Scamp is one of the smaller boys in his town, and as such has always been picked on by the larger boys. He has learned to be quick to run and light of foot when the bullies are about especially since his big brother won’t protect him. Then comes the fateful day when Scamp flees from the bullies into the darker parts of the forest, and comes across a chest laying next to the body of a large, dead, green dragon. Little does he realize that what is contained within the chest will take him on an adventure where he will encounter tragedy, magic, dwarves, dragons, daemons and a race more ancient then humankind. Scamp, his big brother and his best friend set off with the contents of the chest to appease a dead man's last wish. They meet with strange, and often scary things along the way. They also learn that being family means being there for one another when you really need it, to trust in themselves and that perhaps nothing is "born" evil. Can they save all of Krynn before the strange black hooded red eyed mage gets what he wants?
This is a YA book, though it is entertaining enough for adults. The plot is fun, quick paced and rather enjoyable. Most adults will find the characters rather thin but still amusing. Good for the 12 and up crew, nice introduction to fantasy for the younger generation. 8 and up advanced readers could read it, though their parents will probably have to help them out with some of the fantasy terminology and some of the unusual font (each of these books opens with a letter in a fake handwritten font – neither of my kids can read that font).
Rated PG - some mild violence, evil plots and plans, ADHD behavior saves the day. There is one human murdered and one dragon murdered neither is shown only the aftermath – there is also the discussion of the aftermath of wars, including orphans, refugees and torched towns. Good themes that are open enough to be discussed without being overbearing.