B. L. Sauder,
Year of the Golden Dragon
Coteau Books for Kids, 2009.
The drums have stopped. What does it mean? Master Chen knows. The Black Dragon is angry.
Thousands of years ago a jealous wife of the Emperor of China broke a gift of jade from the powerful Black Dragon. In turn, the angry Black Dragon demanded that all descendents of the Emperor join together at capital’s river to return that gift of jade to him the next time the Year of the Golden Dragon met the millennium – two thousand years later. In this beautiful blend of ancient legend and modern-day metropolis, B.L. Sauder fashions a tale of fantasy, mystery, and family as Chen Hong Mei from China and brothers Ryan and Alexander Wong from Canada, all descendants of the emperor, face, and must fix, the consequences of this ancient legend.
Mysteries have long shaped Ryan, Alex and Hong Mei’s lives – mysteries that converge during the year the millennium meets the Year of the Golden Dragon. Where did Hong Mei’s father go, and why does her mother never speak of him? What really happened during the fire that killed Ryan and Alex’s parents? Why did all their parents so treasure the jade pieces each of them carries and why do so many people now seem determined to steal them? Fans of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series and Blue Balliett’s mysteries will particularly enjoy the mixture of present and past, everyday existence and otherworldly life, and myth and adventure spiced by danger and family secrets.
Ancient magic blends into twenty-first century life as Ryan and Alex travel with their aunt and uncle from Canada to China to celebrate the New Year. But their trip takes an unexpected turn when they discover they must unite with fellow descendant Hong Mei to beat the clock – and ever-present enemies – to unravel and execute the ancient task given to them by the Black Dragon. Together the three find themselves caught up in a fantastical and fantastic series of events centered around three pendants of precious jade, a deadly enemy and a two-thousand-year-old mystery that will change all of their lives forever. Advance readers and reluctant readers alike will enjoy the quick pacing and blend of fantasy and reality in this tale of destiny and adventure.