Carole Wilkinson was born in the UK but now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and daughter.
Garden of the Purple Dragon is the much-anticipated sequel to Dragonkeeper, winner of the 2004 Aurealis Award and the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers. The novel continues the story of the former slave girl, Ping, as she desperately struggles to raise the baby dragon, Kai, alone. Tracked down by the Emperor and installed in the Imperial Palace, life initially seems to have taken a turn for the better. But what role does Kai play in the Emperor’s obsessive quest for immortality? Where does the sinister necromancer fit in? And will Ping’s desire to find her family interfere with her destiny as Dragonkeeper? Wilkinson once again blends fantasy and history to create a rich and absorbing portrait of Chinese life during the Han Dynasty. The plot is thoughtful and intricate, the characters skillfully drawn, and the prose as strong and sinuous as a dragon’s tail. The book’s greatest strength, however, is its meticulous attention to historical detail, with maps, a glossary and pronunciation notes adding authenticity to the narrative. Garden of the Purple Dragon is suitable for readers 10 years and older, and will appeal to both adults and children. While it is a sequel, it is possible to read it without having read Dragonkeeper. Leonie Jordan manages the children’s books department of Dymocks George St in Sydney C. 2005 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
Gr 5-8-In this sequel to Dragon Keeper (Hyperion, 2005), young Ping has rescued Kai, the baby purple dragon, son of Long Danzi, the last of the Imperial dragons, and hidden with him on Tai Shan, the forbidden sacred mountain. The old dragon appointed Ping as Dragon Keeper and entrusted her with the dragon stone, from which Kai has hatched. Ping has escaped the dragon hunter and the evil shape-changing necromancer once, but she knows she must keep Kai's existence secret or his life will be in danger. When the necromancer appears on Tai Shan, Ping must flee again. Aided by her pet rat, Hua, and by her ability to summon her qi power, she escapes, only to be captured by the Emperor's guards. Mistakenly thinking her previous friendship with the young ruler will keep her safe, she is betrayed by him and his obsessive search for immortality. She barely manages to save herself for another possible sequel. Ping is an appealingly feisty heroine, and the author paints a vivid picture of life in the Imperial Ming Yang Lodge. Readers should be warned that some of the necromancer's practices are horrifyingly graphic. The dragon's baby talk that Ping hears inside her head makes him seem more real, if a bit silly. References to events in the earlier book are sometimes confusing, but should inspire readers to explore Ping's earlier adventures. This believable fantasy should help fulfill the demand for dragon books.-Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.