In this spirited fantasy, first in Walton’s Dragon’s Curse series, sentient dragons and humans coexist, but none too easily. Since he was old enough to swing a sword, Joseph of Tredin has, along with his coterie of knights, patrolled the borderland between dragon- and human-occupied territories, dispatching the occasional upstart dragon that dares to violate the shaky truce between the species. When Joseph’s king takes deathly ill, the metallic dragons (the good ones) propose an alliance that will allow Joseph to enter the lands of the chromatic dragons (the bad ones) to retrieve an elixir that will restore the king. Once in the dragon lands, Joseph’s entourage is picked off one by one and—to his horror—he is magically transformed into a dragon as part of a plot to foster a hybrid bloodline that will give rise to a dynasty of dragon kings. Walton carefully layers unforeseen complications into his well-crafted plot to make Joseph’s triumph all the more heroic and his destiny all the more deserved. Although the dialogue contains some anachronisms—characters are as prone to say “oops” as “nay”—they won’t deter readers from enjoying this entertaining story. Ages 12–up.