Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider

by Cornelia Funke
Publisher: Chicken House
Deluxe, ©2004, ISBN: 9780545316484
Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Current Retail Price: $9.99
Not in stock

Dragon Rider is a story with all the ingredients for a hearty fantasy adventure: a wealth of fantastic magical creatures, a humble and likable protagonist, a thrilling quest. It's a good old-fashioned adventure, in the tradition of the best quest stories.

In present-day England a silver dragon named Firedrake and a brownie named Sorrel set off in search of the Rim of Heaven—the only place that dragons can live safely away from humans. Despite their distrust of humans, they are helped by a young orphan boy named Ben. He asks to join them on their quest, and soon he is riding the skies on the back of the silver dragon.

On their journey they encounter a wealth of magical creatures, from basilisks and djinns to sand-elves and mountain dwarves. But an evil golden dragon named Nettlebrand is on their trail. Long ago he was created to kill the silver dragons, and now he will not rest until they are all found.

The dragons initially dislike the humans. It's a bit understandable. They have been driven into hiding, and their valley is about to be flooded by human engineers. But when Firedrake actually meets a human—Ben—he realizes that they are not all as bad as he thought. He subsequently meets other people who are kind to him and help him on his quest—including a friendly dracologist who suggests that Ben is a reincarnated version of the previous Dragon Rider. (This could be a minor concern, but the other characters scoff at it, and Ben himself is not convinced. It's not touched on again.)

The characters themselves are not deep or complicated, nor do they learn major life lessons. But the heroes of the story are the ones who are consistently kind and compassionate to other creatures. They are the ones with their eyes open to just how wonderful and marvelous the world really is. And that's really the message of the book. Your backyard may not be brimming with fairies; there's probably not a blue djinn living in the desert; there isn't a valley of dragons hidden up in the Himalayas; but the world is a fantastically magical place all by itself.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Violence, Worldview
Summary: Firedrake sets off with a brownie named Sorrel and an orphan boy named Ben to find a place his fellow dragons can live in peace.

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