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
    Paperback:
    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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.