Review Blog

Dec 30 2015

The Erth Dragons: The Wearle by Chris D'Lacey

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Orchard Books, 2015. ISBN 9781408332481
(Age: Upper primary - Lower secondary) Recommended. Chris D'Lacey is well known for his dragon series, The Last Dragon Chronicles.
This is the first of a new series of books about 'The Wearle', a community of dragons who come to Erth to discover why a previous dragon colony had disappeared. The Wearle are a highly structured society with designated leaders and jobs for each dragon.
The story begins with young Gabriel's quest to partner Grystina and father her newly born young. Gabriel, a blue dragon described as young but impetuous, battles with the white dragon G'vard, a bold and noble competitor.
Gabrial has trouble competing with G'vard but it is when he uses i:mage, the art of projecting images, that tragedy occurs. Grystina is killed and only one of the two young dragons are found alive.
Gabrial is blamed for Grystina's tragic death and in disgrace is sent away to become a sweeper.
Erth has been divided into two sections by a scorch line, a dragon marker to show a border that no human should cross. Gabrial's job is to police or sweep the border.
Ren is a young boy who is fascinated by the dragons or as his people call them, Skalers. His longing to be connected to the Wearle involves him crossing the scorch line and he becomes involved with Grystina's death and the newly born male dragon.
Dragon politics and intrigue determine the action and treachery that occurs in the Wearle community. The mystery strengthens when it becomes apparent that not all the dragons are on the same side and that maybe the supposed enemy, Ren is one of the dragon community's strongest friends and supporters.
I enjoyed watching the deception unfold and guessing which dragon might have ulterior motives and was surprisingly shocked at the ending.
Interestingly, a compound the dragons mine called Fhosforent, impacts on their minds and behaviour and like drugs has a negative effect on their conduct. I feel this substance will feature strongly in future books.
I was thankful for the character list at the beginning of the novel as I was often confused about characters in the first chapters. A glossary also aids understanding of the new vocabulary.
I recommend this book to upper primary and secondary students. Dragon lovers will enjoy this new series and I look forward to the next book in the collection.
Jane Moore

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