Charlie and the Ice Dragon by Gary R.J. Hopkins

Charlie and the Ice Dragon

The Secret Realm
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A fantasy novel about a dreamy young boy whose visions of himself as chivalrous hero become real when he’s summoned to a mystic realm.

With a great thrust of occasionally capitalized prose, the opening of this novel wallops readers on the head with a preview of what’s to come. Young Charlie, a virtually friendless 10-year-old, dreams big despite his meager but comfortable life. Several times within the span of a few paragraphs, it’s explained that Charlie’s dream of being a king’s knight in a grand kingdom shall soon come true. Almost parenthetically, it’s explained that the Keeper of Time from a lost realm is calling Charlie to his destiny by sending a mystic silver cloud to cull him away from his humdrum existence into a world of sword and sorcery. What follows may seem like a familiar tale, but it’s told with remarkably genuine emotion and unabashed gusto. The cloud follows Charlie and his new friend, Peter, while they wander the country, until Charlie enters the new realm after being called to his destiny. In this strange new world, Charlie needs a guide, and what boy doesn’t dream of having a dragon? The ice dragon Azrimore, nostalgic for the halcyon days of the realm, leads the boys into a happily predictable world of magic, villainy and destiny that features a book of prophecy. Though well-worn tropes abound, young fantasy fans will enjoy Charlie and the dragon’s friendship for its appealing mentor/mentee dynamic. Learning to be a leader, Charlie ends up leading armies against ancient dark forces, and though there are only a few surprises along the way, fans of the genre will enjoy his short, heartfelt journey. This volume seems to be only the first installment in a series, but those charmed by Charlie will look forward to charting his further fortunes.

A short but sweet magical adventure that will please young readers.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1477222874
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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