June 11, 2008

Garden of the Purple Dragon

By Carole Wilkinson
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

This is book two in the Dragon Keeper series. Ping is the Imperial Dragon Keeper. In her first adventure, she helped Danzi, the last dragon in the empire, to escape the palace and journey to the sea. Danzi taught her much and left her with his newly hatched dragon son while he flew to the Isle of Blest to live. Danzi wanted his son Kai to live in freedom, so Ping is in hiding while learning the hard way to raise a baby dragon. But the necromancer she once outwitted is back, eager to kidnap Kai for his magical properties, so Ping flees again, only to end up back where she started. Captured by guards, she is again the Imperial Dragon Keeper with the young Emperor at Ming Yang Lodge. At first Ping is happy to have her Emperor friend back again. Kai likes the Emperor and Ping is learning to read with his sister, the Princess. Life is comfortable. But the Emperor becomes obsessed with finding a way to become immortal, and a dragon lives a very long life...Ping puts the pieces together too late to avoid disaster. Can she save not only herself but Kai? Another interesting fantasy adventure story set refreshingly in ancient China. Readers will be pleased to hear there is a third installment, Dragon Moon.