Breath of the Dragon by A. L. Tait
The Mapmaker Chronicles, bk 3. Hachette, 2015. ISBN:
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Themes: Adventure, Sailing, Cartography, Pirates, Monsters, Friendship. The Map-Maker Chronicles, A.L. Tait's action-packed fantasy adventure series concludes in Breath of the Dragon. Quinn, Ash, Zain and the crew of the Libertas risk life and death as their ocean voyage leads them from the edge of the world back to Verdania. Quinn's memory is affected by his fall from the mast and he's concerned about his mapmaking skills as well as dealing with troublesome Kurt. Luckily he's hidden the real map in a safe spot as the fake one has been stolen. Whose map and treasures will please the King?
When the hungry crew lands on a mysterious island that rains fire, the unfriendly inhabitants, prisoners who mine the precious stones, are coerced into helping them. With a new supply of food and a bag of starstones the ship sails away just as the killehorn rains fire down from the mountain.
Captain Zain saves the large white sea animal Nammu's baby from the Deslonder warriors. In a daring manoeuvre, he sails his ship directly into the path of the dragon boat, saving the creature. A fierce battle on board ensues with the angry Deslonders overpowering the crew, their captain is shot by an arrow.
There are so many twists and turns in the story with daring jail rescues, stolen maps, theft and deceit and treasure collection.
A.L. Tait's fantasy narrative delivers strong, feisty characters who learn resilience, perseverance and the importance of friendship. The map-making race to chart their world provides a rich and rewarding setting. She has populated the kingdom with an incredible array of people and animals and her attention to detail engages the reader in the story. As the trilogy concludes dramatically, the audience is left wanting more. Will there be a new adventure for Quinn, Ash and Zain?
I highly recommend this series for use in schools, for narrative writing, geography and for visual arts lessons.