Dragon War

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Dragon War (1992) by Chinese-American author Laurence Yep is the final book in his Dragon tetralogy. Exiled dragon princess Shimmer along with Indigo and Monkey attempt to rescue Thorn, whose soul is trapped within Baldy's cauldron. The cauldron is now possessed by the powerful immortal wizard known as the Boneless King, who has possessed the body of the tyrannical human king known as the Butcher and launched an all out war against the dragons with the aid of Shimmer's brother Pomfret.

Chapter 1[edit]

  • Monkey: Well, if he meant to kill us he would have done it already.


  • Pomfret: You always were a crafty one—always sneaking extra desserts.


  • Pomfret: From what I’ve heard about you, Monkey, I don’t think you were ever innocent.

Chapter 2[edit]

  • Monkey: Funny, the cavern seems smaller than last time.


  • Shimmer: Most creatures would give their right claw to be a dragon.


  • Shimmer: You’ll make a fine dragon. You won’t look like Monkey, with that mashed snout of his.

Chapter 3[edit]

  • Indigo: You have your clan. I have no one. And I’m of no use to anyone. So I’m sorry that I’m not Thorn, all right?


  • Indigo: It was like being born again when you took me away.

Chapter 4[edit]

  • Shimmer: You’ll make other friends.
  • Indigo: While you’re trying to save the world all by yourselves?
  • Monkey: At least they’ll be more sensible than we are.
  • Indigo: Well, yes, they’ll certainly have more sense than you two, and yet they’ll be…kind of stupid too.
  • Monkey: I think she’s saying that we’re noble in her own backhand way.
  • Indigo: There isn’t any such thing as nobility. I think you’re both being silly. But maybe if I stick around you, some common sense will rub off on you.
  • Monkey: Or some silliness might rub off on you.

Chapter 5[edit]

  • Monkey: I am impressed. When a dragon is willing to go with a human-size snout, I know she’s really determined.
Monkey is referring to Shimmer assuming a human form.

Chapter 6[edit]

  • Corporal Tubs: That is a nag, a plug, a hack. It should have been chopped up for the stew pot. It’s not even worth feeding weeds to.
Tubs is referring to Shimmer who is in disguise as a horse.

Chapter 7[edit]

  • Monkey: Thinking back to your wandering days?
  • Shimmer: Yes, but one way or another, those days are over. I’ll either have a throne, or…

Chapter 9[edit]

  • Shimmer: You’d think he was talking about the weather instead of betraying our whole race.
Shimmer is referring to her brother Pomfret, who has sided with the Butcher, possessed by the Boneless King.

Chapter 11[edit]

  • Indigo: I could get to like this body.
Indigo is in dragon form when she says this.

Chapter 12[edit]

  • Indigo: I thought you were different from the other dragons. I thought you were smart. I thought you weren’t stuck-up. But you’re just as bad. You’re just as full of lies.
  • Shimmer: It’s all right. Think of the good times when you think of me.
  • Indigo: I said…I love you.
  • Shimmer: Me? With my temper?
  • Indigo: You’re the only thing I’ve ever loved.

Chapter 13[edit]

  • Chukar: We were put in the vanguard so we could redeem our clan’s honor. They would have put us there anyway. We frontier fighters are the only ones who have seen any combat out by the Abyss.
  • Shimmer: It was Thorn who did his best. If I had done my best, my people would have their home, and Thorn would still be alive.
  • Monkey: Just because two goals are good ones, doesn’t mean that they’re automatically compatible. It would be convenient if they were, but often they’re not. And so you have to make a choice.
  • Shimmer: And feel bad about whatever choice you make.

Chapter 14[edit]

  • Sambar: We’re of the same blood, you and I. I’ll fight beside you.


  • Sambar: Perhaps, it’s been too long since that sound was heard. For that, you have our apologies, Your Highness.

