Excerpt from Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Dragon Rider

By Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

27. The Dragon

The sky was radiant in the mild morning light as Firedrake approached the village with Ben and Sorrel, and the sun was not yet too hot for comfort. Flocks of white seabirds circled above the dragon, announcing his arrival with excited cries.

The villagers were waiting for him, standing outside their huts with children in their arms. The beach had been sprinkled with flower petals. Paper kites flew above the roofs of the huts, and even the smallest children were wearing their best clothes. Ben felt like a king sitting high above them on the dragon’s back. He looked for the ravens, but there wasn’t a bird in sight. However, the village cats— white, ginger, tabby, black-and-white, and tortoiseshell— were all over the place: on rooftops, outside huts, in the branches of trees. Firedrake walked over the flower petals and past the cats and the people until he saw Barnabas Greenbloom.When he stopped in front of the professor, the onlookers respectfully retreated a few steps. Only Zubeida and Guinevere stayed put.

"My dear Firedrake," said Barnabas, bowing low. "The sight of you makes me almost as joyful today as it did when we first met.You will meet my wife later, but let me introduce my daughter, Guinevere. And this lady is Dr. Zubeida Ghalib, the most famous dracologist in the world, who will help you to fly at the dark time of the moon."

Firedrake turned his head to her. "Can you really do that?" he asked.

"I think so, Asdaha." Zubeida bowed, smiling. "Asdaha would be the word for you in our language. Khuea hasiz— God be with you. Do you know, I imagined your eyes exactly as they are?" Tentatively she raised her hand to touch Firedrake’s scales.

At that the children lost the last of their fear. They clambered down from their parents’ arms, surrounded the dragon, and patted him. Firedrake patiently put up with it and nuzzled them gently one by one. The giggling children hid between his legs, and the bravest made their way up the spines of his tail to sit on his back. Unsettled by all this, Sorrel had been watching the crowd of humans uneasily. Her ears were twitching, and even nibbling a mushroom couldn’t calm her down. She was used to avoiding human beings and hiding whenever she smelled or heard them. Ben had changed that, but so many humans all at once made her brownie heart beat alarmingly fast.

When the first small boy appeared behind her, she was so startled that she dropped her mushroom.

"Hey, you, small human!" she snapped at the boy. "Get down!"

Frightened, the boy ducked into shelter behind Firedrake’s spines.&

"Leave him alone, Sorrel," said Ben soothingly. "You can see Firedrake doesn’t mind, can’t you?"

Sorrel just growled, clutching her backpack tight.

But the boy wasn’t interested in the backpack. He was staring at the furry brownie girl, asking a question in a soft voice. Two more children appeared behind him.

"What’s he after?" growled Sorrel. "I don’t understand much of this human language of theirs."

"He wants to know," interpreted Twigleg, who was sitting between Ben’s legs, "if you’re a small demon."

"A what?"

Ben grinned. "A kind of evil spirit."

"Oh, thanks a lot." Sorrel made a ferocious face at the children. "No, I’m not! I’m a brownie.  A forest brownie."

"Dubidai?" asked a girl, pointing at Sorrel’s furry coat.

"Now what are they talking about?" asked the brownie girl, wrinkling her nose. "It seems to be the word for brownie or woodland spirit 15107_02_168-383_r11rc.qxd 10/26/04 2:28 PM Page 278 in these parts," said Twigleg. "But they wonder why you’ve only got two arms."

From Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Chapters 27 & 28, pages 275-295.  Original copyright 2000 by Dressler Verlag.  Original English translation copyright 2001 by Oliver Georg Latsch.  First published in Germany as Drachenreiter by Cecile Dressler Verlag, 1997.  This translation by Anthea Bell copyright 2004 by The Chicken House.  Reproduced by permission of the publisher, The Chicken House.  Published in the USA by Scholastic by arrangement with The Chicken House.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...
  • Book Jacket: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    I feel like Gabrielle Zevin wrote this wonderful book, about a lonely New England bookstore owner ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed on and digested.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.