Dragon Rider- A book review!
If you’re into fairy-tales, myths and love children’s books then Dragon Rider written in 1997 by Cornelia Funke is a definite read for you. The Thief Lord and Inkheart are also by the same popular German author.
The story line is about a young dragon named Firedrake and his long and dangerous journey to find a haven for dragons. The valley, the only home he and most of his pals have known is in jeopardy of imminent discovery and destruction by humans. Believing a childhood myth about an existing sanctuary for dragons at the Rim of Heaven in the Himalayas he embarks on the voyage with his friend Sorrell--a feisty wise-cracking, know-it-all Scottish Brownie. Finding the location of the mystical Rim of Heaven depends on a map rendered by a rat who is a master cartographer. The two are soon joined by Ben, a street-wise orphan from the city who, you guessed it, becomes the dragon rider. Naturally Firedrake and gang's quest is not as straightforward as looking on the map and flying due northeast. It becomes a race where they need to outwit Nettlebrand---a malevolent creature covered in impenetrable gold scales. He, Nettlebrand, is intent on destroying the last of the dragons. His spy, the homunculus Twigleg befriends Firedrake and company and still keeps his master informed of the progress of the journey by sending messages by enchanted crows. They encounter many adventures and make many friends along the way. They survive a basilisk, get information from a Djinni and find help from a sea serpent. The fulfilling of an ancient prophecy in the making…
Dragon Rider is an ingenious, wonderfully inventive and readable story. Despite its massive size of over five hundred pages keen young readers aged 9 and over will devour this book. Cornelia Funke aimed this novel at a slightly younger reader then her other novels. The Grade 4-6 and up readers will fall for the charms of Firedrake, funny Sorrell and the rest of the gang. Then they will readily jump into her other books---a well planned out scheme (I would say). The reader of the Dragon Rider book has many hours of fantastic adventures to look forward too.
I totally adore great children's books. I bought the Dragon Rider book to read together with my granddaughters who are 8 and 4. Because it is such a thick book it calles for many, many hours of together time which is fabulous but unfortunately I live a ways away from them and can't be with them all that often. I came up with this great plan of getting them hooked up with the audio-version too. The plan was for us to read 10-12 pages every night together and when I was not with them they could listen to the audio version. (Honestly Mom or Dad would have been more then happy to read the book with them too but this was our special project and only granma voices would do).
Well, the plan misfired slightly...The audio version is read by Brendan Frasier, do I need to say anymore? Nobody, and I mean nobody can do the book as much justice as he does. He brings each and every character to life. He has a different tone and voice for every one of the personalities in the book. I didn't want to stop listening. I wanted to have the audio on at all times (which I eventually did, three times over, so far). Sorrell's Scottish accent is a hoot. When Brendan Frasier talks in the voice of Homunculus (who has a lisp) you can almost feel the saliva being sprayed on your face.
Needless to say I am as are my Granddaughters totally enamored with the book and would recommend it to one and all. Child or adult, it's a nice read either from the paper version or if you have a chance do both and let Brendan Frasier suck you right into the pages of the Dragon Rider...you will not regret it