Dragon Cauldron

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Dragon Cauldron (1991) by Chinese-American author Laurence Yep is the third book in his Dragon tetralogy. The story picks up where Dragon Steel left off. Exiled dragon princess Shimmer together with Thorn, Indigo, Civet, and Monkey attempt to get Baldy's cauldron repaired so that they can restore the Lost Sea, the waters of which Civet had used in Dragon of the Lost Sea to flood the city of River Glen.

Chapter 1[edit]

  • Indigo: This is my forest, not yours.
  • Civet: What do you know? You were raised in a dragon palace under the sea.

Chapter 3[edit]

  • Monkey (narration): …I’ve always felt the truth was something that should be ‘improved’ every now and then.
  • Monkey: How do you think I’ve survived so long despite all the pranks I’ve played? I know when to stop.

Chapter 7[edit]

  • Civet: Dragon and human, skin or scale—all shall bow to his power.
    • Civet is possessed by an ancient spirit when she tells Thorn this.

Chapter 9[edit]

  • Civet: I thought I could return to the forest I knew as a girl, but over the years it had been destroyed. I won’t let that happen again.
  • Monkey: It’s an old monkey custom to dip our tail in a river when we’ve won a great victory.

Chapter 10[edit]

  • Shimmer: This isn’t a democracy, I don’t fly by majority vote.
  • Civet: The past has a way of being more real than the present.

Chapter 12[edit]

  • Monkey: What Shimmer thinks isn’t the only standard in this world.
  • Thorn: You don’t understand. You don’t know what it was like living alone in that miserable village.

  • Thorn: At first it was because anything--even deserts and monsters--seemed better than Knobby. But then I saw that underneath that tough hide of hers was a gentle person—though she would have growled and thumped her tail and denied everything.
  • Monkey: It takes a special person to love a dragon.
    • Thorn is explaining what Shimmer means to him.

  • Thorn: I’ll show her, I’ll prove to her that I’m just as clever as Indigo.

Chapter 13[edit]

  • Shimmer: Whoever came up with this island had an exquisite sense of humor.
  • Monkey: You don’t go to that sort of trouble just to build a kind of kennel. Just who is imprisoned here?
    • Shimmer, Monkey, Indigo, Thorn and Civet are trapped on the Nameless One’s island which has a magical barrier spell in place.

Chapter 15[edit]

  • Civet: More and more I think that I saw visions and not nightmares. If so, don’t listen to these jabbering fools. The world will depend upon you and you alone.

Chapter 17[edit]

  • The Nameless One: Yes, the Boneless King, a new name for a new age.
    • From this point on the Nameless One is referred to as the Boneless King.

Chapter 19[edit]

  • The torturer: You’re like all the rest. You look at a few thugs, and you judge all of us the same way. But it’s a profession, you see. And there are standards to uphold.
  • Civet: Torture?
  • The torturer: Ah, now, you see, that’s just the kind of prejudice I have to fight all the time. I’m a facilitator, specializing in information retrieval.
  • Thorn: And what’s that?
  • Civet: A torturer.
  • The torturer: Facilitator, please.

  • Civet: You look more used to that apron than a crown.
  • The Butcher: It’s no secret. When I was young, I made my living by cutting up cattle into steaks. But I learned a thing or two while the soft folk were lolling around in their palaces.
  • Civet: How to roll in blood.
  • The Butcher: How to get what I want.

Chapter 20[edit]

  • The Boneless King: Fool! Your puny mind could never understand my magic. When I’m done with you, the only thing people will remember about you is the gruesomeness of your death.

Chapter 21[edit]

  • Civet: Remember this when it is your time. We may live our lives as we like; but there will come a day when we are asked to pay the price. I don’t know how, but you will have great powers someday. Accept it.
    • Civet is addressing Thorn when she says this.
  • Civet: I now pay my debt to you and your people.
    • Civet is addressing Shimmer when she says this.

Chapter 22[edit]

  • The Boneless King: I really must thank you. I haven’t had so much fun in a long time.
  • Pomfret: You! I thought you were dead.

Shimmer: Thought or wished?

    • Pomfret and Shimmer are estranged dragon siblings.

Chapter 23[edit]

  • The Snail Woman: No. It couldn’t be. I assumed that you had been hanged a long time ago.
  • Shimmer: But you know his master, the Old Boy.
  • The Snail Woman: True, but I also know this rascal.
  • Monkey: Forgive and forget, my lady.
  • The Snail Woman: You snuck into our mountain where it floated between the worlds and tried to steal my fan.
  • Monkey: I had need, my lady. There was a whole mountain on fire.
  • The Snail Woman: That you set flame in the first place.

Chapter 24[edit]

  • The Smith: My grandmother didn’t make silly little kitchen pots.
    • The Smith is referring to Baldy’s cauldron, one of the five dragon treasures.

Chapter 25[edit]

  • Thorn (narration): I wanted to say good-bye to her, but the heat was so scorching that no words would come. I could only look at my battered old dragon one last time.
    • Thorn is about to place his soul into Baldy’s cauldron to replace the previous one that escaped.

Chapter 26[edit]

  • The Snail Woman: He’s not gone. He’s in the cauldron now. And with his help we might heal it after all.
    • The Snail Woman is referring to Thorn placing his soul into Baldy’s cauldron.

Chapter 27[edit]

  • The Boneless King: Shame on you two. It’s wicked for a brother and sister to quarrel.
    • The Boneless King is referring to Shimmer and Pomfret.

External links[edit]

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