Firedrake is a young silver dragon, who has had enough of constantly having to hide in a wooded valley. He wants to show the older generations of dragons that he is a real dragon. When humans are about to destroy his family's very last refuge, Firedrake secretly sets off on an adventurous journey with Sorrel a bad-tempered cat-like forest brownie. He wants to find the \"Rim of Heaven\", the dragons' mysterious haven. On their quest, Firedrake and Sorrel encounter Ben, an orphan and stray, who claims to be a dragon rider. While Ben and Firedrake make friends quickly, Sorrel becomes increasingly distrustful and tries her best to get rid of the orphan at every opportunity. But the unlikely trio have to learn to pull together, because they are being hunted by Nettlebrand, an evil dragon-eating monster which was created by an alchemist with the aim of tracking down and destroying every dragon on Earth.
Dragon Rider (original title: Drachenreiter) is a 1997 German children's novel by Cornelia Funke. Originally translated by Oliver Latsch, Dragon Rider was published in English in 2004 by The Chicken House in the United Kingdom and Scholastic Inc. in the US, using a translation by Anthea Bell. Dragon Rider follows the exploits of a silver dragon named Firedrake, a cat-like brownie named Sorrel, and Ben, an orphaned human boy, in their search for the mythical part of the Himalayas mountain range called the Rim of Heaven to find a safe place for Firedrake's kin to live when the dragon finds out that humans intend to flood the valley where he and his fellow dragons live.
Firedrake is a young dragon who lives in a hidden valley in Scotland with other dragons. After realizing that humans intend to flood the valley and the dragons living there are no longer safe, Firedrake sets off with the guidance from the eldest member of his clan (Slatebeard) to avoid the \"Golden One\" and to find the Rim of Heaven, a legendary location that is a safe haven for all dragons.
Firedrake travels to the city with his friend Sorrel, a forest brownie with cat features, to find Gilbert Graytail, a rat who specializes in making maps. The duo meets Ben who provides Sorrel with human clothes so she may go in disguise to find Gilbert while Firedrake stays hidden. After finding Gilbert and providing payment, Gilbert hands over a map leading to the Himalayas, marking dangerous areas along the way. Only able to fly at night, Firedrake wastes no time wanting to leave. He and Sorrel also decide to bring Ben along with them. After Ben and Sorrel argue about turning East too soon or not, the three end up in a mountain range full of dwarves. Firedrake sleeps while the sun is up and the dwarves wait for him to wake up. While he rests however, one of the dwarves, Gravelbeard, runs to the castle in that same mountain range, revealing Nettlebrand, the Golden One, a fearsome dragon-like monster whose only purpose in life is to hunt, kill and eat dragons and his servant, Twigleg the Homunculus. After hearing of the trio, Nettlebrand decides to follow them, hoping to hunt down and kill the last of the dragons because he failed decades before.
Firedrake, Sorrel and Ben fly onward, but are soon swept off course by a storm, arriving on the shore of Egypt. Encountering a chicken-like monster known as basilisk and a band of zealous archaeologists, the party eventually befriends a kindly scientist named Professor Greenbloom. Sorrel is initially suspicious but soon warms up to him. Professor Greenbloom gives Ben one of two freezing-cold metallic scales he has, which unknown to the humans, once belonged to Nettlebrand. Twigleg relays the news to Nettlebrand, who immediately makes his way to the dig site to find Professor Greenbloom and recover the scales. Meanwhile, the three searchers set out on the advice of the professor to seek the advice of a Djinn, whose thousand eyes can see everything. Ben succeeds in fulfilling the Djinn's arcane requirements with the question: \"Where does the Rim of Heaven lie\" The answer to the question appears in two of the Djinn's thousand eyes; it is a path, marked by the Indus River, by a mountain range, and by a monastery. Beyond this monastery is the Rim of Heaven. In the monastery, Ben must break the moonlight on the stone dragon's head. The Djinn also gives them a prophecy: \"When that day comes, twenty fingers will point the way to the Rim of Heaven, and silver will be worth more than gold.\"
In the valley, help comes to Firedrake and company in the form of Lola Graytail, Gilbert's niece. Lola had been cartographing the country for her uncle and she guides them to the monastery. There, they are welcomed by the monks, who look on Firedrake as a bringer of good fortune. Also it is here that Ben \"breaks the moonlight\"--- actually a moonstone kept by the monks for this purpose. Ben shatters the moonstone and summons the aid of a four-armed brownie, named Burr-Burr-Chan. He agrees to guide Firedrake, Sorrel, Twigleg, and Ben to the Rim of Heaven. He warns, however, that Firedrake's kin have degenerated into earthbound cowards as a result of hiding from Nettlebrand. Whilst waiting for the moment of departure, the company discover Gravelbeard (who was threatened by Nettlebrand into becoming another spy) but fail to catch him. They fly on their way swiftly, with Nettlebrand in pursuit. To Twigleg's dismay, in the center of the Rim of Heaven is a great lake, a perfect gateway for Nettlebrand, who can travel instantaneously by water. To make sure that he is right, Lola takes Twigleg in her miniature airplane to investigate and distract Nettlebrand, while above the others seek the Dragons' cave. There, they meet with a she-Dragon, Maia. She is the only living dragon there, as the other twenty-two have since turned into stone through lack of moonlight.
