High overhead, a dragon flies on coppery wings and rains down fire and destruction. It is the last of the great beasts, bent on wreaking havoc. Everywhere it flies, it chars the medieval English countryside, turning it and its people to gray ash with its fiery breath. Despairing and terrified, the people pray for a hero to save them.
Jude is no hero. But when his family falls victim to the terrifying menace, he sets out to destroy the beast, even though he knows he has no hope of succeeding. Joined by a strange, beautiful young woman from a country far beyond the sea, Jude tells his tale of the hunting of the last dragon.
Nothing like it has ever been told before.
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Sherryl Jordan is the author of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including The Raging Quiet, a School Library Journal Best Book, and the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Wolf-Woman and Winter of Fire. She lives in Tauranga, New Zealand.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-7 In this multilayered tale set in an alternate 14th-century England, a British peasant lad and a Chinese orphan far from her native Hangchow set out to kill the last fire-breathing beast to survive a systematic extermination. Deeply traumatized after returning from an outing to find his village a blackened ruin and his family dead, Jude is picked up by a traveling fair. His job is to tend to "Lizzie," a young woman with bound feet who is exhibited in a cage as a freak. Amid news of more destroyed settlements, Jude and Jing-wei (her real name) grow close, then escape together, fetching up in the cottage of an ancient Chinese herb woman. She convinces them to take on the dragon, arming them with both practical lore and a goodly store of gunpowder. Grieving for his family, and frequently quarreling with his vexingly strong-minded companion, Jude makes an engaging, reluctant hero. Through his eyes, readers will find Jing-wei admirable, too; not only is she definitely the brains of the operation, but she also has courage enough for two. She's also crazy about Jude, as everyone but he can plainly see. After a close, brutal battle reminiscent of Aerin's fights in Robin McKinley's Hero and the Crown (Greenwillow, 1984), the two repair to a monastery to heal. Jordan shoehorns in yet another plot line by framing Jude's tale as a monk's word-for-word transcription including general banter and complaints about a monastery guest who has become a suitor for Jing-wei. By the end, the scales have fallen from Jude's eyes, and his tale makes absorbing reading despite the narrative artifice. -John Peters, New York Public Library
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060289023
Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060289023 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0009269