Essay On Dragon Keepers


“The story explores themes of trust, courage, power, greed and love in a meticulously researched setting. It is a story that informs as it delights and leaves the reader with a yearning to know more.”

 — Judges’ Report 2004, Children’s Book Council of Australia, 2004

“… an ambitious novel, marrying ancient Chinese history and culture with magic and fantasy… the sights, smells and tastes of this fantastic ancient China are fully realised.”

 — Bookseller & Publisher (Children's Supplement), November 2003

Reader reviews

“During the whole of the story, my eyes were glued to the book, not even stopping to eat! I recommend it to any reader of any age.”

 — James G

“dragonkeeper is the crappiest story i’ve read”

 — Frank P

“Last night I finished reading the Dragon Keeper to [my children]. It is not often that everyone in our family has enjoyed a book so much. Thank-you for some beautiful writing.”

 — Michael F

The book is about a slave girl and a dragon, who travel through China to reach the ocean, carrying a purple dragonstone with them and encountering many dangers on their strange quest, and journey of friendship and self discovery.

A slave girl Ping escapes from the palace of Huangling with the dragon Danzi, carrying the dragonstone towards Ocean. They encounter both Diao and The Necromancer on the journey, but overcome these evil men, and also meet The Emperor.

Ping makes a number of strong friendships on their journey, with Wang Cao, Danzi, Hua and the Emperor, and she treasures those friendships.

I think that Dragonkeeper is a superbly constructed book. Its vocabulary is very rich and full of descriptive language which helps build an image of the towns and villages of old China, in which the story takes place. Its strong themes of friendship and self-discovery are well developed by the plot, which moves at a
varied pace, but is always interesting.

The protagonist, Ping, can be doubting, brave, kind and awesome, and as a reader I found parts of myself that were identical to Ping – I identified well with her.

I recommend this book because it is a terrific book, and I want to share the joy it gave me. It is exciting, it is hard to put down, and it makes you want to read the following books by the same author. I think that, because of some violence and more difficult vocabulary it should be read by children from 8 years old.

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