Rider by Cornelia Funke
Published by Chicken House, 2004
by Shannon Children’s Book Club
the silver dragon sets off on a quest from his quiet Scottish valley
home which is under threat from human settlers to find the mythical
Rim of Heaven, a sort of dragon paradise where he and the other
dragons can live in peace.
is joined by a bad tempered brownie Sorrel, orphan boy Ben and by
Twigleg, a tiny creature called a homunculous, who unknown to them
has stowed away in Ben’s bag and is spying for the evil Nettlebrand,
a strange manmade golden dragon, who hunts down and kills silver
dragons. They journey by night with Ben and Sorrel strapped to Firedrake’s
back as he flies towards the Himalayas, following the map given
to them by a map making rat called Gilbert Greytail. On the way,
they battle basilisks and giant eagles, have run-ins with wicked
dwarfs and annoying elves but get help from unexpected sources like
a giant serpent, a mischievous djinn and from archeologist Professor
Greenbloom and his family.
is a long book of 527 pages and it is a little slow to get going
but stick with it and this brilliant story with adventure after
adventure will keep you turning the pages. The book club liked the
clever fold out map in the middle of the book, supposedly made by
Gilbert Greytail. We loved the funny, sarcastic Sorrel and feisty
airwoman/rat Lola Greytail.
of the book club gave this book a rating of 9½ out of ten.
by Kilmihil Children’s Book Club
many centuries the dragons have been hiding out of sight of man
and the threat of The Golden One or Nettlebrand– the large
monster who killed so many of them in the past.
However, for the dragons in the North of England, humans have begun
to develop the land surrounding them and they must find somewhere
that it’s safe for them. The old dragon tells the young Firedrake
of the last safe place for the dragons - the Rim of Heaven. Firedrake,
the dragon and Sorrel his brownie friend, set out to find the other
dragons and the Rim of Heaven.
They stop in London to get a map from the rat, Gilbert Greytail,
and while there meet up with a boy called Ben. Ben is all alone
in the world and goes with Firedrake and Sorrel to help them in
Nettlebrand has been waiting for centuries to kill all the remaining
dragons in the world….. He is a homunculus, a living machine
and was made to kill dragons. He is much larger than any dragon
and dragon fire hasn’t any effect on him. He sends his servant
Twigleg – another homunculus - to spy on Firedrake and lead
him to where the other dragons live at the Rim of Heaven.
Firedrake and Sorrel have many adventures on their quest to find
the Rim of Heaven. They meet lots of good friends like Professor
Greenbloom and his family, Lola Greytail - a cousin of Gilbert the
rat and Burr Burr Chan the brownie.
They are pursued by Nettlebrand and his spies who come close to
them on a number of occasions.
This is a very exciting fantasy read. It is a fast paced book full
of adventure and was enjoyed by the children of the Kilmihil Book
Club. Some did find that there were too many characters and that
it was a little confusing.
Favourite characters were Sorrel the bad tempered brownie and Lola
Rating 8 out of 10.