The Dragon’s Eye by Dugald A. Steer,
illustrated by Douglas Carrel
(Suggested reading level: Grades 4-6)
Amber (11) and I read this together over several evenings. Before I talk about the book itself, I need to give you a little background. Amber loves the Ology books, especially Dragonology, which is what the novel is based on, and she loves dragons. She has the Dragonology book, the field guide, two Dragonology games, a stuffed Frost Dragons. She is the target audience for this book.
Twelve-year-old Daniel Cook and his sister Beatrice are sent by their absentee parents to spend the summer with Dr. Ernest Drake. Dr. Drake, it turns out, is a member of the Secret and Ancient Society of Dragonologists, along with the Cooks parents, and the premier dragonologist in England. The siblings are to spend their time with him learning about dragons. The summer starts out well, but soon the arrival of the evil dragonologist Ignatius Crook interrupts the plans and Dr. Drake, Daniel and Beatrice set out on a mission to stop him from gaining control of the precious Dragon’s Eye, a journey that will take them across the country, escaping danger, and, of course, meeting new dragons.
Amber and I truly enjoyed the story. She kept wanting to read more each night, and she’d comment when things in the story corresponded to pages in Dragonology. It was exciting, quick-moving, adventure packed, and full of dragons.
I’m not sure how well it would work just as a fantasy novel, for kids unfamiliar with the Dragonology world. I think they would enjoy it, but not as much as Amber did. You really have to be a dragon lover to like it, I think. And the dragons can be powerful, intelligent, dangerous, but the SASD’s mission is to protect them, not exploit them, which goes along with Amber’s feelings quite well.
Just one more comment: There were a few illustrations, but I don’t think they really added that much to the book. Of course, that could be because I still had the marvelous artwork from Dragonology in my head.
Dragonology Chronicles #1
First published November 14, 2006
3½ out of 5 stars