The Dragon and her Boy is a brilliantly exciting, fast-paced adventure set in a past London, brimming with peril, intrigue and humour, that enthralled me throughout.
The gutterling friends and tumblers, Stick, Spud and Sparrow, who we previously met in Tiger Heart, are separated when there is a commotion beneath the streets during an unnatural Great Heat. Could their disappearance have anything to do with a terrifying figure seen by Stick, a figure from his past?
The other children who are surviving on London’s streets sense that something is wrong in the City, and tell Stick about a strange woman who is taking children. Determined to find his lost friends, Stick finds himself beneath the streets of London, and face-to-face with … a dragon! A rather irascible, easily offended dragon – the last of her kind – who has become stuck in an underground tunnel after running away from grave danger. AND she’s just brilliant – and rather partial to a little flattery – and crumpets!
Discovering that they have a common enemy, the dragon and Stick join forces and embark on an incredible adventure to rescue Stick’s friends and each other; an adventure that sees them form a wonderful bond of friendship; and, an adventure that sees Stick confront terrors from his past. Their friendship is filled with wonderful repartee, trust and a need to protect each other. Stick is incredibly courageous, thinking about others before himself and facing up to his fears in order to save both old and new friends from someone who has caused him great pain in the past.
This is a fantastically fast-paced adventure, brimming with danger, revelations and intrigue: a real page-turner. The bonds of friendship between the gutterling children, who have become a family, are incredibly touching which leads to some poignant moments, but also a real sense of hope as they are determined to work together, despite the risks they have to take, to help each other. I really enjoyed the language used between the children and felt this helped me become part of their world. The author has included ‘Stick’s Guide to Gutterling’ in the Author’s Notes which I found fascinating.
This is a story that will take you on an incredible adventure, an adventure filled with daring and danger, with truths unfolding, with courageous hearts and heart-warming friendships. Truly glorious storytelling!
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.