A dragon. A boy. A journey. Firedrake, a brave young dragon, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben are united as if by destiny. Together, they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever. With only a curious map and the whispered memories of an old dragon to guide ...
A dragon. A boy. A journey. Firedrake, a brave young dragon, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben are united as if by destiny. Together, they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever. With only a curious map and the whispered memories of an old dragon to guide them, they fly across moonlit lands and seas to reach the highest mountains in the world. Along the way, they discover extraordinary new friends in unlikely places and a courage they never knew they had. Just as well, for the greatest enemy of all is never far behind them - a heartless monster from the past who's been waiting a very long time to destroy the last dragons on earth.
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With Harry Potter being all the rage right now, it is refreshing to find a good fantasy novel for children that does not come across as an imitator. Funke avoids the literary device of making all signs point to one particular assumption and then revealing at the very end that the exact opposite of that assumption is true. The storytelling is straightforward and noticeably free of gimmicks. There are several times when a character will plan out a strategy, implement the strategy, and the plan goes off exactly as the character expected. And yet, the story never feels predictable or boring, and the antagonist is genuinely frightening. Straightforward as this book is, it does not lack for suspense, and has a well thought-out plot. Thanks to this book and a few others, Cornelia Funke is my new favorite author.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-07-19 This fantasy that established Funke's (Inkheart) reputation as a gifted storyteller in her native Germany (available for the first time in the U.S.), is sure to appeal to her many American fans. When humans encroach upon his home valley, Firedrake, a young silver dragon, sets off to find the Rim of Heaven, a legendary haven in the mountains. But evil Nettlebrand, a human-made hunter of silver dragons, is spying on him, hoping Firedrake will lead him to even more delicious treats. The creature, referred to as the Golden One, resembles a huge dragon, but he is covered in cold, hard gold scales and cannot fly; however, he can magically appear in any body of water. During his journey, Firedrake is joined by a feisty brownie, a homunculus (who initially spied for Nettlebrand) and Ben, an orphan who may be the dragon rider foretold in an ancient prophecy. Readers will delight in the creatures that turn up in this extended quest. The elves, dwarves and a thousand-eyed djinni (a kindly professor of archaeology and his friends also aid the travelers in piecing together clues) help contribute to a rich lore (all enchanted creatures have red eyes, for example, and dragon-fire will reveal their true natures). While readers may have trouble keeping track of all the plot's strands as they soar through this story, they will no doubt find themselves drawn in by the lively characters and their often hilarious banter, as well as the nonstop obstacles they encounter before the inevitable face-off with Nettlebrand. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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