This is the second book in Paul Cude’s White Dragon series. It follows on after the events in book 1.
If you’ve not read any of his books before, I will tell you that the concept is an original one.
Dragons live below the ground in a complex society. They have houses, monorails and many other things we have. The one thing they can do which we can’t is use magic.
Dragons use this magic in order to protect and help humankind. In order to do this, they take human form and live amongst us.
Treachery from the sands of Egypt to the plains of Antarctica.
Following on from the harrowing events of ‘A Threat From The Past’ (Book 1), a new found friendship with the dragon king is forged.
Soon though, young and old alike are unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.
Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons’ friendship like never before.
New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen.
Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.
Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.
The tale begins in the distant past, with an exciting chase. A dragon, in human form is trying to help prevent a meeting between Ptolomy and Alexander the Great, for the good of Humanity.
We then learn that this is a story being told to young dragons in the ‘nursery ring’.
Peter, Tank and Ritchie, from Book 1, are again featured.
Peter has struck up a friendship with the dragon king after he visits with Peter in the hospital at the end of Book 1. He and his friends are invited to visit the king. While they are there, some terrible news breaks and they become involved in solving a dastardly plot from Antarctica.
The story was exciting, especially at the end.
Peter, although the main character in the story, is the least well-drawn. He has very few outstanding characteristics. He’s a ‘nice’ young man. He works for Croptech, a company involved in the production of the metal, laminium, that is very important in the dragon world. Here, he is in charge of security.
Tank, on the other hand, is a kind-hearted dragon. He does seem to have more about him than Peter, especially when he stands up to his boss. He works in a shop selling and researching spells (called mantra).
The last of the trio is Ritchie. She is a feisty young woman, and often gets herself into trouble for ignoring rules.
Tank’s boss, Tee Gee is my favourite character and the most well-drawn. He is an ancient, irascible dragon who hides a kind heart beneath a grumpy exterior.
In this book, we are introduced to Flash, a member of the King’s Crimson Guard, an elite force. In many ways, Flash is an innocent of human and dragon society, having spend much of his life working alone.
Sadly, like the first book, the writing leaves much to be desired. Mr Cude hops from head to head. One minute we’re looking at the world from Peter’s point of view, then the next from, say, Ritchie. On at least one occasion, he changes viewpoint in the middle of a sentence.
Many of his paragraphs are overlong. I assume he got carried away with the story.
There are occasional wrong words used.
He seems to think the readers have poor memories, and he keeps reminding us that dragons have eidetic memories, that Ritchie, is small, etc.
And the sports. There were 31 pages devoted to a hockey match at one point. This match was not essential for the plot, nor did it add anything to our knowledge of the characters. I skipped it.
One final thing that I found irritating was Mr Cude’s seeming reluctance to tell us who a chapter was about until at least a page and a half in, using the pronouns, ‘he’ and ‘she’.
I got the impression that Mr Cude got to the end of the book, wrote The End, sighed with relief and pressed ‘Publish’ without reading it through again.
This was an excellent, and exciting story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the writing lets it down. This is a pity. My feelings about the series are mixed. I want to know what happens next (this book ended with a cliffhanger), but will I be able to cope with the amateurish writing?
I’m giving it 4*, in spite of the writing, because it’s a good story.