Outside, Lola and Twigleg found Gravelbeard. In the struggle that follows, the Dwarf's hat (which functions as an altitude compensator), is taken by Twigleg. Promptly Gravelbeard is struck with mountain sickness, allowing himself to be taken a prisoner. Nettlebrand, who now knows their location, is coming. No one knows how they could ever stop him since he is twenty times as strong as one dragon as well as immune to other dragons' firepower. In disgust, Sorrel spits on the golden scale which the Professor gave to Ben. Inspired by his success with the Ravens, Firedrake breathes fire on it and reduces it to gold paint. Twigleg comes up with a plan. He pretends to be still loyal to Nettelbrand and frees Gravelbeard then sent him back to Nettlebrand. The Golden One, elated by upcoming success, orders the Dwarf to polish his armor. Unfortunately for Nettlebrand, the armor polish has been replaced with Brownie spits. When Nettlebrand enters the cave, he was at once dive-bombed by Firedrake, Maia, and Lola in her plane. At last, the Dragons came together and set Nettlebrand afire. The Brownie spits reacted at once, dissolving Nettlebrand's armor and destroying him. Nettlebrand melts to reveal nothing but a toad underneath. As the company stare in wonder at this transformation, Gravelbeard enters. He has seen the marvelous gemstones and rock formations in the cave, and wishes to enhance them with his own skill, revealing that doing so will bring the petrified dragons back to life. Within a few days, all the silver dragons are awakened again. Firedrake and Maia went flying with Sorrel and Burr-Burr-Chan to bring the other members of their species back home. Ben and Twigleg went to live with Professor Greenbloom and his family. Two months later, news reached the humans that Firedrake has convinced the silver dragons to come with him to the Rim of Heaven. Eager to see their friends again, Ben and Guinevere occupy their time with other investigations of \"imaginary\" creatures until they can visit the silver dragons again.
It all looked so familiar to Firedrake. The misty woods outside the entrance to the cave. The smell of the sea nearby in the cold morning air. Every leaf and every flower reminded him ofthe Scottish mountains where he had grown up. But Scotland was far away, and so was the Rim of Heaven, the valley that the last dragons in this world had called their home for two years now.Firedrake turned and looked at the dragon lying behind him on a bed of moss and leaves. Slatebeard was the oldest of them all. His wings twitched in his dreams, as if he wanted to follow the wild geese crossing the grey sky, but he would soon be setting out on the longest flight of all.
The last winged horses are on the brink of extinction. Three foals lie curled in their eggs in a sanctuary for threatened creatures, where a young dragon rider lives with his silver dragon. The foals are ill, and the pair volunteer to seek the only cure: a Griffin's feather. But Griffins, with the heads of eagles and bodies of lions, are a dragon's fiercest enemy, and live far across the world in the sweltering jungle. A dangerous and exciting adventure begins ...
The dragons are back - and soaring into bookshops everywhere this month! We're hugely excited to see Dragon Rider and The Griffin's Feather as books of the month in WH Smith and Waterstones respectively. In celebration, we've put together our top 10 fave reasons why we love Twigleg and co. so much!
Firedrake, a brave young dragon, and a lonely boy called Ben are united as if by destiny. Together, they embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace. With only a curious map and the whispered memories of an old dragon to guide them, they fly across moonlit lands to reach the highest mountains in the world. 59ce067264