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“Whatever happens, we’re all in this together!” Drake. –Saving the Sun Dragon
Saving the Sun Dragon
Dragon Masters #2
by Tracey West
Drake and his fellow Dragon Masters are back in the second installment of the Dragon Masters Series. This book follows Dragon Master Ana and her sun dragon Kepri. One day, after witnessing another mysterious magic red orb in the castle, Kepri falls ill. In order to save Kepri, Ana decides to take Kepri to their home. Ana and the Dragon Masters make many discoveries as they journey to Ana’s home, see the pyramids, and fight off a band of thieves, making for an action-packed story!
The first book in the series, Rise of the Earth Dragon, set up some key plots that are revisited and expanded upon in this book, like the red orbs and King Roland’s unusual obsession with dragons. For instance, the Dragon Masters learn from Griffith and his friend, a fellow wizard named Diego, that the magic red orbs likely come from the evil wizard Maldred. This links the books together and builds tension. West ties up loose ends from book one while still leaving enough inquiry to pique young readers’ interests. However, because the plots build on each other, the books should be read in order.
The Dragon Master Series bases the characters on common fantasy stereotypes. The Kingdom of Bracken draws information from King Arthur’s England, and in many respects, Griffith is similar to the famed sorcerer Merlin. Likewise, Saving the Sun Dragon follows Ana and her dragon Kepri. This explains their backstories and gives each character more definition. Ana and another Dragon Master, Bo, are the two non-white Dragon Masters. Ana’s background is clearly based on Egypt and shows the pyramids and a desert. These basic cultural differences are not very creative and are typical of the fantasy genre, but young children will find the different landscapes and people interesting.
Regardless of the backstories, the Dragon Masters still exhibit empathy for each other and for the dragons as they try to figure out the dragons’ magic powers. In addition, they continue to grow as friends. For instance, Ana and Drake both note that when Kepri meets her twin dragon, Kepri is suddenly renewed with energy. The Dragon Masters see Kepri’s struggles and admit that they also miss their own families much like Kepri, and this allows for them to become even better friends. Although the characters come from different places, they are friends and understand each other’s struggles.
Saving the Sun Dragon is a solid continuation to the Dragon Masters Series. The story continues to unpack the mystery of this fantastical world, and young readers will enjoy the excitement and adventure that West unpacks. The black-and-white illustrations by Graham Howells are fun and help convey the whimsical nature of the world and feature on nearly every page. Young readers will find themselves liking the characters even more as they learn about them. Readers will discover that adventures are wonderful, and homesickness is normal. In addition, the book shows that there are plenty of adventures to experience, but you should never forget your roots.
- The Dragon Masters reunite with their Sun Dragon, Kepri, with her Moon Dragon, Wati, when a group of robbers burst into the pyramid and attack. “Wati quickly sprang into action. He shot a black beam of light from his mouth. The beam hit the first robber in the chest and knocked him down.”
- During the fight sequence, an arrow is shot at Kepri, and Ana “jumped in the path of the arrow. . . but before [Drake] could reach her, the arrow stopped in midair—inches from Ana’s face.” It is revealed that Worm used his mind powers to stop the arrow. Worm then destroys all the robber’s weapons.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Ana and the other Dragon Masters live in the Kingdom of Bracken, and they all have their own dragons and can use magic. They are being taught this magic by the king’s wizard, Griffith, who consistently references the magical entity known as the Dragon Stone. This item presumably gives the dragons and the Dragon Masters their powers.
- Griffith the wizard does magic from time to time. For instance, the fire dragon, Vulcan, sets fire to things on occasion. In these situations, Griffith “pointed his finger at the fire. Water flowed from his fingertip, and the flames went out.”
- Kepri the Sun Dragon falls ill. Her Dragon Master, Ana, feeds her a magical “healing potion” hoping to make her better. This does not work. Kepri is healed when she is reunited with her Moon Dragon, as she is a Sun Dragon.
- Each of the Dragon Masters has a piece of the Dragon Stone around their neck. When Drake’s stone glows, he can mentally communicate with his dragon, Worm. The other Dragon Masters cannot do this magic. Drake’s dream is described: “He dreamed of rivers and big tombs shaped like triangles. Then the desert sky turned green. Drake woke up. The green Dragon Stone around his neck was glowing brightly . . . Then he heard Worm’s voice inside his mind. Come now!”
- Worm helps the Dragon Masters teleport. “Worm’s body began to glow. Drake wasn’t sure why, but he knew just what he had to do. He put one hand on Worm’s snout and one hand on Kepri’s tail. [The Dragon Masters] all laid their hands on Worm.” From there, they disappear in an exploding green light.
- Ana’s piece of the Dragon Stone glows, and she hears Kepri’s voice in her head. Ana says, “Kepri wants to come back to be with her brother one day, just like I want to come back to my family. But until then, she wants to stay with me in the kingdom of Bracken.”