Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (Alexander Cold Series #2)

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (Alexander Cold Series #2)

by Isabel Allende

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Overview

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (Alexander Cold Series #2) by Isabel Allende

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, the second book of Isabel Allende’s page-turning adventure trilogy, follows Alexander Cold, his grandmother, and his irrepressible friend Nadia Santos into a forbidden kingdom in the Himalayas to find the legendary statue of the Golden Dragon. Available in trade paperback for the first time, this heart-pounding coming-of-age novel from Allende, acclaimed author of The Sum of Our Days and The House of the Spirits, “combines action, drama, and a cautionary tale of the decimation of ancient ways that occurs in the name of progress.” (Indianapolis Star)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061825125
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Series: Alexander Cold Series , #2
Pages: 437
Sales rank: 168,413
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Isabel Allende is the author of twelve works of fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, Inés of My Soul, Daughter of Fortune, and a novel that has become a world-renowned classic, The House of the Spirits. Born in Peru and raised in Chile, she lives in California.

Hometown:

San Rafael, California

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1942

Place of Birth:

Lima, Peru

Read an Excerpt

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon


By Isabel Allende

Katherine Tegen

ISBN: 0-06-058942-6


Chapter One

The Land of Snow and Ice

The Buddhist monk named Tensing and his disciple, Prince Dil Bahadur, had been climbing in the high peaks north of the Himalayas for many days, a region of eternal ice where no one but a few lamas had ever ventured. Neither of the two was counting the hours, because time did not interest them. The calendar is a human invention; time does not exist on the spiritual level, the master had taught his student.

For them it was the crossing that was important; the prince was making it for the first time. The monk remembered having done it in a previous life, but those memories were rather blurred. They were following the markings on an ancient parchment, orienting themselves by the stars in a terrain where even in summer conditions were very harsh. The temperature of several degrees below zero was endurable only two months during the year, when ominous storms were not lashing the mountains.

Even beneath the sunny, cloudless skies, the cold was intense. They were wearing rough wool tunics, and cloaks made from yak hide. Leather boots from the same animal covered their feet, with the long hair turned in and the outside weather-proofed with yak butter. The travelers placed each foot with care; one misstep on the ice and they could tumble hundreds of yards into the deep chasms that sliced through the mountains as if cleft by God's hatchet.

Luminous snowy peaks stood out against a sky of deep blue. The travelers moved at a slow pace, because at those heights there was very little oxygen. They rested frequently, so their lungs would become accustomed to the altitude. Their chests ached, as did their ears and their heads. They were suffering from nausea and fatigue, but neither of the two mentioned such bodily weakness, saving their breath in order to get the maximum benefit from each mouthful of air.

They were searching for rare plants found only in the Valley of the Yetis, plants essential in preparing medicinal lotions and balms. If they survived the dangers of this journey, they would consider themselves initiated, for their characters would be tempered like steel. Their will and courage would be put to the test many times during that climb. The disciple would need both will and courage to carry out the task that awaited him in life, which was why he had been given the name Dil Bahadur, "brave heart" in the language of the Forbidden Kingdom. The pilgrimage to the Valley of the Yetis was one of the last steps in the harsh training the prince had been undergoing for twelve years.

The youth did not know the true reason for their trek, which was much more important than the gathering of curative plants or his initiation as a lama, or superior being. His master could not reveal it to him, just as he could not speak to him of many other things. Tensing's role was to guide the prince during each stage of his long apprenticeship; he was charged with strengthening the young man's body and his character and cultivating his mind, testing the quality of his spirit again and again. Dil Bahadur would discover the reason for the journey to the Valley of the Yetis later, when he found himself before the fabled statue of the Golden Dragon.

