Twelve-year-old Anya must hunt a dragon for money to pay her family’s debts, but when the dragon saves her life, she must choose between her family and her conscience.
A dragon has been spotted in Russia for the first time since the Tsar ordered their extermination over a decade ago. The dragon’s appearance has prompted the Tsar to issue a bounty: one thousand rubles to whoever brings him the beast alive.
Twelve-year-old Anya Kozlova needs that bounty. The corrupt village magistrate has delivered an ultimatum to her family: pay an enormous sum of back taxes within 30 days or be evicted from their home. With her father conscripted and fighting in Tartary, Anya and her mother are left alone to care for Anya’s disabled grandparents and manage their farm. If Anya can get the bounty, she can pay off the magistrate, bring her father back from war, and maybe see her mother smile again.
Anya doesn’t know how to hunt a dragon, but her friend Ivan, the son of a legendary hero, does. As they draw closer to the dragon, a Viking warrior arrives. He’s been pursuing the dragon all the way from Norway, and his message is clear: interfere and die.
But Anya and Ivan have already interfered too much, and the Viking takes deadly action against them. They’re pulled from a watery death by an unexpected hero: the dragon. As Anya and Ivan come to befriend the little dragon, two things become clear: he’s the last of his kind, and he’s in incredible danger.
With the magistrate’s tax deadline looming, and no other source of money in sight, Anya must make a choice: save the dragon or save her family.