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 by Cornelia Funke X
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2004, 528 pages
    May 2005, 528 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"You never told me you had such powers," he said."Have you ever cured anyone, Firedrake?"

The dragon nodded, bending his head down to the boy. "Of course. I’ve cured brownies, injured animals, and anyone else I’ve breathed dragon-fire on. Never humans, though. Where Sorrel and I come from, human beings believe that dragon-fire will burn and destroy them. You thought so yourself, didn’t you?"

Ben nodded.

"I don’t want to break up this cozy storytelling session," growled Sorrel, "but take a look at the sky, will you?"

The ravens had come closer and were circling above the stone dome of the tomb, croaking hoarsely.

"Time to drive those two away." Sorrel sat down beside Ben on the stone dragon and put a hand inside her backpack. "Ever since we had to get rid of that raven over the sea, I’ve gone nowhere without a good pawful of suitable stones."

"Ah, you’re going to try the brownie saliva trick," said Vita Greenbloom.

Sorrel grinned at her. "Dead right I am.Watch this."

She was about to spit on the stones she held in her paw when Twigleg suddenly jumped off Ben’s shoulder and landed on hers.

"Sorrel!" he cried in agitation. "Let Firedrake breathe dragon-fire on the stones."

"Why?" Sorrel looked at him in surprise and wrinkled her nose suspiciously.  "What do you mean, little titch? Don’t meddle with what you don’t understand. This is brownie magic, get it?" And she pursed her lips again to spit on her stones.

"Oh, you pig-headed pointy-eared brownie!" cried Twigleg desperately. "Can’t you see those are no ordinary ravens? Or do you only ever open your eyes to tell one mushroom from another?"

Sorrel growled at him angrily. "What are you going on about? A raven is a raven is a raven."

"Oh, no, it’s not!" cried Twigleg, flailing his arms around so excitedly that he almost fell off her shoulder. "A raven is not always just a raven, Miss Cleverclogs! And your silly little stones will only put those birds up there in a bad mood. Then they’ll fly away and tell their master. They’ll tell him where we are, and he’ll find us, and —"

"Calm down, Twigleg," said Ben, patting the homunculus soothingly on the back. "What do you suggest we do, then?" "The dragon-fire!" cried Twigleg. "I read about it in that book. The book the professor gave you. It can —"

"It can turn enchanted creatures back into their real shapes," said Barnabas Greenbloom, looking thoughtfully up at the sky. "Yes, so they say. But what makes you think those are enchanted ravens, my dear Twigleg?"

"I . . . I . . ." Twigleg sensed Sorrel looking at him distrustfully. He made haste to climb back on Ben’s shoulder.

But the boy, too, was looking at him curiously.

"Yes, what makes you think so, Twigleg?" he asked. "Is it just their red eyes?"

"Exactly!" cried the homunculus, in relief. "Their red eyes. Precisely. Everyone knows that enchanted creatures have red eyes."

"Really?" Vita Greenbloom looked at her husband. "Have you ever heard such a thing, Barnabas?"

The professor shook his head.

"You have red eyes yourself," growled Sorrel, looking at the manikin.

"Of course I do!" Twigleg snapped back at her. "A homunculus is an enchanted creature, right?" 

Sorrel was still looking at him suspiciously. 

"Why not try it, instead of just blathering on?" said Guinevere. "Those really are very peculiar ravens. Twigleg could be right." 

Firedrake looked thoughtfully at the girl, then at the ravens. 

"Yes, let’s try it," he said, putting his head over Sorrel’s shoulder and blowing a shower of blue sparks very gently over the little stones in her paws. 

Sorrel watched, frowning, as the sparks went out, leaving only a pale blue shimmer on the stones. "Brownie spit and dragon-fire," she murmured. "Okay, let’s see what happens." She spat on each stone, rubbing in the saliva well. 

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.