Dragon of the Lost Sea
Dragon of the Lost Sea (1982) by Chinese-American author Laurence Yep is the first book in his Dragon tetralogy. The plot centers on an exiled dragon princess named Shimmer, who undertakes a quest to restore her homeland, the Inland Sea, which is now known as the Lost Sea after its waters were sealed up in the form of a blue pebble by a powerful witch named Civet. She gains an unlikely ally in the form of a young, orphaned human teenager named Thorn.
- Thorn: I’m used to beatings.
- Shimmer: But why take one more?
- Thorn: You believed me when I said that I had seen the Unicorn. Most people seem to take it for granted that an orphan automatically has to be a liar.
- Shimmer: Oh, come now. Someone here must have been kind to you.
- Thorn: No one that I can remember. But I’m not asking you for pity. I’m just stating the facts.
- Shimmer: I have never been a witch. They’re to the magical arts what pickpockets are to banking.
- Thorn: Just who are you?
- Shimmer: My people are the oldest and best of all living creatures.
- Shimmer: A dragon princess must fly like a dragon princess. If you want safety, find some stinking, plodding camel.
- Thorn: If I run away or hold you back, you can leave me. But I’ll never let you down. You just wait and see.
- Shimmer: That’s a bold-enough promise, but can you keep it?
- Thorn: You won’t know, unless you take me along.
- Shimmer: However, I’m afraid you’re going to have a short—if busy—life with me.
- The Keeper: I once heard of a certain young dragon princess. It was said that no one was quite her match when it came to flying and fighting.
- Thorn: Are you really an outlaw like the keeper said?
- Shimmer: It’s all a misunderstanding really.
- Shimmer: In fact, relatives will stab you in the back twice as fast and hard as an enemy.
- Shimmer: Well, I like your attitude even if I don’t quite agree with it.
- Thorn: Why do you always have to stand on your silly pride?
- Shimmer: Because it’s all that I’ve had sometimes.
- Thorn: Well, what does it take to convince you that I’m your friend?
- Shimmer: I don’t know. It’s been centuries since the situation last came up.
- Thorn: You’re impossible.
- Shimmer: Unique is a better word.
- Monkey (in disguise as a soldier): We were sent here by that magnificent hero, the Great Sage Equal to Heaven.
- Shimmer: You wouldn’t happen to be that very same ape, would you?
- Monkey: I am the Master of Seventy two transformations. I’ve probably forgotten more magic than you’ll ever know. Even if you may be of the dragonish persuasion. Dragons were always deadliest with their tongues.
- Shimmer: Your reputation was dead long ago. In fact, it’s overripe—if not outright rotten.
- Shimmer: I’m glad to see that your tongue hasn’t worn out even if your memory might have.
- Monkey: I supposed I’ll just have to take Baldy’s cauldron the way I took my magic rod.
- Monkey: Even as weak as Civet may be after all this magic, I’d sooner jump into a pit of vipers than follow Civet into her mountain. My chances are far better going into the dragon kingdoms.
- Thorn: We’re a team—whether she wants to admit it or not.
- Shimmer: I don’t know if I would go that far—but you do come in handy at times.
- Thorn: In the past few days, I’ve heard an awful lot about a dragon’s sense of honor and precious little about a dragon’s sense of gratitude.
- Civet: I haven’t trusted anyone since my own dear, loving father sent me to my death.
- Civet: I waited almost too long to destroy the city. Oh, I knew I could flood the city all right, but I wasn’t sure I could get away from Monkey afterward. And I had to be free to hunt down anyone who escaped from the city. My revenge had to be a complete and thorough one.
- Thorn: You have such a fine way of winning friends.
- Shimmer: Well, we’re family in a strange sort of way. I mean, heaven knows where my clan is because they’ve scattered all around the world, and you’re an orphan. And we already seem to have adopted one another.
- Thorn: Are you serious?
- Shimmer: As serious as I’ll ever be.
- Thorn: Are you sure you want to adopt me?
- Shimmer: Yes, though I must be mad or a glutton for punishment.
- Thorn: I suppose I am too, so I guess we’re related after all.
- Shimmer: One day I’ll have a home again.
- Thorn: Even if we have to bring it in a drop at a time.