Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dragon and Herdsman

Dragon and Herdsman

The Fourth Dragonback Adventure

Dragonback (Volume 4)

Timothy Zahn





Dragon and Herdsman, the fourth Dragonback adventure from award-winning author Timothy Zahn

Jack Morgan has had it rough. He was orphaned at three, then lost his Uncle Virgil ten years later. But the plucky fourteen-year-old didn't know what rough was until he met Draycos, sole survivor of an advance force of alien refugees that had been brutally ambushed over the world where Jack was in hiding from the authorities. The K'da poet-warrior needed to bond with a host, or he would die; the reformed boy thief and con artist needed a friend, someone he could depend on as he tried to clear his name. Since then they've formed a unique team, determined to find and expose those responsible for the slaughter of Draycos's team.

In the months since fate threw them together, they've been through a lot. But when Jack tries to hack the computer in an office of the notorious Malison Ring, their quest nearly ends in the jaws of that mercenary organization's trap.

Luckily, Alison Kayna, a girl Jack had worked with as a reluctant mercenary for another outfit, comes to his rescue. Evading pursuit, they escape to the primitive world of Rho Scorvi, where she's planned a rendezvous with friends.

But at the edge of Rho Scorvi's hundred-mile-wide forest, they make a shocking discovery: traveling with a group of the planet's native Erassvas is a small lost colony of Draycos's own race, the K'da. But unlike Draycos's people, these K'da--known as Phookas--are slow, lethargic, and unintelligent. When the Malison Ring tracks Jack's ship, the Essenay to Rho Scorvi, Jack realizes that unless he and Draycos and a reluctant Alison can lead the Phookas to safety in the forest, these unfortunate creatures will become the latest victims of the genocide that threatens to wipe out their entire race.

Jack has already been a thief, a soldier, and a slave. Now he must become a herdsman, protecting the Phookas from danger as they travel deep into the unexplored forest. But even more importantly, he must protect from the mercenaries and Alison the dark secret of the herd and Jack's poet-warrior ally. Only if they succeed do they stand a chance of surviving Rho Scorvi to continue their quest . . .

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Chapter One

A light breeze was blowing softly through the streets of Avrans City on the world of Bigelow, making the cold night air feel that much colder. Huddled in a darkened doorway, Jack Morgan shifted restlessly in his sleep, pressing...


Praise for Dragon and Herdsman

“Well paced and smoothly narrated. Jack and Draycos learn to trust each other--and discover they have enemies in common.” —Kirkus Reviews on Dragon and Thief

“This start to a new SF adventure series from Hugo Award-winner Zahn will appeal to young readers . . . Zahn keeps the story moving at breakneck speed.” —Publishers Weekly on Dragon and Thief

“A space opera for all ages.” —Locus on Dragon and Thief

“Recently I was asked if anyone was still writing the kind of grand space adventure like Heinlein's juveniles or Andre Norton's tales that enticed so many people into science fiction fandom. Now I have the answer and it is a resounding yes! Zahn rocks!” —Genrefluent on Dragon and Soldier

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn has written over twenty-five science fiction novels, including Dragon and Thief (an A.L.A. Best Book for Young Adults), Dragon and Soldier, and Dragon and Slave, the first three Dragonback novels, as well as Heir to the Empire, the all-time bestselling Star Wars spinoff novel. Winner of the Hugo Award, he lives in Oregon.

Timothy Zahn

Kent Akselsen

Timothy Zahn

From the Publisher


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