Dragon's Egg

Dragon's Egg

4.6 58
by Sarah L. Thomson
     
 

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It is a rare talent, and only she can care for the Inn's herd. She feeds them, gathers their eggs, and tends to their injuries. But Mella dreams about the dragons of legend, even though hardly anyone believes they still exist. Dragons are small farm animals, not huge fire-breathing monsters. Everyone knows that.

Until one day changes everything.

A

Overview

It is a rare talent, and only she can care for the Inn's herd. She feeds them, gathers their eggs, and tends to their injuries. But Mella dreams about the dragons of legend, even though hardly anyone believes they still exist. Dragons are small farm animals, not huge fire-breathing monsters. Everyone knows that.

Until one day changes everything.

A Knight of the Order of Defenders arrives at the Inn. Signs of the mythical dragons have led him there, he says. Then a simple errand takes Mella through the forest, where she stumbles across a dragon's egg—and faces the true, terrifying dragon guarding it. On the spot, Mella vows to get the egg safely to the fabled Hatching Grounds. She must leave her home for the first time, and she finds an unlikely companion in the Defender's squire, Roger.

For Mella and Roger, this one day is the beginning of an adventure. Where will it take them?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 14.

Thompson combines traditional fairy tale and fantasy quest themes in a fresh new novel aimed at the middle school audience. As the tale begins, Mella is an ordinary twelve-year-old country girl out gathering eggs for the inn, but her life is not as plain as it seems. The eggs are not from birds but from small domesticated dragons. Once there were large dragons bigger than the inn, but they are long gone-or so most folk say. The stranger at the inn, a knight, says they still exist. The stranger's squire, Roger, disagrees. When Mella finds a true dragon's egg and enlists the squire's help, they begin a dragon quest quite different from the knight's. Their quest is not to kill the dragons but to save the egg. This tale, with themes of honor and duty, theft and responsibility, ends happily ever after. Roger's secret and the truth of what happened to the dragons may be a bit predictable to adult eyes, but it does not detract from the fun of a tale where the hero is a young girl who maintains her youth and innocence (mostly) despite her grand adventure. It is a lovely, welcome addition to fantasy collections and a great way to segue young readers (especially girls) from fairy tales to fantasy. The book has already won the author a new fan. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
Upon the death of her adored grandmother, Mella inherits the job of tending the family's herd of small dragons. She has an innate gift of intuition with these unique creatures. Every morning and evening, Mella protects and cares for these dragons. Then, a knight named Damian Damerson steps into her family's Inn and changes her life forever. The fantasy of real fire-breathing dragon turns into reality as Mella must make a dangerous quest. With the help of a young knight-in-training named Roger, Mella treks across valleys and mountains to unite a smelting hard dragon egg to its home. The two young heroes conquer one obstacle after another in this action-packed story before Mella finds out the truth about her friend Roger and why his family could stand in the way of Mella doing her job as a dragon keeper. Will the journey into Dragontooth Mountain dissolve the blossoming friendship between Mella and Roger? Will the secret dragon lair become a hatchery or a death bed? Author Sarah Thomsom has created a fun-filled fantasy book that presents many twists and turns as two believable young heroes grow to find out what is inside their hearts and if they can stand up for what is right at any cost. What makes this book different from other dragon books is the subplot about Roger's background, the manner in which Mella innocently involves him in her quest, and how time tells all. What a superb story for any reader who is not afraid of dragons! Reviewer: Julia Beiker
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
Twelve-year-old Mella is a dragon keeper; she has the gift of soothing and communicating with the domestic dragons that her family keeps for their eggs, which are a popular menu item at their inn. Thinking that wild dragons are things of legend, she and the other residents of her small town are surprised when a knight arrives at the inn seeking signs of just such a beast. She discovers a mysterious object in a cave, which turns out to be the egg of a true dragon (the large, fearsome, and wise kind). When the dragon is mortally wounded by the knight, she promises the creature that she will return the egg to its hatching ground in the distant Dragontooth Mountains. She and Roger, the knight's page (who has a secret of his own), embark on a dangerous quest. A dragon-hating enemy, a difficult journey through the wilderness, and of course the majestic dragons add lots of excitement to this fast-paced adventure. Mella is a likable character who gains the self-confidence and strength needed to keep her word. This book is sure to be popular with fans of Emily Rodda's "Deltora Quest" series (Scholastic) and other dragon fantasies.
—Eva MitnickCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Tales of girls challenging dragons are plentiful, but two things set this one apart: It's intended for a middle-grade audience and the dragons are small, domesticated animals, and, much like farm hens, prized for their eggs. Mella is the family dragonkeeper, fulfilling the mantle her Gran placed on her shoulders when she died. Like everyone else, Mella doesn't believe that ancient, menacing, magical dragons exist anymore until a Knight of the Order of Defenders, who was wounded by one, stops at their inn. When Mella comes face to face with the dragon, injured and dying, she promises it she'll take the warm and glowing dragon egg home to the Dragontooth Mountains. Roger, the Knight's page, is determined to go with her; they walk miles following a river, are kidnapped, rescued by a shepherd, discover an ancient cave with mystical symbols where dragons were bred, scale cliffs and manage to keep the egg hot and safe and themselves alive. Mella's spunk, Roger's real identity and descriptive scenes lend character to the usual fantasy elements, with the egg hatching its own individuality. (Fantasy. 9-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061995880
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/16/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
412,333
File size:
306 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Dragon's Egg EPB

