Summary and book reviews of Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider

By Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2004,
    528 pages.
    Paperback: May 2005,
    528 pages.

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Book Summary

A dragon. A boy. A journey.

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 for ever. 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.

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 ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Dragon Rider was a tremendous read - a classic adventure story in which our heroes (a dragon, a boy and a brownie) must complete a long journey and overcome many hurdles to reach their ultimate destination and defeat the dragons' dreaded enemy, before the only remaining population of dragons are destroyed. Whatever others may think, I have to tell you that all four of us (2 adults, 2 children aged 8 and 10) read the story together and we all enjoyed it. The word that keeps coming to mind is 'wholesome'; there's nothing edgy or cynical about it - just good old fashioned story telling that pulls together a cast of elves, dwarves, brownies, a thousand-eyed djinni, a kindly professor of archaeology and his family, a giant roc, a basilist, a sea serpent and a rotund rodent aviatrix.  

Media Reviews
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot

Funke's story is not short, but it moves quickly and once they are into it, kids will keep the pages flipping. Also, it is nice to have a happy ending. Ages 8 to 12.

School Library Journal - Beth Wright

Gr 4-6-Although each of these confrontations is interesting, the sheer number of episodes, the lack of strong central characters...make for a story with much less dramatic tension than Funke's outstanding novels, The Thief Lord (2002) and Inkheart (2003, both Scholastic).

Kirkus Reviews

This solid adventure lacks the lusciousness of language and intricacy of plot that marked last year's Inkheart, but it does carry the reader along at breakneck pace, the inevitably victorious ending no less satisfying for all its predictability. (Fiction. 8-12)

Publishers Weekly

While readers may have trouble keeping track of all the plot's strands as they soar through this story, they will no doubt find themselves drawn in by the lively characters and their often hilarious banter, as well as the nonstop obstacles they encounter before the inevitable face-off with Nettlebrand. Ages 8-12.

Booklist - Jennifer Mattson

Starred Review. Gr. 4-6, younger for reading aloud. Here's news to quicken the pulses of Funke's many admirers the fantasist's first novel, and her most popular so far in her native Germany, is now available to American readers. Crack open the fat volume, though, and it's instantly clear that this is different from Funke's previous books. With its large type, generous leading, and whimsical line art by the author, it simply looks more like a traditional middle-grade novel. This is a good, old-fashioned ensemble-cast quest in the style of Lloyd Alexander, with a bit of Puff the Magic Dragon added to the mix. What could it be but a winner?

Reader Reviews
READREAD123

so awesome
This book is the best of all books I have ever read. They are so good. I love this author! IT IS AWESOME MYSTICAL AND FULL OF ADVENTURE!

derek

AWESOME
I loved this book! It is adventurous and mystical.

Alexis lounsbury

AWESOME!!!!!
I think Dragon Rider is an awesome book. Full of adventure, faith and happiness.

Stephen

Spellbound!
Though predictable, this story is solid and enchanting. You get a feel for the characters and each chapter is captivating as the last, making you read it 'til the end in one sitting. This book is perfect for children and adults who are young at heart...   Read More

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