No Such thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve
No Such thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve. Pub. Scholastic Childrens books. 2009
The best book about a dragon that I have read since Sheryl Jordan’s Hunting the last Dragon, only better. More an adventure than a fantasy and a superb story that will grip you tighter than the scaly talons of the dragon.
Philip Reeve showed his mastery of the Medieval mentality in his Carnegie Medal winning title Here lies Arthur, and in this title he portrays a Christendom full of tricksters, villains and fraudsters, none greater than Brock the dragon slayer, one of the central characters in this novel.
Brock preys on people’s fears of the dragon, rather than on the reality of the existence of a dragon that slaughters livestock and burns villages with it’s fiery breath. He employs a young boy, Ansel, to be his squire. Ansel has had a horrid upbringing and has lost the power of speech through mistreatment by his father. Will he get it back by the end of the story?
Brock and Ansel are employed to kill a dragon that allegedly lives on Dragon mountain, and the villagers tell graphic stories of what it looks like and what it has done. Brock is secretly cynical but agrees to set off into the mountains with Ansel and a reluctant holy monk, Flegel, who is nothing but a fraud himself. What will happen to him?
On the mountain they meet a young girl, Else, who was left as a sacrifice to the dragon, but has somehow survived, and confirms that the dragon exists and the villagers horror stories are true.
What happens after that is just magnificent and the ending is superb. If you miss this dragon story it serves you right.
Aimed at Intermediate and junior secondary but if you like dragon stories you’re going to love this one.