The Wearle, a race of dragons, has just arrived on Erth (sic). They have displaced a primitive tribe of the Hom and are hoping to set up a breading ground. They are also trying to discover what happened to an earlier colony of Wearle that disappeared some years before. Most of the Hom hate the "scalers" but are powerless to fight them. One young Hom, Ren, is fascinated with them and makes a bold move to learn more about them. He inadvertently gets involved with Wearle political intrigue and becomes the key to discovering the grisly fate of the earlier Wearle colony.
D'Lacey is well known for his "Last Dragon Chronicles" series which I have not read, and I believe this story is connected with that. I kept feeling like I was missing something; that certain revelations were significant, but I didn't understand them. The book mostly made sense on its own, and I recognize that D'Lacey had created a richly imagined fantasy world that many sophisticated fantasy readers would enjoy. I didn't enjoy it that much. It was a bit too dark and violent for my taste. There was a lot of death, dismemberment, and cruelty among the humans and the dragons. The first and second book of D'Lacey's Unicorne Files, which I have read, (or at least I started to read the second one, but stopped) were also too dark for me, so I think I am done with Chris D'Lacey. (284 p.)