Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teen Review: Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider
By Cornelia Funke
--A review by Adrienne T.

Threatened by the news of humans encroaching the valley where his clan of dragons dwell, Firedrake, a young silver dragon, decides to find the Rim of Heaven, a mythical place where other dragons lay, untouched by the scouring humans. Firedrake is accompanied by the mushroom-loving brownie, Sorrel. Along the way, the two meet Ben, an orphan boy, who becomes the namesake dragon rider. They also encounter a homunculus named Twigleg and a professor of fabulous beings who is interested in helping the band of travelers find the Rim of Heaven. But, as our protagonists follow the map custom-made by a rat, they unwittingly disturb the "Golden Dragon," Nettlebrand. Nettlebrand has been ravenously searching for silver dragons to feast on. Discovering through his spies that the odd group is seeking the Rim of Heaven, he secretly waits in his lair, letting the group do the entire job for him.

Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider is a well-written dragon book that doesn't dive too deeply into dragon lore, instead preferring to stand on it's own as more of an adventure tale that involves dragons. It is an adventure story because of Funke's style. Her characters are interesting and playful. Readers will meet dwarves, sea serpents, pixies, djinns, fairies and more out-of-this-world fabulous creatures. A fun and easy read, it is able to pull child hood fantasy characters and myths in a manner any child (or, yes, any teen) will enjoy. Dragon Rider is also able to interest its readers (especially children) in finding out how true these stories of "fabulous creatures" are.

Other magical stories by Cornelia Funke are, "The Thief Lord," "Inkheart," "Inkspell" and "Inkdeath."

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