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Dragon Rider


Publisher:Chicken House



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About the book:

Its a fantasy, its long and its got dragons in it. Its bound to be another hit book from Cornelia Funke! Ever since the popularity of the German author of bestselling fantasies The Thief Lord and Inkheart went global a few years ago, her legion of fans have demanded more books from her than she can reasonably hope to write each year. So, re-discovering this hefty, earlier novel from 1997 was a logical development--and her keenest readers will devour it as before.

Possibly aimed at slightly younger readers than her previous novels, despite its massive five hundred pages, Dragon Rider is about a brave young dragon called Firedrake who embarks upon a dangerous journey to the Rim of Heaven in the Himalayas--a magical place where silver dragons can rest easy, free from the threat of destruction by mankind and their only hope of sanctuary. The key to its location is a map rendered by a rat who is a master cartographer.

Firedrake is joined on his quest by Ben, an orphaned boy, and Sorrell--a wise-cracking Brownie that is an odd, but ingenious, grumpy kind of fairy. Their journey is not a straightforward one by any means. Created by an alchemist called Petrosius Henbane in 1424, Nettlebrand is their biggest threat--a malevolent creature covered in impenetrable gold plates that is intent on destroying them. He is aided by Twigleg, a homunculus who has stowed away in Bens bag and who is feeding reports on their progress back to his master.

Their exciting encounters are many--and the colourful fold-out map in the books centre is an added bonus. It is easy to forgive the narratives excessive length when readers are gorging on such a wonderfully inventive and readable story from an author who has her readers in the palm of her hand on every page. (Age 9 and over) --John McLay

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