Dragon Rider

( 352 )

Overview


The Blockbuster #1 New York Times Bestseller, Now in Paperback!

With a lonely boy named Ben on board, the brave young dragon Firedrake sets out on a magical journey to find the mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Flying over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they encounter fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage--and cross the path of a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge who's determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can ...

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Overview


The Blockbuster #1 New York Times Bestseller, Now in Paperback!

With a lonely boy named Ben on board, the brave young dragon Firedrake sets out on a magical journey to find the mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Flying over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they encounter fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage--and cross the path of a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge who's determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can save the dragons in this enchanting adventure about the true meaning home.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The bestselling author of Inkheart and The Thief Lord serves up an adventurous novel for middle-graders about a team of bravehearts seeking a mysterious lair of ancient dragons. Keeping up the epic, magical atmosphere that makes her older books so appealing to fans, Cornelia Funke tells the nail-biting tale of Firedrake, a silver dragon who leads a mission to locate the Rim of Heaven, in response to the threat posed by humans who are scheming to flood the valley where his clan of dragons currently lives. Soon, accompanied by a brownie named Sorrel and an orphan boy named Ben, Firedrake begins the expedition toward the Rim of Heaven with only scant information to go on. Readers quickly learn that the group is being pursued by a golden, manmade dragon named Nettlebrand -- a destroyer of other dragons -- who turns up throughout the story, using water to transport himself and aided by a homunculus who spies on Firedrake while pretending to be an ally. Funke provides audiences much to chew on with her cast of friendly and dastardly characters, signature multi-stranded story lines, and heart-pounding climax, making sure to keep the action coming and audiences constantly guessing what will happen next. At over 500 pages, the book shouldn't be a problem for her fans -- or lovers of Harry Potter, for that matter. A fantastic, high-flying journey that's pure proof that Funke knows her storytelling. Matt Warner
From the Publisher

"Marvelous stuff for dreaming adventurers of any age."--Clive Barker

"A warm-hearted dream of a book."--The Guardian UK

"A good, old-fashioned ensemble cast quest."--Booklist

"Engaging and suspenseful." --VOYA

"Exciting adventures abound...This book delivers."--The Horn Book

A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A People Magazine Top 10 Pick

Voice of Youth Advocates
(October 1, 2004
This latest adventure story of a boy, a dragon, and a quest will thoroughly satisfy Funke's North American fans. After hiding in rural Scotland for years, a community of dragons finds itself threatened by the incursion of man. Warned of their impending doom but frightened, the dragons refuse to act. Only one, Firedrake, and Sorrel, his Brownie companion, strike out in search of the Rim of Heaven, a haven for dragons remembered only vaguely by the oldest among them. The pair soon finds an unlikely but helpful companion in Ben, a homeless boy. Threatened by ancient predators and assisted by sympathetic scholars and other mythical creatures, the trio triumphantly locates a new haven for the dragons and discover Ben's destiny as the Dragon Rider. The plot is rich, but characters sometimes lack development. The dragon Firedrake is sympathetically drawn, but Sorrel's and Ben's characters are less complete. Sorrel's dialogue is often choppy, and readers learn nothing of Ben's past despite his lack of family or home. Still the novel is engaging and suspenseful and will be read and enjoyed by fans of Funke and fantasy.-Anita Beaman.

