Not Another Dragon!

Oh, yes, another dragon! There’s always another dragon, though I’m not often inclined to go along for the ride. It was Cornelia Funke’s popularity that convinced me to give this book a chance (well, that and a good price at the used book sale).

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Grade: C+

This is the story of Firedrake, a silver dragon, who seeks a new home for himself and his dragon kin. He is told to seek the Rim of Heaven, a hidden valley in the Himalayas that was once the home of all silver dragons. Firedrake is helped in his quest by Sorrel (his companion brownie), Ben (a young homeless boy), and Professor Barnabas Greenbloom (an expert on supernatural beings), to name just a few. But Firedrake and his friends are not the only ones looking for the Rim of Heaven. An ancient and dangerous enemy is also on the prowl.

The first word that came to mind as I was reading Dragon Rider was “juvenile.” It’s hard to believe this is the same author who wrote The Thief Lord, which had such wonderfully intense characters and a beautifully described setting, both things that Dragon Rider lacks. Looking up the dates of publication for the two books, I’m not at all surprised to find that Dragon Rider is a much earlier work. I’m guessing that Funke’s recent popularity led to its reissue. I’m also guessing that the translation is not the best, because sometimes the word choices are strange.

I could go on and on about the problems in Dragon Rider, but suffice it to say that it is not the finest fantasy novel around. I don’t recommend it, not even for fans of Cornelia Funke.

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