Beth Gallaway <%ISBN%>0060289023
Hunting of the Last Dragonby Sherryl Jordan
Everyone thought all the dragons had been wiped out—until a fierce flying beast appears and leaves the village of Doran in flames. There is only one survivor: Jude, an ordinary man who never intended to be a hero. He'd rather avoid any danger, but a strange, strong-willed girl/strong>
The last of the great fire-breathing dragons has awakened. . . .
Everyone thought all the dragons had been wiped out—until a fierce flying beast appears and leaves the village of Doran in flames. There is only one survivor: Jude, an ordinary man who never intended to be a hero. He'd rather avoid any danger, but a strange, strong-willed girl from a distant land has her own plans for hunting the last dragon. Can her courage and cunning help him conquer his fear in time to save their world from devastation?
Sherryl Jordan's The Hunting of the Last Dragon is a gripping story of fantasy, courage, and romance.
Beth Gallaway <%ISBN%>0060289023
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- Sold by:
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 866 KB
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
Read an Excerpt
Fear is something I am well acquainted with. When I was a child I was afraid of nightmares and the dark, of bogeymen and fiends; more lately I've been afraid of being a failure or a fool, afraid of enemies, wolves, and hell, and of a witch who held, for a time, power over me; but none of these terrors equalled the fear I knew that day I first stood upon the ashen shore of St. Alfric's Cove, hardly able to breathe for the stench of dragon-fire and death, and certain to my bones that here, in this burned and bitter place, I would lose my life. And not mine only, but the life of my friend, Jing-wei.
If she knew any fear that awful day, Jing-wei did not show it. A long time she looked upon the scorched cliffs, up to the lofty cave where dwelled our deadly enemy. The stone immediately below the lair was black with soot or blood, and a corpse I could not tell, for distance, whether it was man or beast hung partly over the ledge. Another corpse lay on the beach not far from us, and that was a man, though I tried hard not to look at it. He was mainly bones burned to ash, and the remains of his hand still held his sword.
"We'll not fail, Jude," said Jing-wei, coming over to me, limping badly on the darkened stones. Her bandaged feet were black with soot, and grey ash-dust lay across her smooth lips and strange brown skin. She was all strange small, and impossibly delicate considering the task ahead of her. "We'll not fail," she said again, taking my arm and turning me away so I could not see the burned soldier. She did not speak again for a while, but only looked up that savage cliff, her almond-shaped eyes as black as coaland full of secrets too deep for me to read. So still she stood, so firm, so steadfast that for that moment at least'I believed what she had said. But there were many times when I was sorely plagued with doubt, and cursed the witch who had convinced her that we could do this thing, and counted myself a lunatic for agreeing to it.
I could not bear to look up the cliff, could not bear to look anywhere. I fair shook with fear, I don't mind confessing; and I think I wept as well, for the grief that the smell of dragon fumes and death awoke in me. It was the same stench I had smelled in my own village, after all had been destroyed. For strength I gazed at Jing-wei's face, and saw it still serene, her expression unreadable.
Among her hidden feelings must lie pains as great as any I have borne, for she, too, lost everything, and was a freak in a travelling fair when first I met her. She was called Lizzie then, for even her own name they had taken from her. Mayhap she learned to hide her feelings when she lived inside a cage, poked at by curious children, gawked at, spat at, hated and mocked. It is hard to think that when I first saw her I, too, thought she was not wholly human, but a half-beast with hooves and claws. I know her better now, though I would never claim to know her well. She still is a mystery to me, though we have suffered much, and triumphed much, and together been to hell and back.
But my tale races too far and fast ahead. Mayhap I should begin at the beginning, on that evil night it all started.
I saw the way you rolled your eyes just then, Brother Benedict, and caught the way you dipped your pen, impatient-like, in the pot of ink. Your tolerance, please! Storytelling is new to me, but I shall soon get in the way of it and put my words in better order. I wish that I could write and be my own scribe, then there'd be no need to make this call upon your time. The Abbot knows my story I told him briefly and he said Jing-wei and I might remain here at the monastery as guests for as long as it takes for you to write my narrative. He seems to think my tale important, and instructed me to tell it full well, with nothing spared. I told him that I have no alms to pay for hospitality, but he said Jing-wei could help Brother Gregory in the infirmary, mixing medicines and making poultices, and feeding the aged monks; and I'm to work in the kitchen every day between the hour of tierce and noon, to help the cooks get dinner a decision the Abbot shall soon repent of, I think, when he eats my pastries. And in the afternoons and evenings, so the Abbot said, you and I shall do this work, for what it's worth.
We are ready, then, your pen sharp and inked, and the candles bright enough? I shall begin again, at the beginning.
My name is Jude, son of Perkin Swinnard, who kept swine in the village of Doran. My adventure began on a night soon after summer's start this year. It was a night I remember well in every detail, for it was my last with my family. I was in a bad humour, unhappy with my lot. I'm ashamed and sorry now for those dark thoughts, but shall confess them to you for the sake of honesty. Also, I think some saint in heaven, with nothing better to do, cast his eye across my thoughts that hour, disapproved of my ingratitude, and decided to stir up my pot.
The Hunting of the Last Dragon. Copyright © by Sherryl Jordan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Sherryl Jordan is the author of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including The Hunting of the Last Dragon, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; The Raging Quiet, a School Library Journal Best Book and an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults; Wolf-Woman, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Winter of Fire, an ALA/YALSA Recommended Book for the Reluctant Reader and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and The Juniper Game, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. She is also the author of Secret Sacrament, the prequel to Time of the Eagle and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I read this book back in middle school, and even now I'm still in love with it. It really is an entertaining book, especially with all the hilarious comments by Jude. If you like adventure mixed with comedy and romance, then don't miss out on this one!
I had to read this book for summer reading, and found it to be dreadfully boring. You would think that by the title, it would at least be remotely interesting, yet that is not the case...
this was a really great book that kept me entertained all the way to the end.