School Library Journal
(October 1, 2004;
Gr 4-6-Young Firedrake is the only dragon to heed a warning from his colony's senior resident: return to the hidden city at the Rim of Heaven, or suffer imminent discovery and destruction by humans. Accompanied by a feisty Scottish brownie, an orphaned boy who becomes his dragon rider, and a large group of other supporters, Firedrake fulfills an ancient prophecy and safely returns to his ancestral home. Occasional black-and-white illustrations show many of the book's more exotic characters, a plus for young readers who may not know the folklore from which the creatures are drawn. The omniscient point of view follows each member of this ensemble at length, providing the tale with humor and action but also preventing the main characters from fully developing. The company survives encounters with a basilisk, a djinni, a roc, and a sea serpent, as well as an ongoing threat from Nettlebrand, a malevolent being intent on destroying them. Although each of these confrontations is interesting, the sheer number of episodes, the lack of strong central characters, and Nettlebrand's blustering inability to actually hurt anyone make for a story with much less dramatic tension than Funke's outstanding novels, The Thief Lord (2002) and Inkheart (2003, both Scholastic). A well-known author will assure the book's popularity, but the overlong plot is forgettable.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Horn Book Magazine
(September 1, 2004
(Intermediate) A book with a blue-and-gray cover image of a flying dragon, the plot device of an orphan granted entry to a magical world, and enough heft to serve double-duty as a doorstop -- Eragon? The next Harry Potter? No, it's Funke's Dragon Rider, newly arrived from Germany to jostle for space in the crowded fantasy market. Ben, a homeless orphan, joins dragon Firedrake and furry, bad-tempered brownie Sorrel both in their quest to find the dragon home at the Rim of Heaven and in their mortal combat with Nettlebrand, a golden dragon-machine who wants to exterminate dragonkind. Exciting adventures abound, albeit counterbalanced with some implausible motivations, a few plot holes, and a dollop of syrupy s

