Title: The Dragon’s Tale
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals Quartet #4.5, Tortall #28
In: Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection (Tamora Pierce)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: The scent of power entered my nose and burned, making my eyes water.
Kitten has accompanied her human parents, Daine and Numair, to a visit to Carthak, where they visit several villages with Emperor Kaddar. While the humans help the local people Kitten and her friend Spots, Numair’s horse, are bored. Kitten finds a young woman hidden by spells. The woman is an outcast of the local society and has an infant to care fore. So Kitten decides to help her. She steals food and other things from the camp and brings them to the woman. At first she is afraid of Kitten, whom she sees as a monster, but after Kitten saves the woman’s child she realizes that Kitten is not only intelligent, but also friendly. The woman introduces herself as Afra and her son as Uday.
A series of small earthquakes take place around Afra’s hiding place, but she still wants to stay in the area where the spells protected her earlier, even though Kitten signals to her that the spells are gone. Afra finally believes Kitten when some of the villagers come too close to her hiding place. When Kitten tries to protect Afra Daine and Numair arrive just in time to see an opal dragon named Kawit rise from her several thousand year long “nap”, who had been responsible for the protecting spells. She gives Kitten a gift and agrees to accompany her and her friends for the rest of the travel. Daine and Numair take care of Afra and her son, who both have unusual magic.
Kitten is such a beautiful character – not only because she is a dragon, but she constantly helps Daine throughout her journeys in The Immortals Quartet. But, since, she isn’t able to communicate with her foster parents, it’s kind of hard to understand how she truly feels about what is happening around her. The Dragon’s Tale shows us Daine and Numair years down the track, and also gives Kitten a beautifully strong voice.
It is nice to see that Daine and Numair’s constant need to help and support others has rubbed off on their charge. Kitten’s self-appointed task of protecting and rescuing Afra may have partly been one out of boredom, but it was also because she saw that there was someone who needed help. The protective side of Kit didn’t just extend to Afra, but also Spots. The companionship of the two has extended years, and the easy way in which they communicate and negotiate is a testament to this fact. Kit’s choice to stand between Spots and a soldier emphasises how important this relationship is to her, and also the strength of character that this young dragon has.
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