Dragon Rider: The Griffin's Feather

432p. glossary. illus. (Dragon Rider: Bk. 2). Scholastic/Chicken House. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338215533.
Gr 3–6—Dragon rider Ben Greenbloom feels an emptiness in his heart being away from his silver dragon, Firedrake. But when he and his family discover the last Pegasi in the world who need the precious sun feather of a Griffin to hatch, he must lie to the dragon. Griffins and dragons are mortal enemies. Ben and his father Barnabas along with a motley crew including a troll, a rat, and a homunculus (the last of his kind), attempt to complete this dangerous quest which takes them to a remote island ruled by the cruel "lion birds." Most of the characters are familiar from Funke's Dragon Rider and this book does not disappoint as a sequel with suspenseful adventure, creative characters, and the mixing of the modern world with the fantastical. Even those who have not read the previous work will enjoy delving into this world, as enough background is given for it to be a standalone. Detailed black-and-white drawings curve around and throughout the text, adding visual context for the story. Well-chosen quotes from various famous modern and ancient literary works perch on each chapter heading. A glossary of the myriad human and animal characters allow readers easy reference as needed throughout.
VERDICT A not-to-be-missed fantasy by an author who is master of her craft.

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