The Fire Within is about a young man named David Rain. He goes to a college and needs somewhere to stay. He answers to an advertisement about a tenant at a house on Wayward Crescent Scrubbley, Massachusetts and moves in, but little did he know that one step into the house would change his life forever.
The owner of the house, Elizabeth Pennykettle (Liz for short), gladly lets David stay with her and Lucy, her daughter. Liz earns her living by making clay dragons, and there is a lot of mystery surrounding them. Lucy loves squirrels, and brings it on David to help her catch a blind-in-one-eye gray squirrel she named Conker.
As a welcome present, David gets a free dragon from Liz. He names the dragon Gadzooks and learns Zookie (his nickname for the dragon) is a writing dragon, a dragon who is going to help him find inspiration to write stories (one he writes for Lucy's birthday).
Finally David and Lucy catch Conker and another squirrel named Snigger; presumably Snigger plays a part in saving Conker after Lucy asks him too, takes them to the local animal shelter, where a girl, Sophie (who David has a crush on), works. She takes both the squirrels in and Lucy tells Sophie that David is writing a story. Sophie is interested in reading it and promises she'll call when she has news about Conker. Sophie calls after a few days and comes over with good and bad news about Conker. Conker's not really blind, but he has kidney failure and is going to die. Later, Conker dies and David is so sad that he fights with Gadzooks and causes him to cry his fire tear. Luckily David catches it and rekindles his friend. He then gets a message from Gadzooks telling him how to finish his story.
The sequel to Chris d'Lacey's bestselling novel, The Fire Within, Icefire continues the story of student, David Rain, and his life in the Pennykettle household.
Life isn't exactly normal lodging at the Pennykettles - not when you're surrounded by hundreds of clay pottery dragons. Fate seems to be dictating an unusual course for David when his college tutor Dr. Bergstrom gives him a writing project on the existence - or not - of dragons. The tantalizing prize - a fully-funded research trip to the Arctic - seems just within his grasp. David starts to research the subject and soon discovers a connection between dragons and the Arctic just as it begins to snow. Is it only a coincidence? Or could deeper forces be at work? As David starts to uncover more about the dragons, he finds himself drawn down a path from which there is no going back to a time when dragons really did exist, and their secrets were guarded by the polar bears of the Arctic. If David is going to have any chance of winning the research trip, he has to open his mind to the legend of dragons and the mysterious secret of Icefire... He starts receiving messages from Lorel (a polar bear with amazing knowledge, and also the Teller of Ways who seems to have a connection with the mysterious Dr. Bergstrom). He also makes friends with a Goth at his college named Suzanna Martindale, and they eventually fall in love. Zanna is invited by David over to Liz's house, and David takes her to the Dragons' Den without permission, which results in Zanna touching a bronze egg, quickening (fertilizing) it. It becomes a real egg, with a real dragon (Grockle) in it.
Unfortunately, Grockle is born without fire and turns to stone without it. Sophie returns from a trip to Africa, with Zanna in the house. David tries to tell Sophie that Zanna isn't his girlfriend. Over a walk, Sophie tells him that she cannot be with him anymore, and will be going on a long trip to Africa, and tells him to look after Zanna. Sophie takes Grace with her to Africa. David learns that he has won the chance to go to the Arctic-with Zanna. Liz has a snowball she has kept since she was a child, which is the icefire. The icefire keeps all the dragons alive. Bonnington, their cat, accidentally drinks some of the icefire and obtains some dragon skills as well as the power to morph into any type of feline.
David and Zanna are in the Arctic. Since they are in the Arctic, they are unaware of what is happening back at home with Gretel, Zanna's new dragon. After a few hours of Grockle's existence, he was turned to stone. Gretel, still upset about it, attempts to revive her lost friend. Liz had no choice but to lock her up in a wooden cage in the Dragon's Den (her at-home workshop).
Meanwhile in the Arctic, David writes a novel of the Arctic which he calls White Fire. He thinks what he's writing is fiction, but it's really happening to two male bears he called Ingavar and Thoran. As Thoran peacefully follows a sign, Ingavar must follow straight orders from one of Davids old enemies to steal something very precious from David.
Tension is rising at the Pennykettles' as Lucy is suddenly kidnapped by a long forgotten rival. This 'rival' wishes to raise the ancient dragon Gawain from his stone-laden resting place. Over the time Lucy is there, she goes through extreme changes. Gwilanna knew this would happen as Lucy began to look like Guinevere, her ancestor.
After a sudden bear attack and the news about Lucy, David returns home to help Liz overcome this rough time. In the middle of a serious conversation with Liz, David receives a heart-breaking phone call. He has just learned Zanna, his girlfriend, has just been kidnapped by bears. Under all this pressure, David breaks down. Liz soothes him in dragonsong, the ancient soothing method Guinevere used on the ancient dragon Gawain.
While David is home, Grockle suddenly awakens to find the window opened. Curious as he was, he flew out of the window. Nobody could believe it. Happiness, shock and horror welled up in everyone at the sight of Grockle's sudden move.
Lucy is not having a good time at all. She must eat the disgusting stuff Gwilanna enjoys eating everyday. She decides to explore the cave of Gawain when Gwilanna leaves one day. She pushed around and discovers a secret hideaway she thinks her ancestor, Gwendolen, used. Eventually, she falls asleep by the bones of Gwendolen and a bear that guarded her. A female bear that thinks it is her 'last season on earth' ventures into the cave, down into the hideaway, and decides to follow the dead bears example. She guarded Lucy as she slept. Gwilanna returns and finds the hole. She notices Lucy and the female bear. She decides tiredly to leave them be.
David gets Liz to tell her who Arthur is after Gadzooks gave him the name out of nowhere. After hearing the cruel things Gwilanna did to break-up Arthur and Liz, he travels to Farlowe Island to find Arthur.
Arthur goes by life on a religious island. He chooses the name Brother Vincent. He goes through a lot on the island. In fact, he survives a vicious Fain attack (the Fain are invisible creatures from Ki:mera. There are two races, the Ix:risors and the regular Fain. The regular ones accept dragons, while Ix:risors try to make anti-dragons).
David arrives at the island and calms down the scared yet vicious Grockle. Grockle flies to the Arctic when David tells him to. After a while of introductions and explanations, Arthur teaches David how to use Dr. Bergstrom's mysterious talisman to teleport from place to place.
David teleports to the Arctic and battles the very same Ix to the death. The Ix stabs two spears of ice through David's chest, but David won't die because the ice is really Gawain's fire tear. David kills the Ix. Zanna, in tears, comes running over to David. They get locked in a heart-breaking conversation. After assuring her they'd meet once more and giving her a Valentine's Day gift, (a new dragon, G'lant, which you can only see if you really believe in dragons) he parts from Zanna. Ingavar takes David's body on a bit of floating ice.
Back at home, after releasing Snigger into the wild after his kidnapping by Gwilanna, Zanna tells Liz, Lucy and Arthur that she is pregnant with David's baby.