Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher
|Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: The first in a new trilogy from Charlie Fletcher set in the same world as the fabulous Stoneheart, where London's statues come to life. And it's just as exciting, original and imaginative. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 258||Date: July 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
"Dragons don't exist," whispered Jo. But even those three short words sounded more like a wish than a statement of fact.
Something dark and sinister is going on at the British Museum. An ancient power has awoken and it has stopped time. People are frozen like statues. Only Will and his sister Jo are still moving. The only humans still moving, that is. The dragons are moving. They're spitting real fire, too. And they're attacking Will and Jo. A glorious golden girl comes to their rescue, followed by an angel and a muse. And Will and Joe are plunged into a world where statues are alive and where good battles evil. Why are they still moving? Who is behind the stopping of time? And will they ever get Mum back?
Oh! How exciting! A new trilogy set in the same universe as the fabulous Stoneheart series. In this London, the heritage has a life of its own - the statues are all living beings and wonderful representations of what they were like in real life or myth. There are ministering angels, fire-breathing dragons, bluff soldiers from the trenches - and even a bossy Duke of Wellington. This is the world of spits (human statues and goodies) and taints (non-human statues and baddies). Dragon Shield is firmly aimed at middle grade readers but this world rises from the pages in all the richness, humour and pathos of the first series.
This time, the human children are brother and sister. But, as with Stoneheart, they also begin as antagonists. Jo has a gammy leg and Will thinks it's all his fault. He dared his own little sister to jump from the shed roof when he has only pretended to do it himself. Guilt is eating away at him and it's turning to anger - an anger he is too afraid to direct at himself so turns on Jo, setting up a vicious circle of more guilt, more anger, and more resentment. But in this dangerous, frozen world there isn't much time for misery and navel-gazing, so Will must learn to set his guilty conscience aside and apply himself to the perils at hand if he is to save Mum, Jo and, well, every other Londoner. Can he do it?
There are reappearances by some favourite characters from Stoneheart, including my beloved Fusilier, but there are many new ones to meet, too. I won't spoil any of them - you should enjoy them as they come to you in the story - and both Will and Jo are great kids to root for. They're well-rounded, credible people and always up for a bit of risk-taking. What more could you want from sibling heroes? Some bickering? Well, you'll get that, too.
I can't figure out why we've never reviewed Stoneheart hereabouts - are we mad? - but you should read it. Also Far Rockaway, also by Fletcher, a brilliant story featuring Chingachgook from Last of the Mohicans, Long John Silver from Treasure Island and Alan Breck from Kidnapped.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher at Amazon.com.
Dragon Shield by Charlie Fletcher is in the Top Ten Books for Confident Readers 2014.
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