I didn't mean to imply that dragons lack sophistication. I think you said it much better than I did--although it's a good storyline, there are places that bumped for me as a reader. I was thinking of that pacing problem as a lack of sophistication in the writing. But who am I to complain, considering that I read the whole thing! (not to mention a lot of other people who did, too.)
I have to work at getting a good pacing in my stories as well. I tend to write a draft with all action and no reaction (or the other way around). Then I fill in what's missing as best as I can.