This is one of the most anticipated reads of 2020, and the proof alone is a thing of beauty. Covered in shiny golden dragon scales, along with the title, it is no spoiler that dragons feature in this epic tale.
When Billy lands in China to attend a summer camp to improve his mandarin skills, he cannot possibly dream of what his summer actually holds in store for him.
As Billy and his new camp mates sit around the fire on their first evening at Dragon Mountain camp, they are hooked on the legend of the mountain they sit in the shadow of. The legend is being shared by Old Gold, leader of the camp. He also explains that the 12 children in front of him are the brightest and best, nominated to attend this camp, where not only will they upgrade their Mandarin speaking skills but will learn martial arts, cooking and will test themselves throughout the summer.
The camp mates are split into teams and these teams need to work and live together to win challenges and gain rewards. Billy, Dylan, Charlotte and Ling are teamed up and must work together to solve the first riddle given. This riddle leads them off the beaten track to find dragon fruit, but there they encounter a far scarier scene, a tiger. Little do the foursome know they have just met part of the legend told their first night in camp. However, running for safety back to camp, they are dismayed to find no one believes them, and they are punished for lying.
Bewildered at the reaction, the foursome must travel back to find Ling’s lost jewellery. They learn then that Old Gold’s legend is truth.
It turns out, the Tiger is the curse keeper and he must be defeated to gain access to the mountain. Hidden within the mountain are dragons, who can only be saved by the perfect balance of heart and bravery…aka….Billy, Dylan, Charlotte and Ling.
The foursome battle their way to the dragons and learn that a bond must be formed between dragon and human. Powers are gifted and allies formed. The dragons are amazing, all vastly different with their own blend of magical abilities, powers and image.
I always try to avoid spoilers and so in doing that, I cannot reveal certain important details….what you need to know Is that this is an incredible story, an epic journey and there are some brilliant twists and surprises along the way.
At times I was shocked, frightened, emotional but I was always full of hope. I loved the characters, and their hugely different personalities. I worried they would argue and fight more but the war they are raging is far more important. Their bonds of friendship are strengthened, and they learn to trust in new ways.
I was so thrilled to be able to read this via NetGalley, and am NEEDING book 2 as the twist and cliffhanger ending has left me wanting more dragons, more legends and more answers!