From The Critics
The humans are coming! That spells trouble in the valley where the last dragons live and sets young Firedrake on a quest to find refuge for his dwindling species. Author Funke's straightforward style makes this an excellent option for younger readers longing for big-kid fantasy. The (Ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
This fantasy that established Funke's (Inkheart) reputation as a gifted storyteller in her native Germany (available for the first time in the U.S.), is sure to appeal to her many American fans. When humans encroach upon his home valley, Firedrake, a young silver dragon, sets off to find the Rim of Heaven, a legendary haven in the mountains. But evil Nettlebrand, a human-made hunter of silver dragons, is spying on him, hoping Firedrake will lead him to even more delicious treats. The creature, referred to as the Golden One, resembles a huge dragon, but he is covered in cold, hard gold scales and cannot fly; however, he can magically appear in any body of water. During his journey, Firedrake is joined by a feisty brownie, a homunculus (who initially spied for Nettlebrand) and Ben, an orphan who may be the dragon rider foretold in an ancient prophecy. Readers will delight in the creatures that turn up in this extended quest. The elves, dwarves and a thousand-eyed djinni (a kindly professor of archaeology and his friends also aid the travelers in piecing together clues) help contribute to a rich lore (all enchanted creatures have red eyes, for example, and dragon-fire will reveal their true natures). While readers may have trouble keeping track of all the plot's strands as they soar through this story, they will no doubt find themselves drawn in by the lively characters and their often hilarious banter, as well as the nonstop obstacles they encounter before the inevitable face-off with Nettlebrand. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Although not as uniquely charming as Inkheart (The Chicken House/Scholastic, 2003/VOYA December 2003), this latest adventure story of "a boy, a dragon, and a quest" will thoroughly satisfy Funke's North American fans. After hiding in rural Scotland for years, a community of dragons finds itself threatened by the incursion of man. Warned of their impending doom but frightened, the dragons refuse to act. Only one, Firedrake, and Sorrel, his Brownie companion, strike out in search of the Rim of Heaven, a haven for dragons remembered only vaguely by the oldest among them. The pair soon finds an unlikely but helpful companion in Ben, a homeless boy. Threatened by ancient predators and assisted by sympathetic scholars and other mythical creatures, the trio triumphantly locates a new haven for the dragons and discover Ben's destiny as the Dragon Rider. The plot is rich, but characters sometimes lack development. The dragon Firedrake is sympathetically drawn, but Sorrel's and Ben's characters are less complete. Sorrel's dialogue is often choppy, and readers learn nothing of Ben's past despite his lack of family or home. Still the novel is engaging and suspenseful and will be read and enjoyed by fans of Funke and fantasy. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, The Chicken House/Scholastic, 528p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Anita Beaman
Children's Literature
Dragons are fascinating creatures and many stories and myths feature these sometimes benevolent and sometimes fearsome creatures. Funke gives us a likeable dragon in Firedrake. He is young, as far as dragons go, but he is willing to risk everything to find the mystical dragon home called The Rim of Heaven and save his kin. The main cast of characters includes Ben, a human orphan who becomes a dragon rider, Sorrel a smart-mouth always complaining Brownie, and Twigleg a homunculus. Twigleg was the slave of Nettlebrand—a horrible fabricated dragon whose whole raison d'etre is to hunt down and kill dragons and anything else that happens to get in its way. Other interesting characters include a dwarf named Gravelbeard and several helpful humans including Professor Greenbloom and his daughter, Zubeida, a dragon expert, and an entire community of Tibetan lamas. Through many arduous months and ordeals, the travelers finally reach the end of their quest. It is not, however, as they had expected, but the final chapter brings it all to a tidy and happy ending for all involved. Nettlebrand, the invincible is finally brought to a just end. Funke's story is not short, but it moves quickly and once they are into it, kids will keep the pages flipping. Also, it is nice to have a happy ending. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 8 to 12.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Cornelia Funke's novel (Scholastic/The Chicken House, 2004) about Firedrake, a young silver dragon who has lived peacefully in an isolated Scottish valley with other dragons and assorted fabulous creatures for many years is a charming fantasy and a listening delight. When the dragons discover that humans plan to take over their valley, Firedrake and a feisty, headstrong brownie named Sorrel set out to find the Rim of Heaven, the legendary home of silver dragons, rumored to be in the Himalayan Mountains. The two are soon joined by Ben, an orphan, who helps the pair obtain a map to the area and escape the perils of the city. The quest to find the ancient homeland is soon complicated by the realization that Nettlebrand, an evil artificial golden dragon whose sole purpose in life is to hunt silver dragons, is following their every move. A cast of sympathetic humans and fabulous creatures, elves, sea serpents, and a djinni help and sidetrack Firedrake in his journey. The urgency of the mission is carefully conveyed through Brendan Fraser's expert pacing and timing. His boyish charm and irresistible enthusiasm gives each character a distinct voice and personality. The quick humor and intellect of the characters is handled deftly by Fraser. Listeners will be carried along by the narrator's excitement.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When human development threatens the remote Scottish valley where the earth's last remaining silver dragons have hidden, Firedrake, a determined young dragon, and his friend Sorrel, an irascible brownie, set out to find the Rim of Heaven, a remote Himalayan valley said to be the ancient home of the dragons. In short order they pick up Ben, a stout-hearted orphan lad, and Twigleg, a homunculus in the joyless employ of Nettlebrand, the evil artificial golden dragon whose sole purpose in life is hunting and killing silver dragons. The twin imperatives to evade Nettlebrand and to find the Rim of Heaven form the engine that drives this narrative, and the importance of belief-in goodness, in possibility, in magic, in love-provides the fuel. Various secondary characters pop up to help or to hinder, genially straining credibility with the tidiness of plot-driven need. This solid adventure lacks the lusciousness of language and intricacy of plot that marked last year's Inkheart, but it does carry the reader along at breakneck pace, the inevitably victorious ending no less satisfying for all its predictability. (Fiction. 8-12)First printing of 150,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545316484
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 87,102
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke is the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, and the Inkheart trilogy, along with many other chapter and picture books for younger readers. She lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house filled with books.

Biography

One of the most successful children's authors of our day, multi-award-winner Cornelia Funke started out as a social worker focused on the needs of disadvantaged youngsters. She enrolled in a post-graduate course at the Hamburg State College of Design, and left social work in the mid-1980s to begin a career as a children's book illustrator. However, the books she was commissioned to work on were prosaic and unimaginative, and she soon decided to try her hand at writing stories of her own.

