Dragon Rider

Cornelia Funke

Published by Chicken House Ltd (2004), 2004
ISBN 10: 1903434904 / ISBN 13: 9781903434901
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527 pages. Translated by Anthea Bell (while another translator is credited on the copyright page, that translation was never published). First British edition (first printing). A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Signed by the author on the title page. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Firedrake, a brave young dragon, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben are united as if by destiny. Together, they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. With only a curious map and the whispered memories of an old dragon to guide them, they fly across moonlit lands and seas to reach the highest mountains in the world. Along the way, they discover extraordinary new friends in unlikely places and a courage they never knew they had. Just as well, for the greatest enemy of all is never far behind them - a heartless monster from the past who's been waiting a very long time to destroy the last dragons on earth.

Review: 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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dragon Rider
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd (2004)
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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