A sixteen-year-old girl named Elspeth wakes one night to find a hatchling dragon in her father's bed. Elspeth's father, a hunter named John Fletcher, tells her she's had a bad dream, one she must not tell anyone about. Things deteriorate. The dragon reappears, each time growing in size and potency. As this happens, her father becomes increasingly angry, then violent.
This is the story of their journey into family violence, and then out again. A monk at the local monastery, Constantine, a man who has had his own firsthand experience of violence, facilitates the outward journey. But within his care there lurks another danger: Constantine has a dragon of his own.
It is a titanic struggle between forces both within and without. As she struggles with the other characters and with the dragon, Elspeth must learn the difficult lesson that forgiveness is the path to her own healing.