The Fire Within

When my son asked me how my “dragon book” was I had to stop and think.

Dragon book? Am I reading a dragon book? “Oh, you mean The Fire Within.

Well, it’s really about squirrels.”

College student David rents a room from Mrs. Pennykettle (a potter) and her “Veruca Salt” wannabe daughter Lucy. Mrs. Pennykettle makes these unusual mini clay dragons, and gives David one. Meanwhile, everyone is occupied with helping an injured squirrel. David suspects the dragons have some sort of power, as his dragon “Gadzooks” communicates in his thoughts, and inspires him to write a story for Lucy about their squirrel adventures.

The book has some flaws – Lucy was more annoying than cute, the squirrel stuff was tedious, and overall there wasn’t much excitement. The little clay dragons were delightful, but regrettably were never given center stage till the end of the book. At the very least the story is original; as the author tells the story, he is actually showing readers where his creative inspiration comes from.

The dragon saga continues minus the squirrels in the sequels Icefire, Fire Star, and Fire Eternal.

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