Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
I don’t think I can accurately describe how much Here, There be Dragons truly means to me. And how much I love it. I mean, I’m going to try within this review, but I’m pretty certain that I’m not going to adequately put those feelings into words.
Major spoilers abound after this sentence. Read onward at your own peril.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Release Date: September 2006 | Pages: 326
Age Range: Young Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Hardcover | Source: Bought
An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica — an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams.
Pursued by strange and terrifying creatures, the companions flee London aboard the Dragonship. Traveling to the very realm of the imagination itself, they must learn to overcome their fears and trust in one another if they are to defeat the dark forces that threaten the destiny of two worlds.
An extraordinary journey of myth, magic, and mystery, Here, There Be Dragons introduces James A. Owen as a formidable new talent.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- This is a world and a series that has stuck with me for so, so long and I missed it. Even not remembering all the finer details, I remembered what it felt like to read this series. That feeling of home and awe and just pure happiness and…can imagination be a feeling? Because I was always so impressed and inspired by this series, this book in particular.
- The basic premise is blurbed above, but to sum up, our three main characters, John, Jack and Charles, escape London aboard a Dragonship, only to find themselves within the Archipelago of Dreams, a place where all of the worlds they’ve ever read about exist. And they are suddenly the Caretakers over it. Not only was this book fantastic for all the literary references and how clever they were all used and revealed (included a few from Lord of the Rings that particularly made my heart aflutter), but it was just written so beautifully and it just feels so full of magic. I seriously flew through the pages, getting chills on multiple occasions, thanks to either a reference revealed or what the characters were going through or just the writing style in general.
And then, at the end of the book, we find out who our main characters actually are. Charles Williams. C.S. Lewis. And J.R.R. Tolkien.
I immediately started The Search for the Red Dragon and I feel like I will fly through this book just as quickly as I did the first. OH! I forgot to mention one other thing: the drawings. At the beginning of each chapter, these black and white drawings are positively gorgeous and just elevate this series to another level. It makes me wish more books incorporated art within them (and they were done by Owen, as well!!).
Thank you, Mr. James A. Owen, for writing this series and putting so much magic into it. I don’t think I did a great job at describing just how much I love it, but to return to it, with the goal of finally finish it, and get lost in this magic all over again?
That has been the greatest treat of all.