On their backs, Tensing and Dil Bahadur were carrying bundles that contained the blankets, grain, and yak butter they would need to survive. Rolled around their waists were coils of yak-hair rope, which they used in climbing, and in one hand each grasped a long, strong walking staff, which they used for support, for defending themselves in case of attack, and for setting up their improvised tent at night. In places where experience had taught them that fresh snow often covered deep openings, they also used their staffs to test the depth and firmness of a surface before stepping onto it. Frequently they were forced to make long detours around fissures that couldn't be jumped over. Sometimes, to avoid going out of their way for hours, they laid one of the staffs across the crevasse, and only when they were sure it was firmly seated on either side did they dare step onto it and then leap to the other side-never more than one step, because the risk of plummeting into empty space was too big. They made such leaps without thinking, with their minds clear, trusting in physical skill, instinct, and luck, because if they stopped to weigh each move it would be impossible to make it. When the opening was wider than the length of the staff, they looped a rope around an overhanging rock, then one of them tied the other end of the rope around his waist, took a running start, and leaped, swinging back and forth like a pendulum until he reached the other side. The young disciple, who had great stamina and courage in the face of danger, always hesitated at the moment they were forced to use those methods.

The pair had come to such a chasm, and the lama was looking for the best place to cross. The youth briefly closed his eyes, sending a prayer skyward.

"Do you fear dying, Dil Bahadur?" Tensing inquired, smiling.

"No, honorable master. The moment of my death was written in my fate before my birth. I shall die when my work is finished in this reincarnation and my spirit is ready to fly, but I do fear breaking all my bones down there, and living," the youth replied, pointing to the impressive precipice yawning at their feet.

"That could, perhaps, present a problem," the lama conceded with good humor. "If you open your mind and heart, it will seem easier," he added.

"What would you do if I were to fall?"

"Should that occur, I would possibly have to think about it. For the moment, my thoughts are turned to other things."

"May I know what, master?"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by Isabel Allende Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents

Reading Group Guide

About the Book

In this sequel to City of the Beasts, sixteen-year-old Alexander Cold and his friend Nadia Santos accompany his grandmother Kate, a reporter for International Geographic, on an expedition into the Himalayas. They visit the remote Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, where Kate is in search of the secret of the dragon statue. Kate learns that only the king and his successor know how to traverse the trap-laden hallways of the palace and can enter the room of the jewel-studded dragon.

Soon there is uproar in the capital of the kingdom when several young woman, including Nadia, are kidnapped. Nadia escapes into the mountains and is rescued from a fall into a crevasse by Alex and the Buddhist monk Tensing with his disciple Prince Dil Bahadur. Using their totemic powers - Jaguar and Eagle - to help navigate, Alex and Nadia join the monk in order to stop a mercenary and the blue Warriors from taking the priceless Golden Dragon out of the Kingdom.

In this second book of a trilogy, Allende strengthens the relationship between the two teen protagonists and takes the reader on another adventure to an exotic location where one also learns about the flora, fauna, and people of the Himalayas.

Discussion Questions

  1. Alex and Nadia use their totemic powers when in need. The mild-mannered Alex becomes a jaguar and Nadia, afraid of heights, becomes a white eagle. What do you think your animal totem might be? Why?
  2. When Dil Bahadur asks Tensing about the Yetis, Tensing tells him, "They are like dragons, they shoot fire from their ears and they have four pairs of arms" (p.7). The young prince believes his teacher, who then laughs andtells him not to believe everything he hears and to "seek truth for yourself" (p.8). What do you think Tensing is trying to tell Dil Bahadur? Have you been in a situation where you had to seek out the truth in relation to what you have heard?
  3. In 1950, when the Chinese government destroyed the monasteries, they thought they were destroying Buddhism. But instead, the monks went into exile and spread Buddhism through the world (p.19). How are the results of the Chinese government's actions similar to other political movements throughout history?
  4. Alex received the skin of a ten-foot-long python from his grandmother for his sixteenth birthday (p.57). Think about all the unusual items described in Kingdom of the Golden Dragon. Which one would you like to receive as a birthday gift? Why?
  5. According to the legend, the Golden Dragon makes predictions about the future (p.67). Why is this ability more priceless to the collector than the actual monetary worth of the jewel-studded statue?
  6. After Alex is almost trampled to death by the untouchables in the streets of New Delhi while trying to hand out money, Kate says, "You can't change anything with a few dollars. India is India, you have to accept it as it is" (p.102). Alex does not agree with this philosophy in relation to India's caste system. Do you agree with Alex or with Kate?
  7. The king falls in love with Judit Kinski and upon his impending death puts faith in her when he should not (p.368). How does his belief in her affect Judit Kinski? What role does the inscription on his medallion, "Change must be voluntary, not imposed" (p.202), play in her possible change of heart?
  8. The Blue Warriors are a ruthless sect from Northern India who worship the scorpion and absorb scorpion venom in non-lethal does until they are immune to scorpion bits. How is this similar to vaccines used to prevent diseases and viruses?
  9. The Yetis are slowly dying out, becoming smaller in stature and less able to fight off illnesses. Why is this happening? Is there anything that can be done to save them?
  10. As Alex is about to leave the kingdom, Dil Bahadur gives him a very special gift. Alex is initially offended by the nature of the gift and by what the new king suggests he doe with it (p.431). What is it? How would you react to receiving such a gift?

