This first volume in a promising new series is fizzy, fast-paced adventure all the way.
When Tanner was just 7 years old, he watched as his village was attacked and his father was killed by a warlord called Derthsin. To his surprise, a great dragon named Firepos intervened and destroyed Derthsin. After the battle, Firepos stayed and began to train Tanner, who is to be his chosen rider. Eight years later, a new threat to Avantia has come in the form of General Gor, who is searching for the pieces of the infamous Mask of Death. Firepos and Tanner are shocked to learn that Derthsin, who must have somehow managed to survive the last battle after all, is behind this plan and that he intends to use the reconstructed mask to control the great beasts of Avantia, including Tanner’s dragon Firepos. Gor steals a map of the pieces’ locations, abducting one of the map-maker’s apprentices, a boy called Geffen, to help him interpret it. Tanner soon goes off on a quest with Gwen, Geffen’s twin sister, who has her own beast, a giant wolf called Gulkien, to rescue Geffen and recover the map. Will their mission succeed? Firepos’ narration in a heightened first-person is interspersed throughout the third-person account, introducing transitioning readers to the linguistic style of high fantasy.
A slim, easy-to-read, high-interest offering that will be an easy sell to readers just venturing into chapter books. (Fantasy. 8-12)