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The Dragon and her Boy by Penny Chrimes

Title: The Dragon and her Boy

Author: Penny Chrimes

Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Time slip

Publisher: Hachette Australia/Orion

Published: 23rd February 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Price: $15.99

Synopsis: A story of the very last living dragon, stuck living in a tunnel under London, and the boy who unintentionally finds himself as her protector, perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink & Stars

‘Never has gutter-life been more appealing. Penny Chrimes’ blisteringly descriptive writing draws the heat from the cobbles and the steam from the nostrils. A larruping good adventure’ – Zeb Soanes

A story of a the very last living dragon, stuck living in a tunnel under London, and the boy who unintentionally finds himself as her protector, perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink & Stars.

When Stick discovers there is a dragon living underneath the streets of London, he finds himself unintentionally drawn into an epic adventure and a quest — but how can he find a place for a dragon to live in London when dragons aren’t supposed to exist? And with foes at every corner who want to exploit the dragon for themselves, it’s going to take a daring plan for Stick to find a safe place for his dragon — and for himself.

~*~

It has been several months since Fly and Stick were together, and now Stick is back with the gutterlings in London. One day he falls underground and finds a long-lost dragon – the very last dragon ever. She’s in pain, hunted and longs to be reunited with her deceased sisters. Yet this is a world where dragons do not exist, or do they? Are the ancient skeletons people have been finding dinosaurs, as everyone says they are? And if dragons really do exist, what sort of damage or disasters have they caused or had a paw in throughout history?

The follow-up to Tiger Heart is another fantastical historical fiction story, mixing Georgian and Victorian England, with a cheeky suggestion from a dragon statue discovered near the site of the Great Fire of London in 1666, and speculates that instead of a bakery on Pudding Lane, or a French spy that a dragon – the one in the book – was the cause. And what fun would that have been in history lessons? To study the Great Fire and find out it was caused by a dragon! One wonders why – as the dragon tells Stick her story as he helps her get unstuck and fly away.

Yet as Stick helps the dragon, he comes under the command of Sir Jasper, determined to control lots of money and destroy the dragon. Sir Jasper also hides a secret, and a link to Stick’s past, and his family. Who is his family, and why have they never come looking for him? The events of years ago when Stick was six are part of the backstory and an integral aspect of the second half of the book.

Dragons are such fun, and Penny Chrimes has integrated them so well into the history and landscape of London, that it seems so plausible. dragons playing a role in history – how fun! The beauty of this book in in the way it takes the dragon-slaying knight trope, and uses it to establish the relationship between Stick and his dragon, but also, the dragon’s understanding that knights slay dragons – and what makes a knight true and pure. Stick’s nobility and sensitivity towards the dragon is touching and shows the importance of all kinds of relationships, and the power of friendship, and the sacrifices we make for those we love and care about. It is a great addition to the gutterlings series.

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