An ardent fan of such childhood classics as Tolkien's Ring Trilogy and the tales of C. S. Lewis and J. M. Barrie, Funke was naturally drawn to the world of fantasy. She explained her attraction in a 2006 interview with the genre blog Writer Unboxed: " [T]he wonderful thing about fantasy is that it is the oldest way of story telling -- to clad what we feel and fear into disguises and make them more clear, to pass the borders of our every day life and use our imagination for travels into unknown worlds and unlimited experiences."

Although Funke was an immediate success in her native Germany, she was largely unknown outside Europe -- that is, until a young bilingual fan wrote to a British publishing firm inquiring why her favorite author's books were not available in English. The publisher hunted down what was, at the time, Funke's most recent book (The Thief Lord) and, in 2002, published it in translation. Already the recipient of several literary honors in Europe, the engaging YA fantasy went on to win the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year Award.

One by one, as they are translated into English and published in America, Funke's wonderful stories have become huge bestsellers. Her ingenuity, imagination, and artistry shine in stand-alone novels like Dragon Rider and the Inkworld Trilogy -- Inkheart (2003), Inkspell (2005), and Inkdeath (2008). She has also produced picture books for younger readers, including The Wildest Brother, Pirate Girl, and Princess Knight. Fans who worry that this natural-born storyteller will run out of ideas can take solace in an author interview conducted in 2008 by Britain's Daily Telegraph. Asked if she had many more books in mind, Funke replied, "Oh yes, I am quite sure I won't be able to write them all down in a lifetime."

Good To Know

  • In German, Funke means "spark."

  • In 2005, Time magazine named Cornelia Funke among its "100 Most Influential Men and Women."

  • Funke claims to have written her popular Ghosthunters series "for boys who don't like to read."

  • When asked if she writes in German or English, Funke replied in a 2008 interview in The Washington Post: "I write in German. I've practiced this language for 47 years. I will never be a master in any other language. Anthea Bell, an old lady with cats, does the translation. She's amazing, and her translations are very, very true to my language."

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Hometown:
        Los Angeles, CA
      1. Date of Birth:
        December 10, 1958
      2. Place of Birth:
        Dorsten, Germany
      1. Education:
        University of Hamburg

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 352 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (252)

    4 Star

    (49)

    3 Star

    (24)

    2 Star

    (9)

    1 Star

    (18)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 352 Customer Reviews
    • Posted February 9, 2009

      Thrilling, Imaginative, story for many ages.

      I read this to my 6 year old boy who is very sensitive. Both he and I thoroughly enjoyed the story! It was an absorbing story and enough going on to hold a 6 year olds attention. Yet it was not too scary. Nobody dies, or gets hurt. Not even the villain! Yet it is an adventurous story filled with all sorts of magical creatures. The characters are well developed. In addition to very strong imagery with many creative similes and metaphors,

      16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 20, 2008

      A page turner

      This did start out a little slow, but by chapter 3, I found it hard to put down.

      14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 5, 2008

      Oustanding Book! Love Cornelia Funke's writing

      Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke is an enthralling book that will force you to keep reading. I like the various character additions as the story proceeded. I especially enjoyed the way the author did not immediately introduce Ben, the protagonist. This made the story more intriguing. The story starts with a mouse scurrying around looking for the dragon cave. When she reaches the dragon cave, she alerts the dragons about Nettlebrand, ¿the golden one¿ who is planning to destroy the dragons. Firedrake, a young silver dragon, sets out to find the rim of heaven so he can save the other dragons from Nettlebrand. Firedrake goes to a different mouse¿s hut, to get a map and that is when he meets the protagonist, Ben. Then the book becomes a giant quest as Ben joins Firedrake in the search for the rim of heaven. Within this quest the characters must learn knew skills to dodge different obstacles thrown in their path.

