Thursday 13 April 2023

Curse of the Shadow Dragon - Tracey West and Graham Howells - Dragon Masters Book 23

Curse of the Shadow Dragon
Dragon Masters Book 23
Tracey West (Author)
Graham Howells (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781338776942
eISBN 9781338776966

My daughter was very frustrated when we finished this book. First she could not believe she had finished it, in was early in her third day of reading time. Second it just ends, nothing is resolved and we do not even have a clear plan or idea where things are going next. And third based on the next two announced the story that starts in this one will not resolve until at least that second volume, and she has 5 months to wait for the next book, and then another 5 for the one after that. Those two books are: #24 Dawn of the Light Dragon and #25 Legend of the Star Dragon. We had to pre-order both the day we finished this one which was just three days after it released. That is the strength of these stories.

This is another great read in an excellent series. These books are well below my youngest daughters reading level. But she loves them so much. She reads for 20 minutes 5 days most weeks and a book in this series use to take her 10-12 days to read. This one she read in just over 2 sittings, even faster than the last one. I have said it before and I state it again, this series gets better and better. It has serious staying power.  This volume we get a few more surprises, and to be honest our biggest cliff hanger ending yet! This is book 23 but we have reread a few of the volumes, making it the 35st time we have read a book in the series together, and she has read most of them 3 or 4 times waiting for new ones to come out. As a family we eagerly await the new volumes that have been announced. This volume Graham Howells is the illustrator, he has illustrated a few in the series. But let us return to this volume. 

The part of the description of this volume is:

“Drake and Worm meet a Shadow Dragon in the latest action-packed installment of this New York Times bestselling series!

Pick a book. Grow a Reader!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

A huge shadow is blanketing the sky, spreading across every kingdom. And wizards all over the world are losing their magic powers! The Dragon Masters soon discover that a Shadow Dragon named Chaya and his Dragon Master, Aruna, are responsible for the sky-shadow. Drake teams up with Jean to figure out how this Shadow Dragon has so much power. Will they stop the sky-shadow, or will the world fall into complete darkness? And is evil magic to blame for all this chaos?”

This story is the start of what appears to be a darker and longer story line than any of the others in the series.. My daughter reads through the chapter titles before beginning, and she guesses what might happen. The chapters this time are:

The Strange Shadow
Something is Wrong
The Shadow Dragon
Mixed-Up Magic
A Gentle Dragon
The Shadow Phantoms
The Wizard’s Tale
We’re Doomed!
The Escape
Find the Scroll!
Help from Afar
The Phantom’s Touch
The Next Move

The story starts with Drake and some of his friends and their dragons having a picnic in the Valley of Clouds. It starts with something dark in the sky, and Drake at first wonders if it is already night time. But the dark shadow was creeping across the sky. Worm gave Drake a warning and soon the adventure begins. They visit old friends looking for help, and another old friend shows up having a feeling his help was needed. Something evil is afoot, and Drake and his friends must find a legend to help resolve the situation. But to find out you will need to read this and at least 2 other stories.

This is another great read in an excellent series. It has real staying power. Even though they are well below my daughters reading level she still loves them! I believe they will be lifelong favourites. We can easily recommend this book and series! 

Dragon Master Books:
1. Rise of the Earth Dragon
2. Saving the Sun Dragon
3. Secret of the Water Dragon
4. Power of the Fire Dragon
5. Song of the Poison Dragon

6. Flight of the Moon Dragon
7. Search for the Lightning Dragon
26. Cave of the Crystal Dragon
27. Haunting of the Ghost Dragon
The Epic Guide to Dragon Masters

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