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Author Biography: Laurence Yep is the author of The Imp That Ate My Homework, about which Kirkus Reviews said, "Readers will not be able to put this light, funny fantasy down." He received Newbery Honors in 1975 for Dragonwings and in 1994 for Dragon's Gate. Mr. Yep lives in Pacific Grove, California.
To free her clan from slavery at underwater forges, the dragon princess Shimmer and her human companion Thorn combat the Dragon King's jealousy and treachery.
I was rehearsing my thank-you speech again when I felt the heat on my wings. It was too hot for the sun. No, it was magic-red-hot magic and strong too. So I forced myself to forget about the welcome banquet that the High King would give in our honor; and instead I concentrated on finding out what was wrong.
Of course, humans like Thorn don't feel such things so he just started to prompt me again. "Then you're supposed to say, 'As princess of the Inland Sea, I thank you for helping us regain our heritage.'"
"Hush. There's something wrong." I slowed the beating of my wings and looked below me toward Ramsgate, the capital of the humans. From far below, the watch began to sound the alarm on a gong; but I couldn't see anything wrong.
In fact, it would have been hard to find a more peaceful scene. The soft, hazy light of sunset made the buildings look like some dreamy picture drawn in chalk and ready to be washed away by the first rain. The towers and spires of Ramsgate rose like so many long, thin petals of a chrysanthemum; and the sandstone walls took on an almost rose, fleshy color.
"I don't see any bandits. It must be a fire in someone's kitchen." In his excitement, Thorn leaned over, shifting his position on my back.
I adjusted for the change in balance and then raised a paw, making sure that our sleeping prisoner was still tied securely to my back. The Witch, Civet, was our guarantee into the dragon kingdoms. "There aren't any bucket brigades, though."
Thorn's voice cracked with excitement. "No, there's the fire. It's I rising almost like a fountain."
"Fountain?" I twisted my head around. Behind us, thesun was setting over the mountains.
"Over there on the hill." Thorn pointed toward our left. "Only it's gone now."
There was only one hill in Ramsgate and that was off to my left where the palace of the King sat. Its great golden dome caught the evening sun so that it seemed to pulse like a red eye. Lights were being lit in its many rooms and the windows and doors glittered like the many eyes of some sea creature.
"Maybe it was just the reflection of the sun on the palace." But I began to beat my wings harder, eager to reach the safety of the dragon kingdoms that lay in the sea just ahead.
"There it is again," Thorn called.
I twisted my head around once more. The walls and towers of the palace seemed to shimmer as if some enormous fire were heating up the air. Suddenly a long, thin pillar of fire shot upward and then dissolved, sending tongues of magical fire flickering into the night like the seeds of a dandelion.
"What's that?" Thorn asked breathlessly.
I began to beat my wings even faster though I was a bit tired from our long journey. "I don't know and I'm not waiting to find out. Someone's working magic. Lie low on my neck so you don't provide any wind drag." I'd been so busy dreaming about all the banquets in my honor that I'd forgotten the first rule of survival: Always assume the worst.
"There's even more fire than before," Thom cried.
The fire shot upward like the stalk of some giant seedling, rising, rising until it seemed to hit an invisible ceiling where it began to flatten. The flames licked outward and died, to reveal a gigantic bird with feathers that flickered now red, now yellow, like tongues of fire. Slowly, defiantly, it spread its wings over the palace; and the light went rolling over the golden dome.
"It's a flame bird." Someone was working magic for no apparent reason. I dove because I didn't feel like waiting around to see any more tricks. Tied about my neck was the mist stone that we'd taken from Civet. It would have let me change my body into a cloud of mist-if I had known the proper spell. But even if I could have used it, I wouldn't, because that would have left Thorn exposed.
The flat roofs of the houses seemed to leap up at me. A family having dinner on a rooftop flung themselves underneath the table and benches. Too late I saw the gleam of soldiers' armor on one rooftop. A flight of arrows was already hissing loudly up toward us. Though the Witch was tied to my back, the boy wasn't, so I couldn't bank sharply. All I could do was dive even lower into the narrow street itself. "Doesn't anything ever come easy for us?"
"Somehow we always manage to --" Thorn started to shout, and his words were lost in a gasp as we dropped within the street itself.
In the upper story windows human faces gaped at us like so many pink melons; and I winced as my left wingtip scraped against a stucco wall. But I didn't let myself panic. As my flying instructor said, there's only one name for fliers who make mistakes: corpses. Instead, I strained every muscle to pull up.
I managed to level off at two meters above the cobblestone street, and then I drew a shaky breath. "I don't understand it. Dragons have always been free to fly over Ramsgate before."
