The Saint of Dragons [NOOK Book]

Overview

The ancient dragons -- of the time of the legendary Saint George and earlier -- have never disappeared entirely. Instead, they've moved undercover -- and into human society. Now one lonely schoolboy is about to learn where the dragons have gone ...

Educated at boarding schools, Simon St. George has never met his parents. When a ragged-looking man shows up claiming to be his father, Simon is skeptical, and when the man kidnaps him, he's ...

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The Saint of Dragons

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Overview

The ancient dragons -- of the time of the legendary Saint George and earlier -- have never disappeared entirely. Instead, they've moved undercover -- and into human society. Now one lonely schoolboy is about to learn where the dragons have gone ...

Educated at boarding schools, Simon St. George has never met his parents. When a ragged-looking man shows up claiming to be his father, Simon is skeptical, and when the man kidnaps him, he's indignant to say the least.

Then the man claims to be a descendant of England's Saint George and a career dragon fighter. Why should Simon believe any of this nonsense? But what if the man is telling the truth? What if the dragons know he's out there?

Rich with the dragon lore of legend, the saint of dragons continues and enlarges on the tale of the centuries-old conflict between dragons and humans that rages even today.

After a lonely childhood at the Lighthouse School for Boys, thirteen-year-old Simon learns that he is descended from a medieval dragonslayer, and that his father needs his help to face the last of these evil monsters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In what PW called "a fast-moving adventure story" set in modern times, 13-year-old Simon St. George has never met his father, who recruits the teen for an unusual quest-to kill a dragon, which they believe to be the last of its kind. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2004: Simon is a loner, a boarding student at a special school for boys in New England. He knows nothing about his parents. Then his father appears, and his father turns out to be part of a long line of dragon hunters, the last knight on earth: his name is Aldric St. George. He tells Simon about dragons, about how the old dragons have learned to disguise themselves among humans. But they still sow evil, destruction, wars and storms; they wish to destroy all humans. Aldric is fierce; not exactly the loving, understanding father Simon would have wanted to have. One of the main themes of this adventure is the father-son story—how Simon and Aldric learn to understand and respect each other. The story is too complicated to summarize. You should just know that Aldric and Simon, their animal companions, and a woman magician Alaythia confront one ghastly dragon in NYC, and thinking they had destroyed him, they move on to Venice, Paris, Russia, and China; but the final battle takes place in London, when all the dragons gather to plot the final destruction of the world. Fortunately, the bravery, intelligence and strength of the three dragon hunters—Aldric, his son Simon, and the lovely Alaythia—win the day in this action-packed struggle against evil. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, HarperCollins, 364p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Claire Rosser
Children's Literature
Simon St. George can't remember anything before he came to live at boarding school. He doesn't know anything about his parents; he doesn't even know whether they are alive or dead. Then one day two men turn up claiming to be Simon's father. One, who drives a white Rolls Royce, carries a distinct aura of evil. The other, too scruffy and dirty to be anyone's idea of a father, turns out to be Aldric St. George, the last trained dragon fighter on earth. He wants to bring his son into the family business so that together they can try to destroy the last remaining, vicious dragon who poses as an art dealer with a white Rolls. Then the St. Georges discover that he isn't the last dragon after all. Dragons from Russia, Paris, Venice, Beijing, London and elsewhere are planning to take over the earth. Father and son travel around the world in a magical ship hunting down the threatening dragons. In this action-packed novel, the St. Georges face many seemingly insurmountable obstacles and it appears that the dragons must win their power battle. Can they be stopped? Mr. Hightman has written, produced, and directed films, winning some prestigious awards. He spends much of his time in California where, he says, there are many dragons. Readers of this book may enjoy learning more dragon lore from John Hamilton's book, Dragons, published by Abdo Publishing Company. That book provides background and insights accented by wonderful historical and contemporary art illustrations. 2004, Eos/Harper Collins Publishers, Ages 10 to 18.
—Janet Crane Barley
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Simon St. George attends an elite boarding school and hasn't seen or heard from his parents in 11 years. Then one October day, a greasy-haired, ragged, and dirt-ridden man shows up on campus claiming to be his father. Before 24 hours pass, Simon finds himself abducted by this odd stranger and about to be initiated into the family business-dragon-hunting. The man explains that "the Dragon is the source of all that is rotten in the world," and that since the time of the legendary St. George of England, his descendants have been dragon-hunters. Now 13-year-old Simon is needed to join the fight. What ensues is a long series of sword-and-sorcery adventures heavy on action and light on plot-much like a video game, comic strip, or feature-length cartoon written in short sentences and simple language but without the pictures. The setting is contemporary and decidedly dark. Dragons and humans alike, with the exception of Simon, have all the subtlety of cartoon characters. His father is not exactly a noble knight, showing as little tact and feeling in his dealings with friends and family as with his sworn enemies. The cover of this book is reminiscent of Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003), but readers who expect the depth and complexity of contemporary popular high fantasy will be disappointed. Those who prefer the macabre outlook and less demanding style of Darren Shan's "Cirque du Freak" series (Little, Brown) might enjoy The Saint of Dragons.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hightman's dragons are refreshingly evil, directly responsible for all the world's ills: wars, pollution, disasters, crime, corruption, even chronic depression. Having spent most of his 13 years at an exclusive boarding school, lonely, undersized Simon knows nothing of this, until his father, Aldric St. George, snatches him from school with the news that he is the last of an ancient order of Dragonhunters. It's his duty to exterminate the Pyrothraxes, the human-sized reptilian Dragonmen whose variable "magics" apparently function mostly to display unpleasant national stereotypes. Their nemeses aren't much better: Aldric is scruffy, surly, and disappointingly unpaternal; Simon is torn between resentment, fear, and despair at his shortcomings in the family trade. But there is little time for adolescent angst, as the Dragons unfold a terrifying plot for mass destruction. Like a novelization of some unfilmed summer blockbuster, the story piles on nonstop action, terrific set pieces, and lots of spectacular fiery explosions to distract readers from the clunky prose, wooden characters, and nonsensical, cliche-ridden plot. If they can stop to catch a breath, they'll probably just wait for the movie. (Fantasy. 12-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061997310
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 492,759
  • Age range: 13 years
  • File size: 879 KB

