Welcome to the land of Draconis. A place where dragons and humans were once friends and together they built the city of Rivven. But that was long ago and after Dragon Storm the dragons disappeared and haven’t been seen since. But all that is about to change for Tomas…
Tomas has always been told that dragons do not exist. Despite knowing this, he spends his days making dragonswords with his blacksmith father. When a stranger invites Tomas to join a secret Guild in the city of Rivven, Tomas learns he has a special power…the ability to conjure a dragon, and he’s not the only one. While Tomas nurtures his talent and slowly bonds with Ironskin, danger is looming for his family back home and it falls upon dragonseer and dragon to prevent a terrible disaster…
Alastair Chisholm swoops into middle-grade fantasy with a fabulously fiery series of exciting and highly illustrated chapter books for children of seven plus. The first two books in the series, Tomas and Ironskin and Cara and Silverthief, have been released simultaneously. With a very cool premise - who wouldn’t want the ability to conjure their own dragon - readers, along with Tomas, are whisked away from medieval village life and immersed into a fantastical world of dragons and where the impossible is possible. For hiding amongst the narrow alleyways, dark streets and twisty lanes of Rivven is a small and unimpressive door that leads to the secret Dragonseers Guild where children train and are educated in all things dragons.
Many children love a rollickingly good story featuring mythical creatures and this one comes highly recommended. In an absolute fire-cracker of a read, excitement, action and a brilliant dragon-filled adventure are all delivered in one-hundred-and-fifty pages. With the always relevant themes of family, friendship and forging your own path running throughout - there are somethings that even dragonseers cannot out fly - this is a perfect fantasy story for those children who are not ready for the longer reads of a similar ilk such as How to Train Your Dragon.
Tomas is a great character who pretty much has his whole life planned out; learn the trade from his father and carry on as the village blacksmith making dragonswords. Going from sword-maker to dragonseer is no easy task and as Tomas comes to terms with his new situation he faces difficult decisions, dearly misses his family, battles with accepting his changed life and whether he really wants it and struggles with conjuring up the self-belief to actually do what others have told him he is capable of. No one said being a dragonseer would be easy.
Four more adventures with different dragonseers and their charges are in the offing and if the first book is anything to go by then we are in for an absolute treat, expect a dash of magic, great characters and lots of dragons.
With huge thanks to Allen & Unwin and Nosy Crow for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 7+.