Decided to read this because I enjoyed this earlier book by the same author.

ISBN: 0451460472

Fantasy novel centering on a young dragon, Auron (or AuRon, after dragons unfurl their wings), and his coming of age.

Auron is a Grey (i.e. un-amoured scales scale-less). Survives initial birthing ritual.

Family is killed by hostile dwarfs. Two surviving sisters (one of them, Wistala, goes on to book 2 while the other sister is killed; the crippled unnamed Copper has his own story in Book 3).

Auron is captured and sold. Learns of a book written about the secret of dragons and also an old dragon, NooMoahk, and seeks him out. Midway he escapes. Survives by his wits.

Outwits a drake on an island and devises a way to have the humans kill the drake (but as a dragon, his view of humans are like how we see lab rats. Auron remorsefully kills a child just to accomplish the deed).

Meets up with a dwarf. Enters into a partnership to escort the goods.

Eventually finds NooMoahk. Also has a human baby companion.

Through NooMoahk’s library, Auron learns the languages and histories of man and various species (elves, dwarves).

Wings are unfurled (in E. E. Knight’s world, dragons are wingless drakes before growing their wings). Forced to leave after NooMoahk goes berserk.

Finds a band of humans who have domesticated dragons. Apparently the ultimate cause of his family’s death. Infiltrates them. Abides his time. Meets Eliam, a sadistic lieutenant (linked to book 2 and 3).

Schemes and eventually wins the freedom of all the dragons in the stronghold.

BTW, what’s interesting is the author’s notion of dragons and gold (and other precious metals). In Knight’s world, dragons lust after gold and metals because they eat metal to strengthen and develop amoured scales. And they are able to produce fire by spitting a sort of bile that ignites upon contact with air.