Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade series opener, involves two worlds. In one, young Sirin Sharma is in the slow process of losing her only parent to illness (and her cat to hard-hearted caregivers). It seems to be the same world you and I live in, specifically modern London.

And in the other world are Allie and Joss, orphan sister and brother. In their medieval-ish world there are very few humans left, because the evil raptor dragons have a taste for human flesh. (There are good dragons too, and dragons also eat sheep.) Allie and Joss lead slave-like lives as housekeeper and shepherd to a nasty human couple.

When Joss finds a silver dragon egg and watches it hatch, he realizes he’s become the special human bonded for life to a very unusual baby dragon–a silver one.

Silver dragons somehow are the only ones who can find the portal between the two worlds. Will the raptor dragons and their cruel humans be able to steal the baby silver dragon–and use him to get to a whole new world full of helpless humans?

And what does Sirin, in misery in London, have to do with any of this?

I found Allie and Joss’s story to be a page-turner with a strong moral center, including some very, very bad guys and some good guys who risk everything for someone else. Angie Sage is a multi best-selling author, and I can see why.

Of course the story doesn’t end, but leads into wherever the tale is going next, since it’s first of a series. But there’s a feeling of closure and relief .

Discern: The horrible idea of dragons eating humans is present but never actually shown.

The back-cover copy contains spoilers, that’s a problem! Also, there are a few jarring point-of-view shifts. I think the book needed a bit more editing.

Overall, I’ll give it four stars. * * * *

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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