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Shvoong Home>Books>Dragon Rider Review

Dragon Rider

Book Review   by:Noraowolf     Original Author: Cornelia Funke
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          This story is about the quest of a boy, a furry creature called a brownie, and a dragon for a place that dragons can live in peace.

          The story begins with a rat waking up the dragon, Firedrake, despite the warning of the dragon’s brownie friend, Sorrel. The rat had come to tell Firedrake that humans were coming to the valley and planning to flood it. However, when Firedrake tried to tell all the other dragons about the coming danger they did not believe him. Then an old dragon mentioned a placed called the Rim of Heaven and said that they should all move there to live in peace. All the other dragons believed the Rim of Heaven was a fairytale, but Firedrake seeing it as the last hope set off to find it for the sake of all the dragons.

          The adventure begins by searching for a map maker. Along the way Firedrake and Sorrel meet up with an orphan named Ben who joins them. Unfortunately the map maker couldn’t help them with the location but he did suggest that they fly toward the Himalayas and gave them a map showing the dangerous and safe places to stop along the way.

          A dwarf spotted Firedrake flying around and reported what he saw to his master. His master was Nettlebrand, a man-made dragon killing creature in the form of a dragon, but with different abilities -- it could not fly but it was very fast in water. Nettlebrand sent one of his servants named Twigleg, who looked like a miniature human, to spy on Firedrake in the hopes that Firedrake would lead him to the mythical place called the Rim of Heaven where there would be many dragons for him to kill.

Due to a storm their first stop was in Egypt. Sorrel ended up being captured by humans. When Ben found him in a cage in an archaeologist’s camp, he also found Twigleg in the cage. Twigleg lied about how he was captured and placed in the cage with Sorrel so that he could gain the trust of Firedrake and Ben while he continued to spy for Nettlebrand. During this same time the group met Mr. Greenbloom who recommended they see a djinn that may know the location of the Rim of Heaven, and his friend, Zubedia, a dracologist. So, Firedrake, Ben, Sorrel, and Twigleg set off to find the djinn.

When the group finally found the ravine where the djinn lived, Ben asked the djinn where the Rim of Heaven was and the djinn showed him a couple of images of a sanctuary. The djinn said it was in the Himalayas and then the group set off to find Zubedia. When the group reached Zubedia’s house they saw that Greenbloom was there too. While at Zubedia’s house, Zubedia told Ben about the story of the Dragon Rider. After they were finished talking, Greenbloom said that he would meet the group at the sanctuary.

Then, the group set off in search of the sanctuary and during the way there, Firedrake, Ben, and Sorrel found out that Twigleg was a spy for Nettlebrand. Then, Twigleg told everyone that he didn’t want to work for Nettlebrand anymore because he was treated like a slave and he wanted to help Ben and the others find the Rim of Heaven.

When the group reached the sanctuary, they stayed there for the night and during their stay, they met another brownie named Burr-Burr-Chan. When the group was sleeping, Nettlebrand finally got out of his lair and went to the sanctuary with the dwarf because he was sure that they were close to getting to the Rim of Heaven. Nettlebrand hid in the nearby lake.

The next day, Burr-Burr-Chan led the group to the Rim of Heaven, but on the way, they saw that Nettlebrand was following them. During the flight, the group made a plan to let Nettlebrand go into the Rim of Heaven because there was no water source for him to run away in and went to the Rim of Heaven with Nettlebrand behind them.

When the group got to the Rim of Heaven, Nettlebrand came in and battled ferociously with Firedrake and a female dragon that Firedrake met in the Rim of Heaven named Maia. In the end, Firedrake melted Nettlebrand into a golden pool by breathing fire on Nettlebrand.

After the battle, Ben noticed he didn’t have any place to go so Firedrake decided to take Ben back to the sanctuary where the Greenblooms were waiting for their return. After Firedrake dropped Ben off, Greenbloom adopts Ben and Firedrake says farewell to Ben and leaves to bring the dragons from the valley to the Rim of Heaven.

In the end of this story, Ben sees in a local newspaper that a flock of giant birds were flying in the sky and Ben knew it was Firedrake leading his family and friends to the Rim of Heaven.

I liked this story because this story is full of suspense. Sometimes this story is so suspenseful that I read for two hours. It also had good lessons about friendship and challenging evil or bad influences. The only negative thing was there were too many details in certain parts concerning the many different creatures that really didn’t play a big role in the story.

Published: June 07, 2008   
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