So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Book of Dragons

The Book of Dragons by Edith Nesbit

The Book of Dragons contains eight short stories by Edith Nesbit that have a dragon or dragons as the main plot element. Originally published in 1900 for British children, modern American readers may find many of the references charming or confusing. However, Nesbit's imagination and writing skills are well represented in these children's stories. Being in the Public Domain, this and many other books by Nesbit are now freely available online through sites like Internet Archive, Amazon, Google Books, and others.
"The Book of Beasts" tells how young Lionel inherits a kingdom and find the in the palace library a magic Book of Beasts where the animals fly off the pages when viewed in daylight. All goes well until he gets to the page with a dragon.
In "Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger" Princess Mary Ann lives on a topsy turvy island and plans to marry Tom the gardener when she grows up. However when a dragon crash lands on the island, her evil Uncle James devises a plot to rid the island of the dragon and Mary Ann that Tom must find a way to stop.
"The Deliverers of Their Country" tells the story of two young siblings Effie and Harry who respond to an invasion of dragons by attempting to waken England's ancient hero St. George the Dragonslayer.
In "The Ice Dragon" George and his younger sister Jane go out in their backyard one cold wintery night to see the fireworks. In the northern sky they see something much more amazing, the Aurora Borealis, and decide to go get a closer look by going to the North Pole.
A mean-hearted king imprisons his daughter in the Lone Tower on "The Island of the Nine Whirlpools" which is guarded by a dragon, a griffin and dangerous whirlpools. Can she be saved by an observant young man with a talent for maths?
In "The Dragon Tamers" John the blacksmith is so poor that he lives with his family in the ruins of an old castle. One day he awakens the dragon that lives in the dungeon beneath the ruins.
When her parents die a young princess is imprisoned by her evil cousin so he can rule the land. Then "The Fiery Dragon" attacks the kingdom, and the princess with the help of a pig herder outsmart both the prince and the dragon to set things right.
"Kind Little Edmund" is a boy with an inquiring mind who wants to learn things no one else knows. His quest leads him deep into a dragon's lair where he must figure out how to trick the dragon to save his village.

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