Meet the Author

Jason Hightman lives in California with his wife, Kim, and young daughter, Hannah, who has the magical ability to make anyone laugh even on their dreariest days. After studying dragon hunting and alchemy at the University of Southern California, Hightman has spent the last few years doing battle with the serpents in Los Angeles, who use automobiles to clog motorways impenetrably. You can often find him in his armor, prowling for good books and hunting any nasty dragons disguised as cynical critics. He prays he never runs into the latter. Hightman hopes the Saint of Dragons series combines the best elements of old-fashioned swordplay adventure, Japanese comic books, cinematic action, heroic archetypes, and unusual villains&#8212all things he likes in the stories he reads himself.

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First Chapter

The Saint of Dragons

Chapter One

Simon St. George

It was autumn. October. It was the edge of a wicked season, and Christmas was a far-off thought. The amber-crimson colors of fall, and its pumpkin-spice smells, surrounded Simon St. George like a vast, bewitching fire. There had never been an October that felt so perfectly suited to Halloween.

There was a chill in the air that was worse than normal for this time of year, and a fog hung around the Bay, and the houses in the Bay, with a cruel persistence. The trees seemed to hunch over in sadness and wish for their leaves back to keep them warm. All the pumpkins in Ebony Hollow's fields seemed rotten, and to ache from their own rottenness. The factory smoke from over the hill swept down into town, and the gray daylight seemed to give way after only a few hours to a deep, intense nightfall. No one wanted to be out much. And no one could sleep.

Simon St. George had only the faintest sense of all this. The idea that something wasn't quite right just skittered over his mind between thoughts of tomorrow's Halloween masquerade and a girl in town whose name he did not know.

For him, Halloween was more than just fun and games. The masquerade was something everyone had to go to at his school, a tradition, and everyone had to be in costume. Simon wasn't sure why he needed a costume; he seemed to disappear in a crowd easily enough without one.

No matter what he did, no one seemed to notice him or take him very seriously. He was an average kid, a bit smallish, which made him easy to ignore. He had an upturned pug-nose, and blond, wiry, slept-in hair that made him look even younger. But he often kept his head down, so you never got a really good look at him; to the other boys, if they thought of him at all, he was something of a mystery.

Simon went to an elite academy that was called the Lighthouse School for Boys, because it was just for boys and it was made from a giant old lighthouse. It was a boarding school, where children slept and ate and lived, at least for most of the year. It was perfect if your parents wanted you to be strong and independent, or if they didn't have time for you. Simon St. George had parents who didn't have time for him. They paid for his school, but he didn't know who they were, hadn't seen them since he was two years old, and he didn't like to talk about it, if it was all the same to you.

At this moment, it was hard to see the Lighthouse School. There was just its shining light, laboring to cut through the mist. On most days the Lighthouse School could be seen from almost anywhere in town, because it was on a high promontory cliff and it was huge. In this same way, the school had dominated Simon's life. It was the only home he had ever known.

