Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

When I was younger, I absolutely loved Inkheart and The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. So when I received an invitation to review The Griffin's Feather, the second book in the Dragon Rider series, I decided that I had to start with book one.

Dragon Rider follows the adventures of Firedrake, a dragon searching for the mythical place called the Rim of Heaven, where dragons can live in safety. It's not that he wants to leave his home, but the humans are coming and the dragons in his valley must either leave or die.

Yes, humans are coming. I went into The Dragon Rider not knowing what to expect and was surprised to find out that this was set in the present day. And Ben, the lonely boy that Firedrake meets and who accompanies him on his journey is equally surprised by the existence of dragons. But Ben quickly adapts and along with Sorrel, the bad-tempered brownie, and Twigleg, the homunculus, the four begin their quest. Unfortunately, their quest attracts the vicious Nettlebrand, hunter of dragons.

To be honest, I was a bit confused at the beginning, but that is definitely because I am not used to audiobooks but borrowed the audiobook of this. Once I got the hang of it (and skimmed the Wikipedia page for a summary of what was going on), I really enjoyed this story. It's broken into several segments, as the team visits different places in an attempt to figure out exactly where the rim of heaven is.

Even though this is called The Dragon Rider, I feel like the book really is about Firedrake and his quest. True, Ben gets a bit more airtime in the latter half of the book, but the beginning of the book almost always sets the tone for me and the tone was: this is Firedrake's story. Ben was a nice character, although a bit too oblivious at times, but my favourite character was definitely Firedrake, the kind dragon.

The supporting characters, Sorrel and Twigleg, were interesting too. Sorrel basically played the role of the grumpy character with the heart of gold. Twigleg was a bit more interesting and probably had the most character development in the book - he starts of serving Nettlebrand but traveling with Ben and the others help him to change.

The audiobook I read was narrated by Brendan Fraser, who was brilliant. He did a whole range of voices for the characters, which helped me to distinguish them from each other and made them more endearing to me. I wish I found out about this book earlier because I can imagine younger me enjoying this even more than present me.


  1. Sometimes I think I should re-visit Inkheart. I loved the premise but it fell flat for me when I read it, and I never went on to the second book. I am not familiar with Dragon Rider, but it does sound good! I love Brendan Fraser. I may have to try the audio!

    1. I really loved Inkheart and enjoyed the second book very much too. The audio-book is definitely worth a listen!


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