The Dragon Dreamer by J.S. Burke
The Dragon Dreamer by J. S. Burke is definitely not your typical dragon story. As I began to read, I was confused about how a dragon and an octopus could become friends and communicate at all. The storyline is very creative and original, a fantasy with heart, courage, love, friendship and great imagery. A beautiful story is woven with legends and wonderful storytelling, layered with stories of how they became the creatures/beings they are today. I did not want to put it down.
Arak is a young dragon who feels different from the rest of his clan, has been teased for his unique gifts and treated poorly by his brother. I think this relates to bullying and the problems our youth suffer through today. Arak is a wonderful character whom you cheer for and wish him only good things. He has feelings for Zarina, his best friend and this is another layer to the story.
Through an ice storm, Arak is injured and first meets Scree, a wise and open-minded octopus, and the healer for her pod. They learn to communicate with body and sign language and become friends while Arak heals. Scree is very courageous and forward thinking. Once Arak is healed they go on to convince his clan and her pod to interact, trade goods, exchange stories, and learn about each other’s culture. The pod, clan, and individuals of each experience various issues and challenges during the story and they have wonderful adventures together. This book is very well written and really sucks you in. It leaves you with a smile, good feelings and wanting more.
The author is a marine biologist, teacher, and writer. The story includes actual characteristics of Octopi and other creatures of the ocean. Her love of sea life is very obvious and teaches the reader as she entertains us. She creates a wonderful and seemingly realistic world where dragons exist and their culture more like a true telling of history than fiction. I highly recommend this book to other adults and children. I cannot wait to read the next book and see where Arak and Scree’s adventures take them next!
Note: There is a glossary in the back, which also includes information about the sea life and other words used throughout the book.
There is slight violence as found in nature, attacks on another species to protect the clan and when a Squid attacks.