Tao’s eyes were wide. A terrified whimper escaped from his gaping mouth. Standing in front of him was a dragon.
The creature observed the boy with unblinking eyes, and took a step towards him. Convinced that the dragon was about to attack, Tao turned to run, hoping he could climb out a window. Fear gave him speed, but the dragon was faster.
Hundreds of years after the events of the third Dragonkeeper book, readers have a new chance to enter the wonderful world of dragons and their keepers. This time the hero is Tao, a descendant of Ping, the heroine of the first three books. Tao is a novice in a Buddhist monastery, determined to live a good and peaceful life to earn karma for his twin brother. But his peace is interrupted when he is visited by Kai – at 465 a teenager in dragon terms. He is on a quest to find his new dragonkeeper, and is sure Tao is that person, in spite of Tao’s reluctance.
Together boy and dragon journey through troubled times, each helping and learning from the other. Tao realises that Kai has secrets and that only he can help him – but he, too, can be helped to meet his true destiny.
Blood Brothers is the fourth in the Dragonkeeper series and, rather than picking up where the previous one left off, has deliberately been placed in a new time period, allowing a new cast of characters and a new historical backdrop. Although Kai, who was centre stage for the second and third books, is still very much a focus, he is a different Kai, no longer an enthusiastic hatchling looking for his kind, but a troubled teen trying to find his way in the world and with a past he has trouble coming to terms with.
What is common to the earlier books is the qualitty of the writing, with a beautifully woven story, action and adventure, and characters readers will come to love or loathe and want to hear more about. The new offering does stand alone but, with the first three books rereleasd to coincide with its publication, readers will enjoy reading (or rereading) the whole series.
Blood Brothers (Dragonkeeper), by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.