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THE DRAGON AND THE THIEF by Gillian Bradshaw


by Gillian Bradshaw

Age Range: 10 - 15

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-10575-0
Publisher: Greenwillow

 In a fantasy-adventure set in ancient Egypt, young Prahotep finds himself allied with Hathor, last of the dragons. Born backwards and unlucky, Prahotep has failed in every endeavor from the family trade (fishing) to mining stone with a gang of mistreated convicts. Destitute and desperate, he turns to thieving: a few garden vegetables, perhaps to be followed by the riches in a tomb described by a dying prisoner at the mine. Instead of a tomb, however, he stumbles on Hathor's lair and hears her story: in the mistaken belief that their blood would extend life, her kin were all killed by Egyptians. Pursued by a high-ranking, evil magician, Hathor and Prahotep escape up the Nile to Nubia, where Hathor hopes to discover surviving kin and where, in an exciting confrontation, the magician is appropriately terminated. While the role of the frequently invoked gods in Prahotep's truly remarkable bad luck remains unclear, the dragon has a charmingly pungent, well-realized personality; the riveting opening--Prahotep escapes the crocodile that has just killed his father--and brisk, accessible narrative are sure to hold attention. Since the story concludes before Hathor has a chance to determine her relatives' fate, a sequel seems in order. (Fiction. 10-15)