Sunday, December 31st, 2006...5:03 pm
The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon by Isabel Allende
Commissioned by International Geographic to write an article about the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, writer Kate Cold decides to invite her 15-year-old grandson, Alex, and his Brazilian friend, 13-year-old Nadia, to accompany her to the fabled and inaccessible kingdom nestled high in the Himalayas. Alex and Nadia are delighted to be reunited after a year’s separation, and eager to set off on a new adventure, their first since voyaging together deep into the heart of the Amazon to meet the People of the Mist, a lost Indian tribe. They are struck by the beauty and civility of the Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, and by the tenets of Buddhism, which shape the every action of its people, from the king down to the poorest nun or monk begging for food along the roads.
But danger lurks in the form of the Specialist, a criminal genius who specialises in acquiring items for very wealthy and discerning clients. And the Collector, irritated by the fact that there is one man in the world who is wealthier than he, is determined to acquire the statue of the golden dragon which, legend says, confers absolute knowledge to its possessor.
Alex and Nadia are rapidly drawn into the plot to steal the golden dragon from the Kingdom which bears its name, and must rely on their totemic animals, the jaguar and the eagle, as well as on the lessons they learned in the Amazon to help Tenzing, a Buddhist lama, and his young student, Dil Bahadur, who is heir to the throne, to foil the Specialist’s plot.
The Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, the second book in Allende’s trilogy, is a sequel to the splendid City of the Beasts. This exciting and beautifully written fantasy seizes the reader from the first chapter, and will have you reading straight through to the last page. Readers of Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn series will very much enjoy this book!