The Crackledawn Dragon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Zebedee Bolt runs away from his foster home one night, finding himself drawn to an abandoned theatre in a part of town no one ever seems to visit. But all is not as it seems, and when an evil harpy called Morg appears and promises him the world in return for what sounds like one easy job, Zeb can’t really think of many things he’ll miss on Earth.

Yet when Morg takes him to Crackledawn, a magical world, on a quest to steal the Ember Scroll from the sun, Zeb realises she has no intention of keeping up her end of the bargain. And when the dragon carrying him accidentally drops him into the sea, Zeb meets the Unmappers Oonie and her talking chameleon Mrs Fickletint. Can they help Zeb find the Ember Scroll and write a new future for Crackledawn, or will Morg finally succeed in enslaving all of the Unmapped Kingdoms?

The third book in the Unmapped Kingdoms series by Abi Elphinstone (the fourth, including Everdark, the prequel) reads very well on its own or as part of the series, so readers could easily pick the story up here at its dramatic conclusion, or earlier in the cycle.

As before, we have Elphinstone’s trademark fantastical beasts and characters, including underwater butterflies, Dollop the yoga-loving rock goblin and Trampletusk, the last enchanted elephant who remembers everything that has ever happened. Most of all, though, these are stories about friendship, love, and having faith in yourself. Just lovely.

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