      12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 24, 2012

      Samuel McIntosh

      I looked at all of these reiviews and I got somthing like this…


      165=GOOD REIVIEWS

      14=BAD REIVIEWS

      10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 19, 2012

      Long ago...when we were young...

      Its a great book for young teens

      10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 26, 2012

      Bffjf

      My 16 year old brother adores this book

      8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 14, 2012

      Amazing story

      This book was one of my favorites when I was a child. It is packed with humor, excitement, and so much adventure... if you are considering this book then it would be anhuge mistake if you decided not to purchase it.

      6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 5, 2006

      My opinion

      I thought Dragon Rider was a lame book but hey thats just my opinion. I like to write my own stories and my teachers say one day i should become a fantasy or sceince fiction books but for some reason i didnt conect with this one book. It put me to sleep. Im sure lots of other people liked this book but i just wouldnt prefer it over other books.

      6 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 12, 2012

      LEXI

      Hi

      5 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 15, 2008

      Dargon Rider: Cornelia Funke

      I would recommed this book to most everyone who is into fanatsy. It is a little slow in some parts but it is a well written and good book. It has over 500 pages so that is sure to keep you entertained for a while! The only thing I didn't like about the book is the character Sorrel. Sorrel is a strange creature and is known as a brownie. She is to human-like and very stuck-up in my point of veiw. Overall this book was very good and liked it. I hope there will be a sequal to this book because it kind of leaves you hanging at the end. Try it!

      5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 7, 2013

      One of the best books i have ever read when I get older and I ha

      One of the best books i have ever read when I get older and I have kids i will make them read this book it is just absolutely fabulous; it makes me euphoric!!!!

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 23, 2008

      Lacks Interest

      This book was boring in every possible way. The theme was rather childish, and I have seen it advertised as a 'young adult' book. In no way did it capture my attention or interest. This title is forgettable.

      4 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 28, 2008

      Poor

      This book was very poorly written. I thought it was boring in every way and put it down after the first chapter. :(

      4 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 7, 2006

      Meh

      This book was utterly boring. It was just a stupid, unexciting book about a boy and a dragon. I would never recommend it to anyone, ever.

      4 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 14, 2005

      BOO!

      I hate this book. It does not keep you entertained at all. I was starting to read all kinds of dragon books then I read this one and I stopped reading them beacuse I didn't want to be so dissipointed agian. It is very kiddish. Eragon is much better.

      4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 23, 2013

      Great Story

      My 4 1/2 yr old daughter is fascinated by mythilogical creatures and just loved this story because there are so many featured in the adventure. She wants to be like Zubeida or Professor Greenbloom when she grows up. We read several chapters each night before bed and would talk about what was happening. She'd have so many great questions...I only wish we had Cornelia Funke here to answer them for her.

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 5, 2007

      A reviewer

      I myself felt that this book lacked a firm structure accompanied by the vast majority of fantasy books I've read. It has its perks, I'll admit, but it takes place during a relatively current time- tragically, yes. It is as if swords, noble steeds, and courage are replaced by laptops, cars, and the Internet. It also consists of random gibberish, such as something called a brownie that looks like a deformed cat. I don't know about you, but it makes me want to grab an actual brownie rather than the book itself.

      3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 5, 2013

      To everyone that hates.

      Awesome book, even my teacher liked this book, with it's action and storyline, without having a over dramatized romance, or being scary.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 31, 2013

      Best book ever

      It was a great book and i hope theres an second book

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 21, 2006

      This Book is Very Disappointing

      This was an extremely boring book in my point of view. I barely understood it. While the book was talking about what a certain enchanted creature did, I couldn't pay attention because I didn't know what that enchanted creature was like because they didn't tell you what their characteristics, personalities, and looks were. They didn't even give you context clues to figure things out. This book is completely and utterly disappointing, considering there are over 500 pages about a dragon flying from one place to another. This author also fails to use useful details and adjectives to describe important events. I highly DO NOT recommend this book.

      2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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