by Jonathan Stroud
Once again proving that he has a gift for creating a sense of dread, the author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy spins a sinister tale of an ancient evil, awakening from a long slumber near a modern-day, English village.
Michael McIntyre is 13 years old, an orphan, living with his realtor sister Sarah and his teenage brother Stephen. One day, while snoozing in a meadow high on a mount called the Wirrim, he is enveloped in one of the thoughts that periodically rise from a sleeping dragon buried under the Wirrim. Soon afterward, Michael begins to develop strange gifts that at first frighten him. Then, egged on by several older people in the community who have the same powers, Michael quickly becomes captivated by the power of the evil dragon that grows to possess his soul.
Meanwhile, the ambitious vicar of the village church, the Reverend Tom Aubrey, has discovered an ancient Celtic cross buried in the churchyard. With the cross removed from its resting place, and broken into two pieces, the dragon and its disciples see an opportunity to free the wormand themselvesfrom a horrible, living death. Michaels vast new powers are vital to their plans, and his soul is slowly being transformed to the shape of the dragons thoughts. But none of them have reckoned on the love of Michaels older sister, on the courage of a brother who rejected the dragons gifts, and least of all, on the heroism hidden within the often annoying Vicar Tom.
Like The Leap, this story builds to an overwhelming climax, then draws swiftlyalmost too swiftly, evento its shattering conclusion. I dont mean to say it doesnt end well. Youll just have to read the book to find out.
Recommended Age: 14+
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