'… an ambitious novel, marrying ancient Chinese history and culture with magic and fantasy … the sights, smells and tastes of this fantastic ancient China are fully realised.' Author: Bookseller + Publisher
'… an ambitious novel, marrying ancient Chinese history and culture with magic and fantasy … the sights, smells and tastes of this fantastic ancient China are fully realised.' (Bookseller + Publisher)
Set in Ancient China (Han Dynasty), this story is about a slave girl who saves the life of an ageing dragon and escapes her brutal master. An adventurous read that can be enjoyed by children as young as 8 years old and even among adults such as myself, I find this to be a great family friendly read. The adventure continues as the slave girl and the dragon are pursued by a ruthless dragon hunter and they begin an epic journey across China full of magical and wondrous adventure, meanwhile carrying a mysterious stone that must be protected.
What I loved most about this book is the references to Chinese Mythology and a girl who defies her brutal master and does not accept life the way it is – she breaks down the barriers and finds strength within herself to make this perilous journey which I believe is sending a positive message to girls. Not to mention the adventure is a lot of fun!!
I'm writing this on behalf of my 11 yr old son. He adores this series. He is normally one who reads only for information. A three inch thick reference book about sea animals will occupy him for hours, but a novel will get scrutiny and a turned up nose. "Too thick, chapters are too long, words (font) are too tiny..." But I told him he needed to pick SOMETHING fiction and TRY to read it. And no, not Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
He actually ended up choosing the second book in the series (Garden of the Purple Dragon), not realizing it was a series. He LOVED it. Stayed up late at night reading (yep, he can, we homeschool) and raved and raved about it. He told me that I "must" read it too. When he finished, he begged me to get the first book (this one) and is reading it now, and loves it as much as the second book. We have also ordered the third book (Dragon Moon).
The things he says he loves about it are:
It is full of action. He loves the dragon. He loves the Asian culture. He says is just "sucks him in."
Now I'm dying to read it--and will tell everyone I recommend it because it got my reluctant fiction reader to fall in love with a whole series!
5.0 out of 5 starsI am an adult reader and this was the best dragon fantasy I have ever read
26 August 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
As a Chinese American adult reader, I was looking for books to send to my young nieces and I am delighted to have found this. This book respects children's sensibilities and keeps the action and surprises rolling in fast. Not one boring moment. Twists and turns, escapes to safety, danger, dangerous journeys, humor, friendship, loyalty and so much mythalogical and historical information about China and Dragons that you don't realize or resent the fact that you are getting an education in one of the most important symbols of Chinese life. Ping is one of the best new characters in children's literature. It doesn't matter that she is female. She is wonderfully realized and her journey with the Dragon helps her grow, learn and love all at the same time. All the characters, animal and otherwise are fully and beautifully written. This is destined to be a classic.
I am 56 yrs old (as of this date) and I still enjoy books written for young adults, they are relaxing, easy reads. There are 3 books that I know of in this series, and each one was well written, I could use my imagination and "see" what the author was writing about. Sometimes it dragged a bit here and there,but overall, I enjoyed these books very much.