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Dragon Riderby Cornelia Funke
Since I found Funke's work two years ago, she has become one of my favorite children's fantasy writers. Her award-winning debut novel (in English translation), The Thief Lord, was followed by Inkheart and even a children's picture book, Princess Knight each story very different but equally very good. One reason: Cornelia Funke never talks down to her target audience, using agile language and a breadth of vocabulary (a success partly due to her excellent translator). Dragon Rider is no exception to the rule it's a fast and exceptionally fun read, and comes highly recommended by both my son and me.
Synopses & Reviews
Another magical story from the bestselling author of The Thief Lord and Inkheart.
When their peaceful valley is threatened with danger, Firedrake, a silver-skinned dragon, and his sidekick, Sorrel, set off to find the mythical Rim of Heaven — the only place in the world where dragons can be safe forever. Along the way they meet an orphaned boy named Ben who volunteers to be their navigator and quickly becomes their friend. But when they learn that an evil dragon hunter is on their trail, their quest quickly turns into a battle for survival. As the adventure draws to a breathtaking close, it soon becomes clear that one person's fate will decide the destiny of them all.
Once again, master storyteller Cornelia Funke casts an enchanting spell, creating an exciting, heartwarming, and ultimately trimphant tale about the power of belief and the true meaning of home.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This solid adventure lacks the lusciousness of language and intricacy of plot that marked last year's Inkheart, but it does carry the reader along at breakneck pace..." Kirkus Reviews
The bestselling author of The Thief Lord creates an exciting, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant tale about the power of friendship between two peaceful dragons and their human guide, and their battle for survival. Includes a full-color, fold-out map.
After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, Firedrake, a silver dragon, is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the legendary valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy.
Published before THE THIEF LORD in Germany, DRAGON RIDER established Cornelia Funke as a bestselling and critically acclaimed author. Now, this fantastical epic has come to America!
Firedrake, a young dragon, receives a frightening warning one night: Humans are planning to destroy the valley in which he lives! All the dragons must flee. Their only refuge is a place above the clouds called the Rim of Heaven --- which may not even exist. Firedrake boldly volunteers to go ahead first. As he embarks on his journey, he meets Ben, a runaway boy. Together, the boy and dragon make their way toward the Rim of Heaven, all the while running a step ahead of Nettlebrand, a monster who will stop at nothing to hunt down Firedrake. Their quest will truly become an adventure like no other.
From the author of "The Thief Lord" and "Inkheart" comes a magical story about a boy named Ben and a silver-skinned dragon named Firedrake. Funke casts an enchanting spell, creating an ultimately triumphant tale about the power of belief and the true meaning of home.
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