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Dragon and Liberator: The Sixth and Final Dragonback Adventure    by Timothy Zahn order for
Dragon and Liberator
by Timothy Zahn
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dragon and Liberator follows Dragon and Judge to conclude the six books of Timothy Zahn's exciting Dragonback series. Fourteen-year-old Jack Morgan is partnered with Draycos, a K'da poet-warrior who can disappear in 2D form or materialize to protect his symbiotic host.

In the early episodes, Jack was trained by his skilled con artist Uncle Virgil. Draycos' influence has turned him into an advocate for the K'da, who are hunted by an alliance of alien Valahgua, Malison Ring mercenaries, the powerful Brummgan Chookoock family, and renegade Arthur Neverlin. The rather mysterious young Alison Kayna helped Jack and Draycos on their last two adventures and now travels with Taneem, an inexperienced young female K'da. Jack and Alison have agreed to work together to save the K'da, each still keeping their own secrets.

Now, as Dragon and Liberator opens, only two young humans and two K'da stand between a fleet of unsuspecting K'da and Shontine refugees and genocide by the unstoppable Valahgua Death weapon. Alison and Taneem end up as stowaways (in a booby-trapped safe) aboard the enemy's Advocatus Diaboli - after they exit the safe, they spy on the bad guys. After some misadventures, Jack and Draycos con their way onto the enemy Foxwolf ship and begin sabotaging Death weapons.

Of course it's not that easy - there are captures and thrilling escapes, betrayals and unexpected allies - and a realization that it's 'sometimes a warrior's duty to die for his people' - as the foursome apply all their skills to save the K'da and Shontine and foil the Valahgua's evil plan. Dragonback fans will not be disappointed by the exciting series conclusion in Dragon and Liberator.

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