Chapter One

"Mella! Hurry and fetch the eggs!"

"I'm just going, Mama!" Mella stepped out onto the back porch of the Inn. Despite her mother's words, she didn't hurry, pausing to tie a scraggly red ribbon around the end of her thick blond braid. The sunlight was just brushing the tops of the dark spruce trees, and above them, softened by a faint blue mist, Mella could see the peaks of the Dragontooth Mountains.

She picked up a pair of heavy gloves and a basket lined with soft, damp moss and went to gather the eggs.

On a normal day, Redtail would be peering over the gate, waiting to have her spine scratched. Mella kept a long stick leaning against a fence post for that purpose. But today Redtail was off in a far corner of the pen, and although Zip and Zap edged over to get their ears rubbed, neither seemed as eager for the attention as they usually did. In fact, Zap pulled his head out from under Mella's hand to sniff at the air, his nostrils wide and his stubby wings quivering.

Mella glanced over her shoulder, wondering what he could have seen or smelled, but she saw nothing except the Inn, the stable, and the yard. Everything as simple and ordinary as good plain bread. Perhaps they were in for a storm, though she could not spot a cloud in the sky. Changes in the weather sometimes made the herd nervous.

Mella shrugged and unlatched the gate. Digger stopped poking his long, thin snout into the sparse grass of the pen long enough to look up and snort a greeting. Nothing ever disturbed Digger in his single-minded pursuit of anything edible.

"And hello to you, too, old boy." Mella slipped into the pen and shut the gate behind her. "Now, Angel . . . now, Snow . . ." She patted the warm, scaly bodies jostling about her knees. "Best not to keep Mama waiting for those eggs."

Each of the brooding dragons sat atop a heap of stone and gravel the creature had scooped up with claws and snout. A dragon could, at will, alter the natural color of its scales to blend in with its surroundings. Most of the females with eggs had already done so, changing from warm brown or gray green or dusty black to a mottled mud color. It took more than a quick look to distinguish a dragon from her nest.

Mella crooned to her herd and rubbed their ears as she slipped her gloved hand underneath them to find the eggs, the heat of their scaly bodies bringing a red glow to her cheeks. On most mornings the dragons would be glad to see her, a happiness that always soaked into her like sunlight. But today half the beasts seemed infected with the same restlessness that had taken Redtail and Zap. Blackie even hissed at Mella and raised the crest along her neck in warning as the girl came to kneel by her nest.

"Blackie!" Astonished, Mella sat back on her heels to stare. "What's come over you this morning?" The little dragon with the dark scales looked properly ashamed of herself and nuzzled at Mella's elbow in apology. "I should hope so," Mella scolded gently as she retrieved two eggs. She had a dozen in her basket now, cushioned by damp moss to keep them safe. Some were soft brown flecked with gold, some the grayish green of river stones, some white as fresh cream. All steamed slightly in the cool air as if they'd just come from an oven.

"Mella! Where are you with those eggs?"

Mella's mother had stepped out onto the porch to call her. Leaving Blackie with a quick scratch under her jaw, Mella slipped her hand beneath Vixen's body, hoping for one more egg. The Inn was full of hungry guests to feed. There! Tucking the last egg into the moss, Mella set off at a run across the yard, careful not to jostle her basket or crack its contents.

"What a smell of dragons!" Mella's sister, Lilla, slicing bread at the table, wrinkled her nose as Mella hurried into the kitchen.

"Mind your manners and count your blessings," Mama said crisply. "If Mella didn't have the touch with the dragons, we'd have to hire a keeper for them, and there'd be no more money for your pretty ribbons, my girl." When their mother turned back to the fire, Lilla tossed her head so the green ribbons that matched her eyes and the trim on her second-best dress danced in the air.

Mella stuck her tongue out at Lilla. She liked the tindery, sulfury smell of dragons, no matter what her sister said. Lilla was sixteen and hard to please.

