This book was a better than book 3, to be honest, in part because it plays down the time travel element (although with a title like Timeless One I was bracing for more of the time travel antics of book 3) to a more manageable level, with a twist, of a sort, near the end. No, I won't ruin it for you.
First of all, the kids figure out how to find Merlin amidst the burnt ruins of his shack. It exists in another time, so the doorknocker gets them in. Unfortunately, Fort is told by Merlin that his magic's just not strong enough to participate in the upcoming battle, while Merlin actively trains Jia and Rachel, taking them for weeks at a time (which pass in the blink of an eye) to practice using their magic to confront the Timeless One, the Old One with Time magic.
To make matters worse, the baby dragon has hatched and imprinted on Fort. It thinks Fort is its father. Rachel turns it into an ordinary kitten, but then a fairy arrives on Fort's doorstep looking to collect -- a dragon -- on his debt to the fairy queen for getting his father back. Fort willfully chooses to interpret this as wanting the grown dragon, his friend and fellow schoolmate who ruined things in the last two books, instead of handing over the kitten. But the "kitten" grows so fast soon it's tiger-sized -- and speaking.
Merlin oh-so-casually tosses a dragon dictionary Fort's way, and perhaps isn't quite truthful about the full extent of what he's done. The dragon prompts Fort into using a magic dragon word, Learn, and the game is suddenly on.
Add to the mix Cyrus, who's back, after being flung far into the future (or another time, my head started to ache and fuzz over here!). It turns out Cyrus and Merlin are linked in a way I didn't see coming and I'm not sharing with you.
Nope, no more. Read and enjoy!
After all Fort's done to save his dad, teleporting to the different magic schools, time jumping and fighting the General and discovering Cyrus -- Fort's best friend -- is the Old One trying to open the portal that will ensure humans are enslaved forever, Fort has found a solution for this mess -- destroy magic. Forever. Once and for all.
Except…he's got Ember, his baby girl dragon to think of. She's a (huge) creature of magic. If he can get her to Avalon, with the other older dragons hiding out, she'll be okay if he destroys magic, right?
And there's the fairies, and Fort's deal with the Fairy Queen, which he still hasn't fulfilled. Now she wants all the magic in Fort's head in return for his father's safe return (no, the man Fort rescued wasn't his dad -- it was a changeling, posing as his dad, who has a very interesting take on the whole "changling" thing that I really liked!).
And Damian, the arrogant boy-dragon, who's convinced he's the Chosen One of the prophecy, because of that little ditty that starts every Book of Magic? The one about The One who learns all the magic in all six books?
Except, Fort suspects, he's now got the same knowledge in his head -- from Ember's dragon dictionary. The one Merlin -- Cyrus as an old man -- gave him to learn to speak to Ember. Which it turns out he never really needed, as Ember learned English pretty darn fast.
So… maybe Fort's the Chosen One? But he doesn't want the magic. Not an ounce of it. He's had it with it. It creates more problems than it solves.
And even moreso, when he goes back in time and discovers Cyrus' family weakened and fouled magic when they bound it to the books. It got its revenge on them by … ah, no.
You'll have to read to find that out! But it was quite clever on the author's part, and I really enjoyed that twist!
This was a satisfying conclusion to the series, with some delightful twists and turns, and I highly recommend it!