Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke
Age: 8 +
This was the first Cornelia Funke book that I read and it made me an instant Funke fan!
Dragon Rider is the story of a young boy, a brownie and a dragon who go in quest of the Rim of Heaven. They are a trio of unlikely heroes: Firedrake the dragon; Sorrell the brownie (you soon learn about brownies); and Ben, a boy who discovers friendship and courage.
An enemy is soon thrown into the mix when the evil golden dragon falls in pursuit of them, determined to destroy every last silver dragon. A gripping run of adventure unfurls, crafted by Funke’s wonderfully captivating imagination.
Funke’s fantastical world is not only imaginative, it is also convincing – admittedly a little imagination is required when dragons and brownies are involved. As a reader I felt I was really riding upon Firedrake’s back, with the grumbling Sorrel muttering in my ear and a companionable homunculus (another memorable character) in my rucksack.
The themes woven through the story are heart-lifting and positive. Characters are refined and redeemed; they overcome their differences to work together for good; the little creatures have vital and significant roles; and there is an overriding message of good overcoming evil.
For young readers looking for a new author to enjoy, Dragon Rider is an enticing appetiser to Funke’s other wonderful and whimsical worlds (Inkworld, The Thief Lord, Reckless to name a few).
As well as being a compelling read, Dragon Rider will also fill young readers with inspiration that will no doubt fuel their creative writing ideas.