He stood at the corner of the misty street and stared at the little novelty shop on the opposite corner. He could just make out the shop window filled with strange, hand-painted masks, and the daughter of the shop owner at the counter. Simon had hardly ever said a word to her, but she kept his secret, that he liked to collect toys and marbles, because her shop was where he bought them. He was thirteen. She was maybe two years older.

Simon watched the girl adjust the masks hanging in the window. He gathered up his nerve and stepped off to cross the street.

As he did, the foghorn bellowed at the edge of the bay with a low moan. And something else happened. Simon turned to look for traffic, and saw at the next corner, crossing the street going the other way, a very tall figure, hunched over as if from a deformity or sickness. He wore a long trench coat with the collar pulled up tight around his neck and an old hat pulled down close, so none of his face could be seen. It was just a quick moment, but as Simon looked, the wind picked up and blew the man's coat open. Although the man quickly tightened it around him, Simon could swear he saw a clawlike foot and a thick tail slapping the ground, a tail like the largest snake on earth.

It was hard for Simon to get a good look through the fog. The man was no more than a shadowy profile. In the next second, the figure had moved on, around a corner, and couldn't be seen, and the idea that some sort of creature was roaming the streets of Ebony Hollow was too ridiculous to investigate.

So Simon caught his breath and went inside the novelty shop, feeling around in his pocket for money and feeling around in his head for something to say to the girl behind the counter. He stood at the doorway and managed to catch her gaze for about a second, and that was it.

His eyes scanned a glass case that held a series of tiny knight figures made of metal, a kind Simon collected. He didn't know why he liked them, but he did. No one else his age ever wanted these.

He bought a little black knight and a Halloween mask that matched it, and he was just starting to talk to the girl about the masquerade when he was interrupted.

With a bang the shop door opened, and a group of boys from his school herded in, noisily, arrogantly pushing Simon aside as they argued over costumes. The girl almost instantly forgot about him, and after trying to be heard over their voices, Simon left the boys and the shop behind. Today just wasn't his day.

The Saint of Dragons. Copyright © by Jason Hightman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2011

    highly recommended

    I'm only 14 and I read this book when i was 12 years old.I usually don't read books but whenever I started reading this book I couldn't put it down.It is so far my favorite book.As I read this book it was like a movie inside my head.My first thought about this book after I read it was that they should make a movie about it just like Eragon.So far I haven't found a book I like better.I found this book at a library at my school when I had to do a book report.At first I asked for Eragon but there was none so the librarian showed me THE SAINT OF DRAGONS.I think this book deserves 5 stars.I'm in 9th grade now turning 15 next month and I'm doing another book report about it. Plus in this way I don't have to read another book.But even if I read another book this year, I would rather review this book and use it instead.(BUT I THINK THEY SHOULD MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT THIS BOOK!!!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    I know the author...

    The author is my neighbor :) their daughter is really nice. I knew he was a screenwriter but I didn't know he was an author until thus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Loved it, so cool

    Read it a while back and decided to read it again!

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely Terrible

    I have attempted to read this book several times and have failed because I found it so utterly terrible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Action-Packed from the Beginning to the End!

    "The Saint of Dragons," by Jason Hightman is the first book in Harper Collin's unique "Saint of Dragons" series. While it is happy in some parts and sad in others, this book is action-packed from the beginning to the end! Do yourself a favor---READ THIS BOOK!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2008

    A tomboy/girlygirl review

    As a girly girl I would probably say dump it. But I like books so much that whatever I judge the title 'boy or girl' that side takes over and reads. This caught my eye BECAUSE of the title. I like books of magic, magical creatures, ect. ect. To say it a bit more frank would be impossible. From the few pages I have read I say it is fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2007

    I thought it was...

    Uber rad-tastic/ amazing! That is how I would describe this book. It was set in modern times, which was was unexpected. However, this made it even more interesting and different. Imagine walking among dragons and not even realizing it? I could not put it down. I read it in one day. I'm ordering the second book, Samurai, right now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2007

    My absolute FAVORITE book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All you need to to is get past the first chapter, and after that, i couldn't put it down!!!! I read it instead of watching TV, and read it in one and 1/2 days (i woke up at 5:00AM to finish it). The Saint of Dragons is an amazzzing book! Definatly one of my faviorites! i would reccomend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2006

    can't wait for the third!

