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High overhead, a dragon flies on coppery wings and rains down fire and destruction. It is the last of the great beasts, bent on wreaking havoc. Everywhere it flies, it chars the medieval English countryside, turning it and its people to gray ash with its fiery breath. Despairing and terrified, the people pray for a hero to save them. Jude is no hero. But when his family falls victim to the terrifying menace, he sets out to destroy the beast, even though he knows he has no hope of succeeding. Joined by a strange, beautiful young woman from a country far beyond the sea, Jude tells his tale of the hunting of the last dragon. Nothing like it has ever been told before.
From the book jacket: Ages 12 up DREAMS. VOWS. PROPHECIES. DESTINY. The Navoran Empire is wealthy, powerful--and slowly falling under the sway of the Empress's corrupt and sinister adviser. The Shinali nation has been reduced to a single clan on a small strip of land. They cling to their traditional ways, awaiting a hero out of legend. All Gabriel Eshban Vala has ever wanted is to be a healer. It has been this way since his seventh year, when he witnessed a brutal act he was helpless to stop. But he never forgot the eyes of the dying Shinali woman who asked him for help. From that day forward, Gabriel withstood the demands of his father, his family, and even his Empress in order to pursue his dreams of healing the sick. So what could an ancient prophecy foretelling his powerful nation's downfall have to do with him? When a chance meeting on a lonely plain brings him into the land of the Shinali, Gabriel develops a deep respect for these people and grows more and more disenchanted with his place among the powerful rulers of the Navoran Empire. Now, caught between loyalty to his Navoran roots and love for the Shinali people, Gabriel must make a single choice. The fate of two nations hangs in the balance. And so does Gabriel's own life. Sherryl Jordan has written an extraordinary and deeply moving tale of fate, hope, loyalty--and the ability of one man to change destiny.
From the book jacket: Rocco Makepeace is about to make a very unexpected trip. He will meet people that seem as primitive as any he has read about in history books; people who live in caves, who hunt with bows and arrows, who believe in magic and superstition. Some of those people will become very, very special to him. And because of that, Rocco will have a hard time going home. For Rocco believes that, somehow, he has just been sent on a trip back through time, back to the ancient past. With the help of Ayoshe, the wise woman and healer, he must learn to accept his fate. He must learn to become part of the sometimes savage, sometimes beautiful, and often mysterious culture to which he has been sent. But then Rocco begins to realize that something is wrong-deadly wrong. Ayoshe knows a secret. Rocco must find that secret out. But when he does, it may mean the end of him. And it may mean the end of his world. Compelling and provocative, this powerful first novel by New Zealand author Sherryl Jordan will grip readers in breathless suspense from start to finish.
From the book jacket: Elsha was born in a world of fire and darkness, a child of the Quelled. The Quelled are a branded people, doomed always to mine coal to warm the ruling class, the Chosen. But Elsha has strange visions and a strength of spirit that sets her apart. Condemned to death on her sixteenth birthday for her defiance, Elsha is saved when she is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord, the first Quelled female ever to be so honored. The Firelord is the most powerful being on earth, the only one with the gift for finding the coal vital to warm a dark world trapped forever in icy winter. As Elsha learns from the Firelord the ways of her new and dangerous world, her visions grow stronger, and so do her powers. The death of the Firelord puts her in a position to claim his title -- and bloody war breaks out. As Elsha fights to make a bold new world for her people, she learns the price of her power. But she learns, too, another power, and wins for all people, and for the earth, an unforeseen victory. Sherryl Jordan has created a bold and provocative story of extremes: good and evil, light and darkness, warmth and cold.