Review Blog

Aug 16 2018

The relic of the blue dragon by Rebecca Lim

cover image

Children of the Dragon bk1, Allen & Unwin, 2018, ISBN 9781760297367
(Ages: 9-12) Themes: Dragons. Magic. Thirteen-year-old Harley Spark's decision to take an old Chinese vase left outside the neighbouring auction house is life-changing, the catalyst for magic, mystery and fast-paced adventure. His ordinary safe life with mum Delia, a Chinese Australian whose ancestors came over for the Gold Rush is about to change. Harley's father Ray Spark left the family when he was five because of his international business interests linked to criminal activities.
When Delia smashes the vase to release it from Harley's frozen grasp, Qing, a Chinese girl, is awakened and a feud that crosses continents and centuries is reignited. Delia's smattering of Chinese helps them communicate with Qing and they begin to understand her desperate need to find her lost sisters. A midnight foray to the State Library and a stolen nineteenth century Chinese-English phrasebook further assists in their communication with their visitor who can shape-shift into a beautiful dragon. Harley soon realises that they need his father's special skills, contacts and global transportation to assist Qing.
Harley and Qing are quickly drawn into kung fu fights with evil villains who desperately want the pieces of the rare Chinese vase. Qing's quick-thinking powers, her own martial arts' skills and her ability to summon lightning aid in their escape. Their travels take them to Singapore in search of the second vase secured in a stately mansion. Ingenuity, cunning and stealth are needed to find this treasure. An epic fight ensues, more mystery creatures unleashed as Ray begins to learn more about his father. Qing directs the next phase of their journey, they need to travel on to the Wudang Mountains to rescue her sisters and stop the evil Second Son of the Second Dragon before he destroys their vases.
The relic of the blue dragon is a fantastic, fast-paced action venture, filled with Chinese myths, humour and family dramas. Rebecca Lim's exciting infusion of her Chinese heritage and her understanding of Ancient Chinese history, culture and mythology adds to the excitement. Harley and Qing are given a large amount of freedom, ably supported by Ray Spark and his associates. What an incredible junior novel, perfect for readers who enjoy modern fantasy adventures! What's next for Harley and Qing?
Rhyllis Bignell

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