In the time of the Han Dynasty in ancient China, the last remaining dragon is in danger of being killed by the cruel Emperor. A nameless orphan with no past and an uncertain future becomes his unlikely ally. The young orphan soon discovers that it is her destiny to protect the aging dragon and his mysterious purple stone. Chased by an evil dragon hunter and a powerful sorcerer, their adventure is not easy. Each must learn to help and understand the other if they are to survive. To succeed in her task, the young orphan must reach deep within herself to find courage she never knew existed. No longer can she be the timid, shy orphan she once was. She is now the one, true Dragon Keeper.
This, by itself, is an awesome book. I didn’t really like the others in the series, but this was an amazing fantasy book. I really feel like Carole Wilkinson did a great job with the history of the Han Dynasty and Ancient China. The main character was well-written and the way she comes to care so much for her dragon makes for a heart-warming story. This book is well written and refreshingly different in tone from a lot of other dragon books. People who like dragons but didn’t like Eragon should definitely try this story.
The main character, Ping, is a poor slave girl who is quite illiterate and alone in the world when, through a series of events, escapes with the last living dragon belonging to the Imperial Emperor and flees in the wild. Danzi, the said dragon, struck my heart particularly through his broken Chinese and his “tinkling” and “chiming” through which he communicates his mood.
There were many assorted elements of betrayal; adventure; suspense; hope; friendship and love between Danzi and Ping as they grow in a sort of mentor and student/family relationship. A great read that I’d really recommend for people who like fantasy. One thing I didn’t like was the drops in tempo between each adventure. That kind of dragged down the story, but it led to bigger and better plotlines so that was a plus. Four stars.
pg count for the paperback: 333