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Dragon Rider (original 1997; edition 2004)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439456959, Hardcover)It's a fantasy, it's long, and it's got dragons in it. Dragon Rider is bound to be another hit book from Cornelia Funke! Ever since the popularity of bestselling fantasies The Thief Lord and Inkheart went global a few years ago, legions of fans have demanded more books from the German author 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.
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 (a malevolent creature covered in impenetrable gold plates) is their biggest threat--he is intent on destroying them. Nettlebrand is aided by Twigleg, a homunculus who has stowed away in Ben's bag and who is feeding reports on their progress back to his master.
Their exciting encounters are many... It is easy to forgive the narrative's 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
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:27 -0400)
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.
(summary from another edition)
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