The iron claw by Paul Collins and Sean McMullen
Ford Street, 2015. ISBN 9781925000948
(Ages: 10+) Fantasy. This easy to read fantasy series again begins where the previous book, Dragonfall Mountain, left off. There is no recapping of the story to detract from the action which makes the series highly attractive to those students who are keen to get on with the story or devour a series by borrowing the books in order with no break.
The dragon Stormvaud returns to Dragonfall Mountain where King Lavarran and his Army have been waiting guarded by the other dragons, bringing the bodies of two palace guards which demonstrate that forbidden magic is being practised in the city. To avert complete disaster Latzar reveals himself to the dragons as a secret agent and Velza as the Iron Claw investigating Calbaras her father and perpetrator of the magic.
Meanwhile Dantar and Marko are lost in the sewers where they meet Merikus a talking rat who they enlist to guide them through the sewers to the docks. The repartee between Dantar and Merkius provides for some light hearted relief as their situation becomes more threatening, especially when they meet what appears to be Dantar's identical twin Avantar. But is he really a human or another example of Calbaras's magic.
Both Velza and Dantar find themselves in precarious positions again, locked in prison as Velza continues to seek out her father and Dantar and companions escape to Merk only to be set upon by thieves and arrested.
The plot continues to twist and turn as Calbaras evades capture and plots to become a Dark Hand and as powerful as the dragons while the dragons call a council meeting to try to solve the mystery of the dragon chick they sense. Short chapters which alternate between following Velza and Dantar and occasionally the Dragons, keep the readers on their toes and make for a fast read.