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!