By Dugald A Steer
Published by Templar
ISBN 978 1 84011 792 9
Dragonology, as everyone knows, is the scientific study of dragons. However, it is a somewhat secretive science, and dragonologists go about their studies almost behind closed doors because their field of expertise is ridiculed by many other scientists.
The problem lies with the age-old question: do dragons exist? Eminent dragonologist Dr Ernest Drake has assembled creditable proof that they do, but he continues to be guarded about his work because he does not want the general public to know the truth about the solitary and enigmatic creatures he studies.
However the good doctor does run a school for interested young dragonologists.
The Dragonology Chronicles are a series of adventures involving Dr Drake's students. In the first of the series, The Dragon's Eye, 12-year-old Daniel Cook and his sister, Beatrice, know nothing about dragons when the story begins. But by the end of this exciting tale, they're practically experts.
Daniel and Beatrice are looking forward to going home after another long term at boarding school. But a letter arrives, saying their mum and dad have gone to India for work, and that the siblings will be looked after by family friend, Dr Drake. Hugely disappointed, the children travel to Dr Drake's shop, Dragonalia, in a rundown area of London, and arrive just as a mysterious crate is being delivered. There appears to be something alive inside. And is that smoke escaping from the corners?
It doesn't take long for Daniel and Beatrice to get caught up in Dr Drake's scientific world. But a threat is looming. A sinister rival dragonologist, Ignatius Crook, has his sights on a fabulous gem called "The Dragon's Eye" that would give him control over all the dragons in Britain. Dr Drake and his students have to use all their expertise and knowledge to stop him.
The Dragon's Eye is a fast-moving read for young readers who might already have a spark of interest in dragons. Despite its pretend "scientific" approach and the dragon "facts" that are crammed into the story, this is not a heavy or demanding book.
It is geared to young readers, who will probably accept dragonology with no questions asked. And for budding fantasy readers, this will probably lead to greater and more exciting things.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com