"A dozen, well done." Using only one hand, Mama deftly cracked the eggs into her big blue mixing bowl. "You do have the touch with the dragons, sweet, just like your Gran."

Mella twisted away a little as if she hadn't noticed Mama's hand reaching out to stroke her hair.

"Fetch me some butter from the cold room, love." Mama began to beat the eggs briskly. "Lilla, mind how you slice that loaf!"

After dropping her basket by the door and tucking her gloves in her pocket, Mella ran down the stone stairs to the cold room. Built deep into the hill behind the Inn, its rock walls trapped a damp chill even in the height of summer. Mella, a crock of butter in her hands, had to stop and stand still a moment, squeezing her eyes shut to fight the stinging behind them.

Foolish. It had been nearly a year now since Gran died. And Gran had never had the least patience with crying. "Tears mend nothing," she'd say. "Work mends all."

Nearly a year since Gran died. And then there had been Lady.

Mella rubbed her hand hard over her eyes. Certainly there was enough work at the Inn to mend anything, especially at breakfast time. She ran back up the stairs to the kitchen, the heels of her shoes clattering.

Dragon's Egg EPB. Copyright © by Sarah Thomson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sarah L. Thomson is the author of Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag, a Nebraska Golden Sower Award finalist; all the Wildlife Conservation Society I Can Read Books, including Amazing Tigers!, winner of an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award; and What Lincoln Said, written with "admirable simplicity" (ALA Booklist). Sarah lives in Portland, Maine.

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Dragon's Egg 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds kinda like eragon dont know though i mean eragon and this girl sound alike tell me ho many of these there are and i loved eragon so i might like this read eragon after that there are three more the last one just came out eragon eldest brisingr and inheritence.
Emily Green More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I loved how the charter never gave up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has so much detail and that is why i am going2buy this book.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love how you guys like to rp, but can you please e-mail or something? I just think it's very disrespectful. The author put so much effort into making this book. She deserves a place for her readers to comment on if they like it or not. It's not a place to mess around. RPs are like a slap to the face to me. Also you must know each other for the rp to even get started right? If you already know each other, why not text/e-mail? It's that easy. I am sorry if I made you upset during this "speech". I'm done now. This book is amazing!! I just started and I'm in love with it. I just absolutely adore dragons. This is a must read for any and all dragon lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am the third person to rate this in 2015 and also the first to speak igpay atinlay
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought This book was amazing and how the author described the the settings was incredible.  The beginning of the story  takes place an a place called Dragons Ford and they are taking a dragons egg to the Hatching ground and they so many obstacles that they have to  over come.  One of the obstacles that they had to over come was the bandit Ariel.  They also had to get around the dragons protecting the  Hatching ground.  But in the end Rodger and Melisa or what her name was, I believe that they did their best and that they should  continue to help dragons and others to be kind and loving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand
hpgirl2008 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book I think maybe better than the other 2 in the series :) Perhaps because I am sooo into Medieval times and mythology and this book was chock-full of adventure in this theme! The kids along with Chacon travel through Avalon and many other worlds to yet again save Sagaas from ruin. This book also has a bit of love running through it as Claire finds more than just a friend in Chacon. This does not seem like the greatest idea to Evan, but he is being sidetracked by his own problem - his dreams are becoming more real and bothersome. All in all this whole series so far is amazing and I can definitely see it becoming HUGE in the Young Adult genre! No need to worry about your kids reading this, it is all clean themes and amazing adventures in fantastical worlds :) Once again 5 stars! Loved it! ***I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS IS A MEGA AWESOME BOOK!WHEN YOU READ IT,YOUR WELCOMED TO AAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! ; )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A dark green male flies in. His talons click on the stone as he lands. He folds in his wings. "I am Han, also known as Hunts Alone, from the Clans in the West. May I join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Jumps on top of a tree and watches the Dragons" hmm......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pure white dragon flew in. Her eyes were always shifting colors so you could never quite tell what color they were. She said, may i join.(just a question, is this a dragon rp of a dragon and rider rp?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A legendary dragon flys in may i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An extremely rare baby dragon flies in. She has purple scales with silvery patterns all over. Her eyes beam a bright yellow-gold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hello"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks at Ice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey. Is this book any good? My friend let me read only the first page so im not sure yet. Also: I LOVE DRAGONS! i love them so much im making 2 diffrent books that envolve them! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I <3 U!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read and i was only 9 when i read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it so much, I've read it several times! Sometimes I wonder how anyone could fit this much adventure into one book, and Sarah L. Thomson doesn't disappoint. An interesting story, sure to be a must read for those fantasy fans out there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing it was so good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was the best ebook i have ever bought it was totally awesome i think that everyone should read this book !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago