A Darkness of Dragons by S. A. Patrick
cover illustration by George Ermos
This inventive fantasy adventure is set in the world of the Piper of Hamelyn, where music means magic and a darkness* of dragons roams the skies. Like The Legend of Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood (who adds his recommendation on the front cover), A Darkness of Dragons creates an exciting imaginary world that will leave children eager to get their hands on forthcoming sequels.
Patch Brightwater is a runaway who has turned his back on his piper training. His misadventures lead him to fall foul of the Council of Pipers and he finds himself sharing a prison with the legendary Piper of Hamelyn. After learning a terrible secret and making a spectacular jail break, Patch, along with his companions Wren (a talking rat who used to be a girl) and Barver (a dracogriff who comes to their aid), will go on a personal journey of discovery while uncovering the dark truth about the Piper of Hamelyn.
Just as I felt after finishing Podkin One-Ear, I'm pleased to have found an original new fantasy world I'm certain junior/middle grade readers will love. Start reading A Darkness of Dragons and you'll be swept along too. Just follow the music.
*I looked up collective nouns for dragons and found there are various. 'Darkness' is sometimes used by other fantasy authors, as in Tui T Sutherland's Wings of Fire series. Some say a 'wing' or 'flight' of dragons, which makes me think of The Flight of Dragons, a much-loved animated film from my childhood. A weyr of dragons is the name for a den of dragons. The Japanese word is 'tatsu', a 'thunder' of dragons!