Ping is a slave in a little-used royal palace on the edge of the Emperor's kingdom. Her tyrannic master is a cruel drunk who neglects his duties as Imperial Dragonkeeper and under his watch the Emperor's dragons have dwindled from a magnificent dozen to a miserable two. When one dragon dies, only the ancient and wise Long Danzi remains. His fate seems sealed - until Ping comes to his rescue in a moment of startling bravery that reveals her destiny as a Dragonkeeper. Pursued by the Emperor's forces and an evil dragon hunter, Ping, Danzi, and a rat called Hua, set off on a remarkable journey across the kingdom. Bound for the Ocean, they carry a mesmerising, beautiful dragon stone that must be protected at any cost. Surviving dangers of all kinds - a shape-shifting necromancer, and a ritual sacrifice among them - the trio finally arrive at Ocean, Danzi's final place of rest. But as her dragon-friend leaves Ping forever, the dragon stone reveals its spectacular secret ...