THE HUNTING OF THE LAST DRAGON by Sherryl Jordan

THE HUNTING OF THE LAST DRAGON

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a well-realized medieval world, Jordan (The Secret Sacrament, 2001, etc.) introduces one small element of fantasy: the last dragon left on earth. Jude is no accomplished hero, but has a sort of bravery in him alongside a native intelligence and genuine kindness. After his village is destroyed by the dragon, Jude is taken in by Tybalt, who runs a sort of traveling sideshow that includes a Chinese woman with bound feet who is treated like a beast. Lizzie Little-legs and Jude gradually become friends and later partners in their quest to kill the last dragon. This beast has created great havoc in a drought summer, the fire spreading cruelly with entire village populations as victims. A sense of safety is provided by a narrative device that has Jude dictating to a monk long after all danger is over. Lizzie, whose actual name is Jing-wei, provides the knowledge of gunpowder and kites that are used to attack the dragon, as well as other Chinese innovations not yet common in England, such as silk and paper. Jing-wei consistently is the heroine, whose essential knowledge and determination make each step possible. Whether she will remain with Jude or try to return to her home country illustrates the tough choices of even involuntary immigrants and provides some additional suspense. Jordan creates an appealing and sedate romance in an unusual place and time for younger readers than her usual, more complex work. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028902-3
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002




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