    I agree with one of the other writers at first this book was just plain boring, but as I got further into the story I couldn't put it down! When I finished I had to go out and get the second book 'Samurai'. I finished it in three days and now I can't wait for the third!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    it was amazing

    I can't wait for the next one!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2005

    Well, i loved it at least!

    To tell the truth i seriously didn't like this book as it started out. It reminded me too much of Harry Potter as most books do nowadays. I was practically fed up with people writing about poor little orphan boys who found 'the light' -so to speak- and were taken off on a magical adventure. It had been done, and i didn't want to read about it again. So i put it down. A week later i thought to myself i'd seriously would have wasted my money if i didn't force myself to read it, so i did. Read it i mean. As the plot thickens, the story unwinds, we get to know the main characters a lot more, and we are introduced to fun, excitement, adventure, love and comic relations between three main characters. Three charaters who probably contrast one another quite a bit i must say. The whole idea of the story was brilliant. I wont go into it to create spoilers, but most things i loved about this book was the story, the plot, the charaters and the history. Every night i was up till late reading until i was able to finally turn the final page. I gave this book four stars for a few particular reasons. 1. I was slightly disappointed by the rushed ending. I thought it could have been expanded, but i'm sure we'll know more when the next book comes out. 2. Some points in the language was questionable. I'm not the best person to speak of mistakes in language and grammar, but i thought certain things could have been looked over more carefully. Overall, i thought the book was excellent. I was never bored whilst reading it, and don't see why others should be. It was filled to the brim with everything a good children's book needs and i'm proud to say i look forward to the sequel: 'Saint of Dragons Samurai'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    Couldn't put it down

    This book is totally awesome. Don't know a single person who wouldn't love it. And really it took almost 10 minutes everytime I had to put it down(just a cuple more pages I swear!!(My mother lokked at me like I was nuts))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2005

    One of the greatest books ever

    This wonderful book kept me spellbound for hours. Once you started reading it you couldn't stop. This is a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2005

    Really Enjoyed It

    I'm gob-smacked by the extremes in the reviews. I loved the story in which the pace never let up, and thought the prickly relationship between father and son one of the best features of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    Very Disappointing...

    This is one of those books that seems to insult your inteligence. The characters are undeveloped and the dialog seemed like it was rejected from daytime TV. All in all I think that this book was a waste of money and paper and I'm very surprised that it got published in the first place. Do yourself a favor and leave this one on the self.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2004

    Don't miss this outstanding book!

    Just when you thought you have read all there is about dragons comes along Jason Hightman¿s debut novel the Saint of Dragons. Take an adventure with a 14-year-old dragon slayer as he struggles with his place in the world and with a breed of dragons that masquerade as humans and spread evil to all. This fascinating books is a must read for any fantasy lover. Readers, especially boys and reluctant readers, will be captivated with this clever and brilliant book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2004

    Very good and stays with you

    I picked this up reluctantly, not being an avid fantasy reader generally, and accidentally really liked it quite a bit. It's just hard to evaluate because it doesn't fit the usual mold of hero-on- quest-in-barbaric-world. It's a non-stop action story for children, who will start wondering where the real dragons are right now. I got it on a table with adult books, which is not where it should be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    Saint of Dragons

    This may sound weird for it being a fantasy, but this book reminded me of Men in Black because of the different look at our own world. I really enjoyed it. It's made for a younger crowd than me I think, but I like that it was simple to understand, so whatever. Plot is twisty and cool and especially the villains are very different, that's the thing that makes it a must-get. Good, filled with action, well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2004

    Not tickled and totally let down

    Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book, as others who have submitted reviews did. I couldn't get past the bad writing, especially. This can be forgiven in a review, but not in a work published by HarperCollins. Sentence fragments, plot twists that make absolutely no sense, and one-dimensional characters all add up to many hours wasted trying to convince yourself that you should give this book another chance.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2004

    Tickled and Surprised

    I think that about sums it up. I didn't know what to expect when I picked this gem up, but I definitely didn't expect what I got. This is not your standard fantasy book. For one, it's set in the modern age, and not in some 'magic school' hidden away in the neverlands of England, but in Central Park New York, in Venice, Paris, Russia and London. But more than that, the book is very quirky, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not like Lord of the Rings, which tried real hard to convince you that Middle Earth exists. This is a book that assumes you suspended your disbelief when you plunked down your $16. And the wild implausibilities of the story are most of the fun. In a way, the book reminds me of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. And if some of the book's references go over the head of the average twelve year old (or twenty-four year old), then so what? It's the perfect opportunity to break out the online encyclopedia. At least this book doesn't talk down to kids.

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