Jaxx is a slave, alone in the world, until he is sent to the dragon hatching grounds as a punishment and saves a dying dragon baby. He discovers that the little gold dragon he saves, Ciarran, can speak to him and she becomes his only friend. For as long as he can remember, Kaine has had the ability to enchant other creatures and make them do his will. Nervous of his talent, his parents send him away to the Academy of Magic where he sets records for the number of animals he can control at one time. When the Dragon Queen lays a rare clutch of eggs, Kaine is one of a handful of apprentices chosen for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a Dragon Mage, the highest level of Enchanter. On the day the dragons take their first flight, Kaine sets his sights on enchanting the gold dragon and making her his. In her terror, Ciarran calls to Jaxx. Instinctively, Jaxx summons magic that comes from his bond with her to thwart Kaine and free her. Jaxx and Ciarran take flight to escape but are pursued by spells cast by the mages. When it seems that they are about to be captured, Ciarran suddenly transports them to a different realm, a land where dragons and riders are partners and use magic to defend their homeland. At first, the people of this land seem welcoming, but Jaxx soon begins to worry that they will separate him from Ciarran when they learn he is unable control the magic he shares with her. Meanwhile, Kaine is left behind, humiliated and stripped of his magic by the master mages because of his conduct at the dragon's first flight. Despondent, he finds an ancient Grimoire that seduces him with the power to raise the dead. He begins to make one bad choice after another, leading him down a dark path that turns him into a monster.