ago. I know it is part of a series and someday maybe I'll read the other books.
Oct 04, 2016 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well it was an awesome book for one and also its not really about dragons but I can't tell you what it is about because that would ruin the book.
Kolden Baehman
Mar 15, 2017 Kolden Baehman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response:
I really enjoyed this book. The author was detailed on the setting, but still let you imagine the characters. There weren't a lot of characters so that was good.

Plot Summary:
David moved into the PennyKettle house for college. He started to notice that the dragons were actually alive, because of Guinevere. Liz made David a dragon because he is a part of the family. David and Lucy tried catching a squirrel named Conker, because he was hurt. They caught him and gave him to Wildlif
Nov 28, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fire Within (The Last Dragon Chronicles #1)
By: Chris D'Lacey
Report Written By: Christopher Painchaud 7F-1 Monday November 28th 2011

Ah, the Pennykettle family. They sure are one of a kind in Chris D,Lacey's book "The Fire Within", the first book of this amazing series.

David Rain is 20 years old and is going for a geography class in Scrubbly
and he needs to find somewhere to stay, and then he sees a flyer for the Pennykettle family.
So, he decides to stay there. When he arrives he meets Elizabe
Steven R. McEvoy
I have had most of the books from The Last Dragon Chronicles on my to be read shelf for a few years now. The covers grabbed my attention, I was intrigued by the write ups on the back. But I just kept not getting to them. Looking back I really wish I had sooner. It was not until I picked up Chris's other series The Dragons of Wayward Crescent and started reading them with my children that I discovered how wonderful an author he is. In the last month I have read 5 of his books and currently have 2 ...more
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
I loved the concept but didn't think much of the story.

Why the fucking hell is a book advertised as a dragon book about a squirrel???
Not amused..

Anyway I was intrigued by the clay dragons and all the other mysterious goings on. But then the book started focusing on that stupid squirrel. It just went on and on, pages of shit about that squirrel! I was a hairs inch away from giving this up! A total waste of fucking time!

At the end things started heating up dragon-wise. But the best part was when
Aug 10, 2012 Fern rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Fire Within by Chris D’ Lacey

When David takes a room for rent in Liz’s and Lucy Pennykettle’s home, everything seems normal enough, except for the dragons that seem to be on every shelf in the house. David pays little mind to the clay dragons till his own dragon starts appearing in his thoughts, giving him advice for stories and seemingly predicting the future. David quickly begins to realize that the dragons are more than clay. They are real.

Finding the ad for a cheap room near his colleg
Katelynn Spencer
Wayward Crescent is a small suburban town decorated with beautiful oak trees and furry wild life scurrying about, with the occasional busybody nosing around in everyone’s business. David is a young College student, who has rented a room in Mrs. Pennykettle’s, along with her eleven year old daughter Lucy’s, house. David instantly notices a strange vibe in the air when every room is garnished with an ornate clay dragon. Not only this, but Mrs. Pennykettle and Lucy speak as if the dragons have feel ...more
Dec 29, 2016 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition did we get here? My daughter likes dragons, as in How to Train Your Dragon, and I need something to send her to camp with that was on her reading level. I was at a bookstore staring at the eye-catching cover on this one, and a teen next to me exclaimed that she loved this series. Oh, excellent, so I get it, send it off to camp, and my daughter comes back having read one chapter, which is unusual, but I didn't really investigate it at the time. Months later having read many other t ...more
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823 Reviews: Review 1 15 Nov 08, 2015 07:05AM  
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He was born in Valetta, Malta, but as a child moved first to Leicester and then to Bolton. After gaining a degree in biology from the University of York, he returned to Leicester and got a job at the University of Leicester in their Pre-Clinical Sciences department.
Originally his writing was confined to songs and he didn't turn to fiction until he was 32. His first piece of work was a 250,000 word
More about Chris d'Lacey...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Dragon Chronicles (7 books)
  • Icefire (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #2)
  • Fire Star (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #3)
  • The Fire Eternal (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #4)
  • Dark Fire (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #5)
  • Fire World (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #6)
  • The Fire Ascending (The Last Dragon Chronicles, #7)

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“What you take from the earth, you must give back. That's nature's way.” 130 likes
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