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Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by Isabel…

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004)

by Isabel Allende

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Journeys of Jaguar and Eagle (2)

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English (11)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This is a middle-grade/YA (but suitable for all ages) adventure that reminded me in its tone and themes of A Wrinkle in Time and other favorites from my childhood. In this novel a boy who can turn into a panther and girl who can turn into a white eagle travel to a place very much like Bhutan, but where magic works. The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon is so called because there is a golden dragon statue that lives in a secret chamber in the palace and guides the king, providing wisdom and foreknowledge. Of course, bad guys have been wanting to steal the statue for centuries, and now it seems they may succeed. Only with the help of the boy, the girl, two monks, and a bunch of yetis from the unexplored ranges of the Himalayas can the kingdom be saved from the thieves and their diabolical plot. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
A little tedious and very predictable. It reminded me of a Clive Cussler novel with Buddhist culture mixed in for an interesting lesson. ( )
  MrsRich | May 8, 2017 |

I had heard so many good reviews about Isabel Allende, so I was curious to read some of her books. Well, that didn't turn out right, did it?

Part of the blame is on me though. I got this book from my library and had somehow missed it was the second part of the Eagle & Jaguar Trilogy. Oops, that obviously never helps, but is wasn't all.

The story just turned out to be terrible, I can't remember the details, but it felt awkward, and it wasn't written very well either. A big disappointment. Perhaps she's better when she isn't trying to write a YA book, but I haven't really had the courage to try another one of her books. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by bestselling author Isabel Allende is, quite simply put, a terribly bad book. The plot is utterly predictable and cliched; the characters uninteresting and uni-dimensional; and the writing bored me to tears (it may be better in the original Spanish, but I very much doubt it). The book is marketed as "young adult", but I doubt whether any discerning youngster would be enthused by it.

The story is simple. Big Bad Americans want to steal the legendary Golden Dragon from small Himalayan kingdom. This plot is thwarted by Brave Young American, his friend and grandmother, with help from a fighting monk, the prince of the kingdom and an army of Yetis. Good things happen to the good guys and bad things to the bad guys and all ends well.

The jacket blurb calls it an "Indiana Jones-style adventure", and I would tend to agree. But whatever the Indiana Jones movies lack in the way of intelligent content, they make up in sheer pulse-pounding excitement: something which is conspicuous by its absence here. From the first page, you know exactly where the story is meandering to. It is like a slow train journey where the start and destination are known, you only have to get through the torture of the actual trip!

But for brainlessness and a total lack of knowledge of Asian culture and religions, the book can compete with Edgar Rice Burroughs and Indiana Jones. It seems to me that Ms. Allende draws all her knowledge of India from outdated guidebooks and adventure stories of yore. Picture the following scene:


young Alexander Cold and his grandma, Kate Cold, come out of New Delhi airport and is immediately mobbed by beggars. They somehow make their way to the hotel through similar hordes of beggars, which is a haven of peace with peacocks fluttering on the lawns and armed guards guarding the gate! It is also mentioned that the hotel was the former palace of an Indian prince who still stays there! Alexander Cold, out of "compassion" for the poor beggars camping outside the gates, goes out to give them some money and is immediately mobbed and almost trampled to death by the greedy ungrateful wretches. Then another American rushes out of the hotel, grabs a gun from one guards, and fires a few salvos into the air when the mob disappears!


Even though India has a lot of poverty and there are a lot many beggars, they don't line the streets all the way from the airport (in fact, it would be difficult to find beggars anywhere near the airport and main roads). And they don't camp outside hotels, ready to mob any tourist venturing outside-their begging schedules are much too full! Begging is a serious profession in India! As for the hotel with peacock-filled lawns, it may be some hotels in Rajasthan that the author may be meaning: there are no lavish palaces in New Delhi, nor are there any princes. And the legal possession of firearms by civilians is near-impossible in India: Tex Armadillo's caper of firing off a few shots into the air would have definitely landed him in the chokey.

To think that this drivel was written in 2003: it would have been insulting had it not been so ludicrous!

It is stated that the king of the Forbidden Kingdom (where the Golden Dragon resides) is a Buddhist: but their religion seems to be a strange mix of Buddhism, Hinduism, Tao and New Age science, with a liberal mix of martial arts and metaphysics (the original Buddha avoided speculative metaphysics like the plague). The powers gained by the monk Tensing through meditation are extraordinary, making him almost superhuman. I knew from the beginning that the poor villains didn't stand a chance. And also, there is the Scorpion Sect who seek immunity from the venom of their namesake by taking small bites from childhood onwards. Their bodies are blue-black in colour due to the venom, their teeth red due to the constant chewing of betel nuts, and they kidnap girls to produce male offspring to join their foul band (the female children are killed at birth). They worship the goddess Kali, of course (the poor goddess cannot cast off the image of the evil pagan deity, it seems, even in the 21st century!).

Not recommended for anybody; adult, young adult, or child. ( )
  Nandakishore_Varma | Sep 28, 2013 |
Have not read this book yet.
  MelissaLauren | Apr 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
La estatua del Dragón de Oro permanece oculta en un reino pequeño y misterioso, enclavado en la cordillera del Himalaya. Y según cuenta la leyenda, este magnífico objeto, un poderoso instrumento de adivinación incrustado de piedras preciosas, preserva la paz de estas tierras. Una paz que ahora, por la codicia en el alma de los hombres, puede verse perturbada.
En El Reino del Dragón de Oro, Isabel Allende nos invita a entrar en una doble aventura. Alexander Cold, su abuela Kate y Nadia Santos, los protagonistas de La Ciudad de las Bestias, han vuelto a reunirse. Viviremos con ellos sus peripecias y vicisitudes en la belleza desnuda, limpia, de las montañas y los valles del Himalaya en compañía de nuevos amigos. Pero la pluma mágica de Allende también nos descubre el valor y la sencillez de las enseñanzas budistas a través del lama Tensing, maestro y guía espiritual de Dil Bahadur, el joven heredero del reino, a quien conduce por la senda del budismo y ha dado a conocer el valor de la compasión, de la naturaleza, de la vida, de la paz

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Allendeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Degenaar, RikkieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liverani, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my friend Tabra Tunoa, tireless traveler,
who took me to the Himalayas and told me about
the Golden Dragon.
First words
The Buddhist Monk named Tensing and his disciple, Prince Dil Bahadur, had been climbing in the high peaks, north of the Himalayas for many days, a region of eternal ice where no one but a few lamas had ever ventured.
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Todos podemos cambiar, pero nadie puede obligarnos a hacerlo. El cambio suele ocurrir cuando enfrentamos una verdad incuestionable, algo que nos obliga a revisar nuestras creencias
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060589442, Paperback)

Alexander Cold and his best friend, Nadia, the heroes of Allende's City Of the Beasts, are reunited in a new adventure. This time, Alexander's fearless grandmother and International Geographic are taking them to another remote niche of the world -- a forbidden kingdom tucked into the frosty peaks of the Himalayas. Their task: to locate its fabled Golden Dragon, a sacred statue and priceless oracle, before it is destroyed by the greed of an outsider.

With the aid of a sage Buddhist monk, his young royal disciple, and a fierce tribe of Yeti warriors, and armed with the power of their totemic animal spirits, Alexander and Nadia fight to protect the holy rule of the Golden Dragon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Alexander Cold accompanies his grandmother, a writer for a geography magazine, to the remote Forbidden Kingdom in the Himalayas to help locate a sacred statue of a golden dragon before it is stolen by a greedy outsider.

» see all 7 descriptions

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