"Maybe they don't like tourists anymore." Thorn's arms and legs tightened around my neck. "Look out!"
I'd already seen the wagon filled with squashes and drawn in my paws. We just barely skimmed over its top; but my tail brushed the terrified driver backward. "Sorry," I called over my shoulder as squashes began cascading down onto the street. Then I swung my eyes forward again. "It's got to be team flying from now on," I told Thorn anxiously. "Keep your eyes on our rear."Dragon Steel. Copyright © by Laurence Yep. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted May 5, 2005
Talk about a great book! You would never think that Monkey and Shimmer become friends. Cool twist. I just love how Shimmer sence of pride gets her into trouble. When you are an outlawed dragon trouble is the last thing you want. WOOPS! I think I've said to much. Well I hope you love this book as much as I do!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2004
Dragon Steel I would say that this book is a good book to read. And the fact that the book is unrealistic is not of any importance because it was not meant to be so. The fantasy novel, Dragon Steel was written for enjoyment by the author Laurence Yep. Laurence Yep has also written at least 25 other novels most of which are based on a fictitious Chinese family in America that face real historical problems. But Dragon steel is a book that was written with characters that are similar to the Chinese characters that represent years, major attributes, wisdom and other such things. The Dragon Steel book is not officially considered to be part of a quadriplegic series but there are three other books that consist of a number of simultaneously continuing events it would be the second book in a set, the first being Dragon Of The Lost Sea. The following two books would be Dragon Cauldron and Dragon War, which I have not read yet. This book would be a good book to read because it interacts with the reader and keeps him or her interested throughout the entire book with new minor conflicts occurring all the time, and ever-growing suspense. As problems are solved there are always more problems occurring in the story. And while only half of the chapters have cliffhangers the whole story flows incredibly smooth. The story is about a dragon who was exiled from her clan when she was little more than a child, The sea in which they lived has been captured by a powerful witch who keeps it in a pearl that allows her to change into a mist this allows her to often escape capture the exiled dragon princess is fortunate enough to capture the witch with tools that prevent her from performing offensive magic. That is where the last story ends leaving Dragon Steel to take its place. Dragon Steel she finds her clan containing many thousands of her kin has been made outlawed and put in a low class where even THIER queen who is ill near death must pull her share. Once more they are exiled by her own uncle the high king. In her uncle¿s kingdom she must retrieve heavily guarded items needed to restore their sea with little more than the forces of herself and one friend, which she must free from one of the most often patrolled dungeons the king has. They must also battle unknown and unexpected horrors and solve puzzles to get the items they want in a limited amount of time. Overall the book is well written relaxing and entertaining to the reader and is not hard to understand. The author who wrote the book did so in such a way that things go at a nice pace but still gives detailed descriptions about almost everything rather than spending a whole chapter on one small thing and making the story seem to drag along. This is an excellent book to read even if you have not read Dragon of the Lost Sea because there is a detailed poem at the beginning of the story that tells the reader about previous events.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2002
My friend Denise read this book and positivly loved it. I read and fell in love with it. It is a superb book. The reality and fiction fits together perfectly. I sugest it to everyone. I'm still in the sixth grade and I appreciate this far more than some kids in my grade. Read this. You'd like it. Trust me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2000
Posted August 12, 2000
I read this book out of sequence. It was so good that I want to read the other three. My local library only carries the one book, and I plan to ask them if they can order the other three, as well. I highly recommend this book not only to children but also to adults. I am an adult. I am 45. I enjoyed the book, and I know a 53 year old who also enjoyed the book, so as you can see, it appeals to all ages. It is dramatic and points out how important dreams are and how important friends are. I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2000
The magical world of Dragium is an underrwater kingdom where dragons and other mysterious creatures live I am thorn the eldest dragon. Now our world is under the reign oh the evil wich Evilen. She has the land under an evil spell wich rises the dead creatures of the sea they eat live dragons. It is up to me and my ary to stop her evil reign and return the planet to its natural beuty. The planet will soon die if we dont do somthing. The day has finally come the day we will fight for our planet. I will essemble the troops in exacly one hour. We have atleast two hundred miles to swim. It hes been an hour the troops and I start our trip we should get there in three hours. In the middle of the underwater mountain range we came accrost an army of the dead creatures they fought fearlessly but we were stronger than them. Finaly we got to the Kingdom of Raugh. When we got there we had to sneak up on the guards it was to easy they died fast. We spread our selves thout the castle massicuring any evil being we could find. Then the armys came it was tough and I lost ten men but we won but there was still the wich she was very powerful and would be hard to find . It took forevera but we finally found her. we fought for days befor we beat her. we had to go get Monkey so we could restore the land. He worked his spell and the land was restored.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 2008
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