I’m crossing another classic middle grade book off of my long reading list. Cornelia Funke published Dragon Rider in 2005. The story follows Firedrake, one of the last silver dragons as he searches for the fabled dragon homeland, the Rim of Heaven. A place where he and his brethren will forever be safe from humans.
Firedrake is accompanied by his friend Sorrel, who is a brownie. I was expecting a little elf-like creature, but Funke’s version of a brownie is much more cat-like.
I looked up brownie on Wikipedia, just to see if I was entirely wrong, but this is what I found:
But that’s one of the great things about beings from folklore, they grow and change with each retelling and each new story imagined.
The pair is joined early in the story by Ben, a homeless human boy who is more than willing to help them.
The oldest of the dragons was able to describe his memories of the homeland. It lies in the midst of the tallest mountains in the world, and is carpeted in blue flowers. His memory is diminished and the only other clues he has to offer are “the eye of the moon” and “beware of the golden one”.
Sorrel is slower to trust than Firedrake, but Ben becomes a natural third companion. The three learn that the golden one is a gigantic golden armored dragon that hunts other dragons. His name is Nettlebrand and he has spies everywhere. It doesn’t take long for the secret mission to be discovered.
Firedrake, Ben and Sorrel meet many fabulous creatures and wonderful humans on their adventure, and more than a few evil minions of Nettlebrand. Their peaceful disposition and accepting nature prove that fighting isn’t always necessary, at least until the final showdown with Nettlebrand.
The reason I listened to this book -while crocheting- was that Funke has a new book coming out about Firedrake, Sorrel and Ben.
I’m sure more of their friends will come back for the sequel, but until I get my hands on it, I can’t tell you much more.
I did want to show you some alternate cover art though: