Ping has been a slave all her life, not even knowing her name. Her duties include feeding the imperial dragons, lacklustre animals living in a fortified pit. When the female dies and her body is mutilated by the imperial dragonkeeper, Danzi (the male dragon) escapes with Ping and a mysterious stone which is very important to the dragon. They must reach the Ocean, but Danzi is old, sick and injured, so it is up to Ping to keep him going. Along the way, she discovers some surprising strengths within herself.
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