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The Fire Within (The Last Dragon Chronicles #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  21,234 Ratings  ·  1,246 Reviews
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 write a story, which reveals the secrets behind a mystery. In order to solve the mystery and save his dragon, David must master the mag
Paperback, 340 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Scholastic Inc. (first published September 27th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 05, 2007 Alice rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Inspired Kathy
Sep 01, 2008 Inspired Kathy rated it liked it
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.
Sep 25, 2014 Mindy rated it did not like it
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
Mrs. Bajema
Sep 11, 2008 Mrs. Bajema rated it it was ok
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
Jan 04, 2014 Hamster rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 10, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it
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
Kimberly Paul
Feb 11, 2011 Kimberly Paul rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOD! This book is so outrageous! It's so suspeseful and it has dragons, which I love! Well, for anyone who hasn't read this book, I'm sorry, but I HAVE to give you my part so far (so here's a spoiler alert):

'Oddly, he thought about his dragon, then; Gadzooks, sitting on the windowsill at home: a spiky silhoutte against the rain pattered glass. And, in that moment, something peculiar happened. In his mind's eye David saw Gadzooks take his pencil from his mouth and try to scribble something
May 19, 2011 Lynne rated it it was ok
oh boy, these Fire Within books are all the rage with my ten year old boy and his friends! he was so excited for me to partake of the dragon-fun but I must admit, I really had to fake enthusiasm for this tortuous story about clay dragons that come to life, squirrels that may or may not be getting bullied at the town fountain by other squirrels, and a college student protagonist who is really socially over-involved with his nine-year old land-lady's daughter. (I don't mean to imply that it's cree ...more
Ival Crisp
Oct 23, 2011 Ival Crisp rated it really liked it
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 28, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2012 Fern rated it it was ok
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
Ker Malkin
Oct 06, 2012 Ker Malkin rated it it was ok
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.

Jan 12, 2013 Olyvia rated it liked it
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.
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
Katelynn Spencer
Oct 11, 2013 Katelynn Spencer rated it really liked it
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
Nov 05, 2013 Maggie rated it did not like it
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
Sarah AlObaid
Feb 16, 2016 Sarah AlObaid rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
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
Jan 03, 2014 Anthony Dimario rated it it was amazing
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
Josh Neff
Mar 20, 2014 Josh Neff rated it did not like it
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
Oct 15, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
It's a combination of a story about squirrels and dragons. It sounds so odd, but it was such a creative and adorable book. It's wonderful children's literature.
Sep 03, 2015 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-that-i-own
I love this book and series very much, I had accidentally started with the second book back in middle school, bought it from the book fair and loved the first few chapters. Now I have never been a big reader so a few chapters was like how much I really seamed to read most my life(unless it was for school). But once I found out it was the second I stopped.

Four/five years after I graduated and I still remember loving the book. So I get the first one and read the whole thing. It's not all about dra
Jan 03, 2015 Katherine rated it it was ok
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
Jun 10, 2015 Gabriel rated it really liked it
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
Feb 22, 2015 Elena rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven R. McEvoy
Dec 15, 2015 Steven R. McEvoy rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 04, 2016 Ivan added it
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.
Oliver Owen
Sep 12, 2016 Oliver Owen rated it liked it
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
Oct 07, 2016 Nivedith rated it really liked it
I like the book, The Fire Within because the book has a unique plot. The plot was about dragons which was unique. In my opinion the writing was powerful because at the end there is a sad ending about the squirrels. Lucy, the daughter of a family of two loves the squirrels in her backyard but she is devastated about what happens to the squirrel. One strength of the book is that the author created suspense in the book which makes the reader want to read more. I also didn't like the book because I ...more
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Do any of you people like the idea of ther being squirls in the book and being part of the main problem? 1 6 Jun 18, 2015 10:34PM  
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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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