Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Shadow Dragon (YA, Adult)

Owen, James A. 2009. The Shadow Dragons. (Book #4 in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.) Simon & Schuster. 417 pages.

"We are definitely lost," John said with decisive authority. "I haven't the faintest idea where we are."

The fourth in the series. (The first book: Here There Be Dragons; The second book: The Search for the Red Dragon; The third book: The Indigo King). How do you review a book that's fourth in a fantasy series? I want to just say read this book if you like fantasy and time travel and Arthurian legends. Or read this book if you like action and adventure. Or read this book if you like reading literature. Because there is nothing I can say that will do this one (or any of the others) justice.

Even though these are marketed as young adult, I think they are just as much for adults as anyone else. They're long, complex fantasy novels. Our three heroes aren't young teens on a quest. They are all older men. They get older with every book. (So far we've spanned from around World War I through World War II in these four books.) These books are rich in detail. The more fantasy you've read, the more you'll appreciate everything. That's not to say you have to be well-read to appreciate the action and adventure. I'm just trying to say that this one has enough to offer a variety of readers.

This fantasy stars three Inklings: C.S. Lewis (Jack), J.R.R. Tolkien (John), and Charles Williams. These three are caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica. And in this fourth book, we meet even more caretakers.

The book begins in the late 1930s. But there is so much time travel involved, that much of the action takes places in their future. (World War II.) We've got wars on both sides--in the Archipelago of Dreams and the real world. And of course, these wars are connected. To win the world war, these three caretakers (and friends) will need to battle the real enemy in the Archipelago, and that enemy is not a new enemy.

I really loved this one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Aubrey said...

I have been looking at this series for a while now, I guess I need to add it to the top of my pile! Thanks for the review!

Phillip H. Tang said...

I'm interested in finding out more about what role fantasy giants like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Charles Williams play. I will have to read your previous reviews on this series.

Unknown said...

Hello Becky – I’m a British author and a fellow member of Bookblogs, and I wanted to invite you (and your readers) to participate in my Blogsplash – there’s more information at Thanks for listening!

DesLily said...

I am in the middle of this book right now... and I agree James has written a really good series! He put a lot more of his artwork throughout this book too!

Ms. Yingling said...

This is such an awesome series that I haven't started this book because I want to have it to look forward to and savor it slowly!

Thomas said...

Thanks for the review.
I'm thinking of buying it now and start reading it right away.