Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Secret Of The Dragon Eye-Derek Hart

Secret Of The Dragon's Eye
Derek Hart
iUniverse, 2007, $16.95
ISBN: 9780595429677

In the North Cornwall coastal town of Crackington Haven, twelve years old Gavin Kane enjoys his childhood playing make believe games with his best friend Emily Scott. However, Gavin knows his parents fear war is coming to England as the Nazis blitzkrieg their way across the continent. His dad knowing he will soon fight for his country shares time with his son; they read together a tale of about King Arthur and Thaddeus Osbert the dragon.

WW II hits home doubly so to Gavin as his father leaves to fight and he befriends a newcomer evacuee child Bunty who survived the Nazi bombing of Plymouth inside air raid shelters until he was transported to North Cornwall. The three children meet Thaddeus Osbert the dragon who begs them to provide him with sugar at a time rationing grips the country. When the Germans land a force near Crackington Haven seeking Excalibur, the three kids and their sweet-toothed dragon try to repel them and their flying ally.

SECRET OF THE DRAGON’S EYE is a superb WWII fantasy that hooks the audience in two ways. First the description early WWII England mostly through the eyes of Bunty makes for a vivid anchored historical. When Thaddeus enters their lives, the story line adds fantasy elements to it. Mindful of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire saga, readers who appreciate something different in their war novels will enjoy fine historical fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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