Maybe almost 5 years ago I read a fantasy and probably science-fiction book or series (possibly a trilogy?) where the protagonist gains the ability to use magic, and it is later revealed that he has a piece of a dragon scale in his body, and that dragons don't exist anymore.

In the ending of the book or series he is in an artificial copy of his body which holds the full dragon scale that the piece he had was taken from.

There might also have been some kind of time travel.

I think the book or series had "files" in the title, but I'm not sure.

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Partial match: The Return of Dragons (2020) by R. R. Harper.

From this Goodreads review:

Harper introduces readers to a world where dragons and humans coexist in this entertaining first installment to his Protector of Dragons duology. Dragons haven't been seen in the country of Narow in hundreds of years and it is rumored that the return of these mythical creatures will bring back magic to the land. 17 year old Kel dreams of wealth and importance. While searching for dragon claws one day, he finds a hidden cave and discovers that dragons have returned. Kel develops impressive magical powers when a dragon scale becomes embedded in his chest after his encounter with the dragons.


Besides Kel and Kada, the story's narration jumps to a number of other characters, switching between a dual past/present timeline. This is perhaps the novel's only shortcoming, despite the creative world building and descriptive action scenes, there are times where it's difficult to keep track of the numerous narrators and their storylines.

It is quite recent, but could match your recollection of when you read it, give or take a year. The dragons are not extinct though, but have not been seen for ages. No time travel, but several timelines in both the past and the future. It's supposed to be a series, but no other book has been released yet, and several reviews mention it definitely feels like a series.

No "files" in the title though, nor can I find whether the ending matches.

book cover displaying a pair of red dragon wings on a beige background

Found with the Google query fantasy book boy powers "dragon scale" site:goodreads.com/book.

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