I remember reading the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke when I was a young teen, and I loved the books (even if I can’t remember them so great). So while Dragon Rider isn’t a new book, I jumped at the chance to snag advanced readers of it (reissue, I guess, or just to get people excited for the second book) and her upcoming sequel.
Dragon Rider begins in a quiet dragon hideout in danger of being overrun by humans. Firedrake and his trusty brownie friend, Sorrel, set out to find the Rim of Heaven, a legendary hideout where some dragons may still be, and the one spot likely still to be safe from humans. Early on in their journey, they encounter Ben, an orphan boy who helps them figure out where they need to go, and joins them on their journey.
But Nettlebrand is soon on their trail–a dragon, so to speak, Nettlebrand was created and enjoys nothing so much as hunting and eating other dragons, and it’s been too long since he’s had a good hunt.
With a cast of courageous characters, Dragon Rider is a fun story about protecting nature, and of the weak and small overcoming the strong and big. It’s a magical story, which we’d expect nothing less from Funke, and while it’s geared toward kids (3rd and 4th grade, I’d say), it’s still enjoyable for adults, too. It reminds me why I’ve always loved magical stories, and of the classic style of the good guys winning the day. It’s also nice because, the characters are human in their behaviors, making the same kind of easy mistakes we all make. Sometimes, in adult fiction, we lose some of the humanity in our characters because we’re so busy trying to make them a different hero than the next guy. All in all, it’s just a fun, refreshing read.
So, if you have some youngsters in need of a good book, check out Dragon Rider. Just make sure you have a second book on hand, because they’re going to read through it fast.