Customer Reviews

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Kingdom of the Golden Dragon 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
JesseReed11 More than 1 year ago
The book, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, by Isabel Allende has a terric idea behind the story and is most likely going to grab your attention and force you to read it and not put it down until you have finished. The story is about a prince named Dil Bahadur and Tensing doing some traing in the Himalayas. Tensing is traing Dil Bahadur to become the future heir of the Forbidden Kingdom and teach him everything that he needs to know. Within the Forbidden Kingdom, is the priceless treasure that can also predict the future, the Golden Dragon. In America, the main characters from City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende, return in this epic thriller and adventure of a lifetime experience, Alexander Cold and Nadia Santos. These are not you ordianry kids, Alexander and Nadia have special powers. Alexander's spirit is a jaguar and he can turn himself into a jaguar, same with Nadia except she can talk to animals turn invincible and turn into a great white eagle. These powers help them out and will save them in differnt situations they face in this book.
Later on, while traveling in India, Nadia and Alexander meet up Tensing and Dil Bahadur in the Himalayas. Someone is planning on stealing the Golden Dragon and these group of heros will need to team up and take down who ever is planning on stealing the Golden Dragon. The only person ment to be in possesion of the Golden Dragon, is the King of the Forbidden Kingdom, who also happens to be Dil Bahadurs dad. For whoever posses the statue, will contain power beyond their wildest dreams.
What i really like about this book, it just grabbed my attention the first two chapters and after that, I couldnt put it down. In my opinion, Isabel Allende is one amazing author who will be writing awesome books like this one for the years to come.
What I dont like about this book, is that you could be reading about somethng and then it just skips over to a whole other topic without metioning stuff about it ahead of time. That is really the only flaw.
This book is recommended to people who like action/adventure books. People who enjoyed the Indiana Jones Movies will also enjoy this. Overall, highly recommended to anyone.
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Morgan_A More than 1 year ago
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by Isabel Allende (published by HarperCollins) was a very strange book, I must say. It seemed to start out more like a realistic fiction book, but as it progressed it was pure fantasy. This book was about the adventure of 15-year-old Alexander Cold, his friend Nadia, and his grandmother Kate Cold in the mysterious kingdom of the Golden Dragon. The book begins with a prelude of sorts, with the prince Dil Bahadur and his master, Tensing, who were monks (which they called "lamas") living in the Alps. It then moved to Alexander and his grandmother living in the United States, talking about their previous trip to the Amazon. Things didn't really click until the two pieces interlocked. The Colds' next adventure was to the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon. Alexander's Amazon friend, Nadia, accompanied them. They met a few people also going there on their way. They included a woman named Judit Kinski, who was there to plant tulips for the king, and a man named Tex Armadillo, who seemed suspicious to Alex and Nadia. The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon was a traditional country that was very peaceful. Their rulers were taken away to train with the monks from the age of six, and were taught to be selfless and be detached from possessions. While at a festival in the kingdom, Nadia and several other girls from the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon were kidnapped. This was unheard of in such a peaceful country. This stirred the whole country and the entire military was on alert (the military was quite small). Alexander found out that Tex Armadillo was a major part of the group of barbarians known as the Blue Warriors who had kidnapped the girls. They were ruthless and once they had captured a girl, she almost never returned. Alexander set out to find his friend. He came across Nadia's pet monkey, Boroba, who had been ordered by her to get help. With Boroba's help, Alexander found Nadia. Dil Bahadur used telepathy, and so did Nadia, and so Dil Bahadur sensed her danger and came to her aid too. Once they had rescued Nadia and the other kidnapped girls, they discovered that this was all a plan to distract the country while Tex and his crew stole the Golden Dragon statue, an extremely valuable piece of the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon. The group then set out to catch the robbers, who had also kidnapped the king. I was surprised with all the odd things in this book, such as Yeti warriors, lamas in the mountains, and telepathy. It was entertaining once I got into it, but I thought that the first half or so of the book was very boring. I am not a huge fantasy fan, and that might be why I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I think my favorite quote was " 'Be calm. These are Yetis. Send them waves of warmth and compassion, as you did to the white tiger', the lama murmured." This is what Tensing was saying to Dil Bahadur when he first saw the Yetis. It pretty much sums up all the things that I thought were strange and put them in one phrase. I was surprised that by the end of the book, I was just going along with the whole telepathy and yeti thing like it was old news! I learned about the climate and geography of the Andes Mountains and about Yetis. I would recommend this book to people who love fantasy. I think they would love to hear about Alexander Cold's adventures with Yetis, telepathic monks, and other such events. To those people who don't like fantasy, this is not your book.
