Charles Pepper, living in Thailand, sent in this review. His two grandchildren have already read the book, and this is his thoughtful feedback:
“We learn from the cockney mouse George how the imperial Chinese dragon Xiaolong comes to be living in London; of the accident of their meeting and greeting each other in 1086 and their subsequent adventures.
The main characters are George, the dragon Xiaolong, and 11 British dragons.
George (the story teller) is cool & amusing; though of tiny stature & lifespan he’s brave, loyal & funny; he’s a lovable & cheerful bodyguard & friend to Xiaolong.
Xiaolong is an agreeable character who seeks peace and friendship; he’s courageous, kind, beautiful, of huge stature & lifespan; a talented mimic, mind reader and master of disguise; he’s dependable, loyal, helpful and compassionate; Xiaolong is polite & respectful.
The eleven British dragons are an aggressive, disagreeable gang united by their own unprovoked hatred of foreigners; they include the nine Guardians of London – a thoroughly unpleasant, unlikeable, smelly, objectionable, threatening lot fixated on destroying our hero.
George & his Dragon settle down to a contented and peaceful life until… taunted and facing vicious abuse and repeated unprovoked attacks, our hero fights in death-defying self-defence; 600 years of epic fights and battles causing catastrophic damage to London through devastating fires…
Xiaolong & George share good times and bad together, survive many attacks, disasters and dramatic events; but heartbreakingly, their extraordinarily long and strong bond suddenly ends; forlorn Xiaolong retires abroad. But it’s not so long before he’s hurriedly recalled as disaster threatens to destroy London completely.
An engaging and very readable thriller with a dramatic ending; the reader is drawn into this fast moving tale as it’s easy to relate to the characters, settings and drama. The descriptions, many interesting true facts, real historic events and landmarks that still exist, the twists, turns and illustrations all bring the tale very much to life.
The story is entertaining, amusing, compelling, so it’s a very enjoyable way to learn new words or expressions for students of English (or Romanian for English speakers), suitable for ages 8-18.
The story is peppered with all sorts of general knowledge too; from the life span of mice, where dragons exist in British culture today, weather matters, England’s Little Ice Age, frost fairs & lots more.
We learn how, win or lose, life goes on; how tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance are a shorter and better way than conflict, anger, hatred, jealousy and intolerance that can hijack and freeze the mind with only self-destruction as its reward.
I would recommend this book for both girls and boys; parents, grandparents and teachers will find it an enjoyable story to share with youngsters; and if you’d like to see the Dragons in London today, you can.”