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Dragon's Milk    by Susan Fletcher order for
Dragon's Milk
by Susan Fletcher
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 1997 (1989)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kaeldra adores her foster sister Lyf, whom she calls Lyfling. They live with Lyf's sister Mirym, her mother Ryfenn and Granmyr. Kaeldra cares for the sheep but can do nothing to please Ryfenn. For Kaeldra is farin and different. One night the ground shakes and rumbles and she hears a new sound, 'a great soul-sung lament' and 'the pulse of a giant wingbeat, flying east.'

Lyf falls seriously ill with vermilion fever and only dragon's milk can save her. Granmyr sends Kaeldra in search of it, for Kaeldra inherited a talent from her mother and is a green-eyed dragon-sayer who can communicate with the Ancient Ones. Granmyr has her own talent, seeing pictures as she turns her potter's wheel, and gives directions.

Kaeldra finds the dragon who terrifies her. To earn the dragon's milk that Lyf needs she is forced to look after the draclings who have just hatched. Despite her fears, she returns periodically to do this and grows fond of the baby dragons. In the meantime a stranger, Jeorg, arrives at her home, declares himself to be a dragonslayer and asks for Kaeldra's help. She is drawn to him but distrusts him.

The local farmers, irate at the killing of their livestock, manage to slay the mother dragon and Kaeldra journeys to find the draclings a place of refuge. They survive danger and many adventures, followed continuously by Jeorg. When they cross the sea to the council bluff and Kaeldra finally calls the dragon kyn, she is betrayed and Jeorg's true colors are revealed. Dragon's Milk is the first of Fletcher's fantastic draconic adventures, The Dragon Chronicles.

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