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I couldn't but the book down. I loved how this writer wrote what happened exspecially the way she describes what happens. I read the and felt like I was there with Alexander and Nadia, threw everything they had to go threw. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, by Isabel Allende, is a great book filled with adventure, action, and suspense. Along with some laughs and romance, this book also has an interesting magical realism to the story. The interesting part of this book is that many of the characters are common folk, such as an American teen looking for an adventure, a 60+ year old grandmother/journalist that travels around the world because of her job, and a South American girl that has many abilities. Therefore many times throughout the book that you were imagining you were in one of the positions that the characters are experiencing is not actually a far-fetched idea. This story set in the Himalayan region of Asia, which is a part of the world rarely explore, and it sets for many mysterious rumors such as the Himalayan Yetis and a Kingdom hidden in the mountains. Through chance all the characters a force to embark on a quest that could decide the fate of a kingdom and the lives of people. With interesting stories switching between the American groups and two mysterious monks roaming the Himalayas, the plot is nothing short but exciting. Surprises and twists pop up throughout the book making it an exciting adventure. Surely you will find that it will be hard trying to put this book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book it made me seriously want to be a buddhist monk it made me realize how shallow this world is. I loved it and recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book while on vacation in Mexico. Not knowing anything about the author I read the back cover and decided to give it a shot. To my suprise, the book was full of adventure and kept me reading quickly to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was an exciting and engaging book. It is the second book in a series of three written by this author. I am not what you would call a daily reader but this book grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. The way the author combines reality and real world events with the supernatural is fasinating. I found after reading this book I started to question if some of the things in the book could really exist. Are some of the mystical creatures actually real and can humans really reach a level of total mental control? If you want a book that will keep a middle school to a high school student interested then I recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It *was* a great story, but right from the start, I knew Judit Kinski was a bad guy. In her last book, she made the other beautiful woman, Omayra Torres, the traitor, also. Obviously, Judit was another one of those. It got one star less for that, but I though it was a great story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was the best I've ever read in a long while, I really recomend everyone read this book. I can't wait till she writes another one.This book was fantastic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great book, but i knew that Judit Kinski was a 'bad guy' from the beginning. I don't see how the yetis related, but it was great. I couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
usually, sequels are worse than the original novel or movie, but in this case, i found Kingdom an exception. It was great, but the part about the Yetis was unnecessary. although it was a little predictable (i knew right away that Tex and Judit were part of a conspiracy about the golden dragon), i enjoyed it to the last page; i just couldn't put it down! it was very descriptive and i felt like i was actually in the novel; i felt the same emotions the characters did, i visualized the sights, i smelled the scents mentioned in this novel, i heard everything described. All in all, this book was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I belive that this is a good book, but is way to obvious. You know what is next before you read it. The book is made for young people I thinks older people will prefer to read some of Isabel Allende's old book like '' Daugther of fortune'. I recomend this book too young people especially harry potter's fanatic, because has kind like the same trama.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's just as good as City of the beasts but totaly different. Alexender Cold and Nadia Santos go on a trip to the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon in the Himalayas. They are at a party when Nadia and her friend Pema get kidnaped by the Sect of the Scorpion. But that's not all the Sect is up to...and the Collector has plans for the golden dragon.