Garden of the Purple Dragon

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Overview

In the time of the Han Dynasty in ancient China, a young orphan struggles to fulfill her destiny. Ping has survived her days as a slave at Huangling Palace, but new challenges await her in the desolate mountains of Tai Shan. The aged dragon Danzi is gone, and now it is up to Ping to take care of the baby dragon, Kai. She does her best, but food is scarce, and she must be constantly on the lookout for her enemies. Things seem to get better when fate leads her back to the Imperial Palace, to the Garden of the ...

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Overview

In the time of the Han Dynasty in ancient China, a young orphan struggles to fulfill her destiny. Ping has survived her days as a slave at Huangling Palace, but new challenges await her in the desolate mountains of Tai Shan. The aged dragon Danzi is gone, and now it is up to Ping to take care of the baby dragon, Kai. She does her best, but food is scarce, and she must be constantly on the lookout for her enemies. Things seem to get better when fate leads her back to the Imperial Palace, to the Garden of the Purple Dragon. Yet even within these hallowed walls, Ping and Kai are not as safe as they believe.

This story of adventure, action, friendship, and loyalty will have readers cheering for Ping and the young dragon as they embark on their journey of faith and courage.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ann Welton
In the sequel to Dragon Keeper (Hyperion/DBG, 2005, (c)2003/VOYA June 2005), young Ping is overwhelmed by her responsibility for the newly hatched dragon, Kai. Missing Danzi, Kai's father, who has gone to the Isle of the Blest, she has fled to the mountains around Tai Shan. There she hopes to be left in peace to raise Kai, but there are problems. The little dragon is eternally hungry, and looking for food is a full time task. She is flummoxed by Kai's inability to speak to her as Danzi did, and she is constantly tired and wet. Her problems only increase when, despite the return of her loyal rat Hua, she runs afoul of the evil necromancer who tried to kill her in the past and is then captured by the men at arms of the young emperor, Liu Che. Once taken to the Emperor's palace, the Ming Yang Lodge, things look up. The Emperor, although initially angry, takes to the dragon and sets Ping up well-but as any discerning reader will quickly realize, the boy ruler's obsession with immortality bodes ill for both Ping and her little charge. As was the case with the first book, the pace is fast and furious, with crisscrossing plot lines that are sometimes just a bit too dependent on coincidence. Ping's encounter with her birth family, for example, seems contrived. As is often the case with plot-driven novels, characterization is sacrificed to momentum, but those who have read the previous novel will not be concerned. The story line is engaging, and the characters' predicaments will keep readers involved until the last page, which promises further adventures. The series is a solid choice for upper elementary and middle school collections.
Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
Once a slave in the Imperial Palace, Ping now enjoys an idyllic life as caretaker of Kai, a baby purple dragon. Kai's father Danzi charged Ping with his care before leaving and Ping does her best to take care of Kai. Things become difficult when Ping and Kai are found and taken back to the Imperial Palace. At first, Ping is grateful for the help, especially the reading lessons from the Emperor's sister. She soon realizes that the evil necromancer is not her and Kai's only threat. Intrigue at the palace, coupled with the Emperor's growing obsession with immorality, lead both Ping and Kai into danger. Many people insist that Ping, as a female, cannot possibly be the true dragon keeper. Ping knows in her heart that she is, but can she protect Kai long enough for him to grow up? This rich tale of fantasy and intrigue is accented by the historical and cultural details, as well as Ping's personal struggles. Of the numerous dragon stories flooding the market these days, Wilkinson's tale is one of the must-reads!
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
In this sequel to Dragon Keeper (Hyperion, 2005), young Ping has rescued Kai, the baby purple dragon, son of Long Danzi, the last of the Imperial dragons, and hidden with him on Tai Shan, the forbidden sacred mountain. The old dragon appointed Ping as Dragon Keeper and entrusted her with the dragon stone, from which Kai has hatched. Ping has escaped the dragon hunter and the evil shape-changing necromancer once, but she knows she must keep Kai's existence secret or his life will be in danger. When the necromancer appears on Tai Shan, Ping must flee again. Aided by her pet rat, Hua, and by her ability to summon her qi power, she escapes, only to be captured by the Emperor's guards. Mistakenly thinking her previous friendship with the young ruler will keep her safe, she is betrayed by him and his obsessive search for immortality. She barely manages to save herself for another possible sequel. Ping is an appealingly feisty heroine, and the author paints a vivid picture of life in the Imperial Ming Yang Lodge. Readers should be warned that some of the necromancer's practices are horrifyingly graphic. The dragon's baby talk that Ping hears inside her head makes him seem more real, if a bit silly. References to events in the earlier book are sometimes confusing, but should inspire readers to explore Ping's earlier adventures. This believable fantasy should help fulfill the demand for dragon books.
—Quinby FrankCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In this glacially paced sequel to Dragon Keeper (2005), Ping fusses, fumes, frets and eventually proves herself worthy of caring for the newly hatched dragon she's been given. Recaptured by Imperial troops after a few months in hiding, Ping and her purple, puppy-like charge find themselves (supposedly) back in the Emperor's good graces and (also supposedly) safe from the murderous Necromancer-who is inexplicably alive after falling down a cliff in the first episode, and still out to render the dragonling into an elixir of immortality. Many chapters of hand-wringing ensue as Ping chews on various, mostly fancied, failures. Eventually, she sets out to find her lost family-a quest that ends anticlimactically but at least jump-starts a chain of revelations and betrayals that culminate in a second, if even more obviously inconclusive, face-off with the Necromancer. A map's magical appearance at the end leads in to volume three (already out in Australia), and at least one more chance for the author to make good on the opener's promise. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423103394
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    It is an awesome and amazing book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved reading this book. It is such an amazing book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 30, 2007

    Very cool!!

    I didn't even know this came out until I saw it sitting in the series aisle. I'm glad I saw it! It has a calm beginning, but then it gets suspenseful! And unlike other books I've read, it's unpredictable! You'll be like 'Yay! She saved Kai!' but then you'll change to 'Oh my gosh! What happened?!' I didn't like the ending by just a bit, though. I wanted to know what happened! It wasn't a cliffhanger, but it wasn't a conclusion, either. Overall, I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, spiritual stuff, or Chinese philosophy! Or anything that has to do with the three.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    weird but good !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    it was great! the end was um... weird! like kai peeing and whatever...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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