Review Blog

Jun 20 2017

Bronze bird tower by Carole Wilkinson

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Dragonkeeper book 6. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781922179586
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Dragons. Fantasy. Myths. Mythical worlds. Carole Wilkinson has ended the Dragonkeeper series with another thrilling, fantasy journey into the mythical world of Huaxia (China) in the safe haven where the dragons have sought sanctuary. This series is set at a time when it seems that dragons are about to lose their capacity for survival. Tao the dragonkeeper (who has power to summon the life-force from the invertebrate world and the ability to see visions into the future) is called upon again to rescue the dragons and their hope for the future - their dragon stones. His Buddhist leanings (although challenged at times) encourage him to seek peaceful solutions for the dragons in order to solve their in-fighting and the war-like advances from humans bent on using the dragons for their own power displays. Tao's faithful dragon companions, who see and know his strengths despite his peaceful demeanour, eventually work with him to ensure the long-term survival of the remaining mythical creatures. But will his role as dragonkeeper protect them into the future?
Wilkinson has managed to create a stand-alone story (even though this is Number 6 in the Dragonkeeper series) that could be comfortably promoted to readers even if they have not read other books in the series. (I confess to only having read books 1 and 2 in the series, prior to reading this final offering.) This is a series that can be savoured for introducing a fantasy and mythical world of dragons and magical powers that is still narrative-driven, gentle, and not blatantly sinister. It also explores and parallels human motives as they pursue power and self-aggrandisement. The Buddhist practices of Tao are generally confined to peaceful and vegetarian preferences, but this also provides an uncommon perspective for children's literature. His wisdom and mystical powers supersede his religious life.
Carolyn Hull

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