She has a dragon, and she’s not afraid to use it.
Nellie Dreessen is a kitchen maid in the palace of Regent Bernard of Saardam. She has worked for two kings and two regents, has seen two royal families murdered through magic, has seen ghosts and demons, and kept her head down like a good girl.
On her fiftieth birthday, she receives her late father’s diary, which describes a magical item that is so evil, it needs to be kept in the church crypt: a box that contains dragon.
Problem is, someone has stolen the box.
Regent Bernard holds a banquet for his eldest son’s sixteenth birthday. Distinguished guests come from far and wide. Because she knows what the box looks like, Nellie discovers it in a nobleman’s luggage.
Removing the box from a thief’s room is not stealing, right? Not if you intend to return it to the rightful owner: the church.
But someone poisons the nobleman, and everyone in the kitchen is a suspect. Nellie’s friend in the church advises Nellie to flee with the dragon box. The Regent is on a mission to stamp out magic, and Nellie plans to do what she does best: keep her head down and hide.
Problem is, the dragon has other ideas.
A young prince, an evil wizard, and a city that no longer seems to care.
Cast out from the palace, Nellie survives in the streets of Saardam with the poor and destitute and a dragon whose behaviour she can’t control, but is the key to finding the last member of the royal family.
The pompous Regent is hell-bent on finding the person who has killed his court advisor and he has decided the dragon is guilty. If he doesn’t find a culprit, his main source of money is at stake. The guards comb the city. It’s only a matter of time before they find Nellie.
A terrible mishap caused by the dragon puts Nellie’s friend and a number of other innocent people in prison. Nellie can no longer run and hide.
She concocts the most daring escape plan ever, but in gathering help to carry it out, she makes discoveries that may change the future of the city.
Take an adolescent boy. Make him angry. Add dragons.
Saving Prince Bruno from the church crypts hasn’t turned out the way Nellie had planned. The boy is morose, angry, hellbent on revenge, and incapable of wielding the power he has been given. But the group of refugees who have fled from the city have bigger concerns. It’s winter, they need to survive, and find a safe place to recover and plan their next move.
But the boy does something stupid. Through the prince’s single impatient action, they don’t have the time to recover anymore. The wizard knows where he is, he has the whole city eating out of his hands, and Nellie has to come up with a plan to defeat him, because the only other option is death.