THE DRAGON’S PEARL by Devin Jordan


Age Range: 11 - 13
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When 16-year-old Marco Polo’s father vanishes, Marco and his friends set off on a rescue mission that takes them from the everyday world to the magical “wild and untamed” Unknown Lands beyond the Insurmountable Mountains. Standard fantasyland fare mixes uncomfortably with reality, with normal everyday Venetians traveling through a Mongol Empire rewritten as a demon-infested land of myth. Along with his barely characterized companions, Marco travels to the court of Kublai Khan to save his father. This quest fantasy draws from the real Polo’s story for set dressing: A Mongol princess becomes a disguised martial artist; the Persian khan Arghun becomes an evil mage with mouths on his hands. The many terrible perils of traveling to the East (none particularly perilous) don’t add much tension to this low-key adventure. Readers who want a quest for a lost father set in a magical ancient China should be directed to Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix (2009) instead; save this one for a slow day. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: July 7th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6410-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2009