Like so many great stories, E.E. Knight's Age of Fire series is about a family and what happens when that family is torn apart. Admittedly, this family has claws and wings and the ability to breathe fire, but the emotional core underneath resonates, even as the books oscillate between tragedy and playfulness, thoughtfulness and pulp action. If Ursula K. Le Guin and Edgar Rice Burroughs had collaborated on a series of dragon books, the result might have been something like Age of Fire.
Whereas other dragon books tend to either regurgitate fantasy clichés or use dragons as really neat horses, E.E. Knight's dragons are something else entirely. Anyone with an interest in the behaviors of birds, reptiles, or dinosaurs will find the instincts of Knight's dragons refreshing. They behave like top predators from the moment they hatch, and watching them evolve from ravenous beasts to thinking beasts is worth the price of admission.
Knight's plots speed along, as addictive and rich as really good coffee. I have trouble setting his books down. That he manages to confront troubling issues (racism, slavery, and genocide) within the format of a page-turner makes these books a stimulating read for both teenagers and adults.
This is one of the most under-rated fantasy series currently being published. Plus, the first three books (Champion, Avenger, Outcast) can actually be read in any order. Plus, it's like Rashomon with dragons. Do yourself a favor and buy them. They're a treat.