Chapter 15[edit]

  • Sambar: I gather you’re not ready to return your staff?
  • Monkey: it would be useful in the coming battle.
  • Sambar: Take the back door, then. I’ll tell him that he just missed you.
  • Monkey: I’m sorry for anything wicked I’ve said about you.
  • Sambar: No, you’re not, and the next time I see you, I’ll expect you to return his property.
Sambar is referring to the dragon King of the Golden Sea, from whom Monkey stole a shape-changing staff.


  • Indigo: All I have is you now.
  • Shimmer: I swear to you that if we survive, you’ll always have a place with me.


  • Thrush: Well, I think the clan has plenty of room for a clever person like yourself.
  • Elderly female dragon: That’s true. We’ve lost enough of our own, heaven knows. And there’ll certainly be enough work for all.
  • Indigo: Thank you. But it’s a poor joke.
  • Elderly female dragon: It’s no joke, girl. Don’t judge us by these Deep dragons. Oh, I’ll admit we had our airs at one time, but we’ve had most of them beaten out of us over the centuries.
  • Thrush: Nowadays we judge creatures by what they can do and not by their pedigrees. So it’s a lot harder to impress us.
  • Elderly female dragon: But so far, dearie, you’re doing just fine.


  • Shimmer: How did you know our nickname for you?
  • Sambar: I haven’t been the High King this long without keeping my ears open. I know what you and your brother used to call me—and what you used to say.


  • Sambar: Well, at the very least people will say that we knew how to die well.

Chapter 16[edit]

  • Monkey: That’s only because you don’t how to…um…”borrow” something. Leave the cauldron to me.

Chapter 17[edit]

  • Shimmer: Civet knew when it was her time and so did Thorn. Now it’s mine.

Chapter 21[edit]

  • Lord Tower: You’ve lost, and now our kingdom lies helpless before the dragons. Even if they do not invade, your capital is in revolt.


  • The Boneless King: It was time to end this little farce anyway. I’ll rule in my own name from now on. The Butcher is dead. Long live the Boneless King.

Chapter 22[edit]

  • Indigo: So his sacrifice was even greater than anyone knew.
  • Shimmer: And yet I think he would have done the same thing even had he known his true origins.
Indigo and Shimmer are referring to Thorn, who has been discovered to be the crown prince.

Chapter 23[edit]

  • The Bonless King: I should have known I couldn’t hold a serious conversation with you about your execution.


  • The Bonless King: This era lacks such imagination. But I’ll fix that.


  • Pomfret: You’ve allied yourself with the weak. Look at what it’s gotten you.


  • Pomfret: Bones, all I see are dragon bones in every one of them.
  • Shimmer: You were…a dragon once. Be a dragon…again.
Pomfret is referring to the possibilities being revealed to him by the World Mirror.

Chapter 24[edit]

  • Shimmer: Pomfret died far better than he lived.


  • Shimmer: They say that peace is harder work than war.


  • Indigo: I liked it better when we were outlaws and on the run.


  • Storax: The sea is restored.

Chapter 25[edit]

  • The Lord of the Flowers: Haven’t you been hanged yet, ape?
  • Monkey: I’ve still managed to stay one step ahead of them, My Lord.


  • Indigo: I’m tired of this shape. I liked it better when I was a dragon.
  • Bulbul: She fought alongside us. She’s welcome in the clan.
  • Shimmer: Quiet, Bulbul. By that thinking we’d have to accept that ape as well.
  • Monkey: Count me in, cousin.


  • Shimmer: How can Thorn be a ruler and one of the treasures of the dragon kingdom as well?
  • The Snail Woman: That is a problem for lawyers and theoretical magicians.

Chapter 26[edit]

  • Monkey: I could say something about friendship being more valuable than treasure.
  • Sambar: You could, but you would be wise not to. I’ve no patience for platitudes at the moment.
  • Monkey: But a human king who is a dragon friend would be a true treasure. And perhaps yours truly can find some treasure for you as great as the one you lost.


  • The Old Boy: You’ve been getting into bad habits again.
  • Monkey: Alas master, it’s the company I keep. But they’re such brave and good and true companions that I forgive them their flaws.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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