When Ansel was 7 years old, his mom died. Ansel has been mute ever since. One day, a mysterious man comes to town. This man is willing to purchase Ansel from his father, and make him his servant. He doesn't see Ansel's muteness as a problem. In fact, he sees it as a good thing. Boys who cannot speak, cannot tell secrets.
And this strange man has some very big secrets. The man's name is Brock, and he is a “dragon slayer.” The townspeople pay him handsomely for getting rid of the dragons that plague their lives. But Brock’s secret is that there is no such thing as dragons. He just makes up stories about killing them so the townspeople will give him money. He’s a con-man!
When Ansel and Brock arrive in a small village and announce their intent to slay a dragon, the townspeople are relieved. Now they can stop sacrificing maidens to the dragon and become a peaceful village again. The poor saps! But Brock soon realizes that slaying this dragon will be harder than the others. . . because it might actually be real!
— Jen, Scholastic Booktalker