Review posted October 22, 2021.
Harper, 2019. 261 pages.
Review written December 24, 2019, from my own copy purchased via amazon.com
People in Rafi’s village are afraid of him. He’s different. He’s got fire-red hair, he likes to hang out up high on the fell where a dragon used to hoard teacups, there’s a spark in his eyes, he isn’t bothered by heat or cold, and most alarming of all, he has been seen to start fires by looking at something.
But when people come from the factory owner from the big city and they notice Rafi, that’s when trouble starts up. They threaten his Da and threaten his village if he doesn’t come with them.
With one thing and another, Rafi sets out on a quest to find and save the dragons. But he’s being followed. The factory owner Mr. Flitch wants something from Rafi, and he’ll take it from Rafi’s village if Rafi won’t give it up.
I like the dragons in this book. They’re varying ages, abilities, and sizes, and they all hoard something distinctive, things like knitted items, or pieces of glass, or spiders. Rafi has to travel far to talk to the different dragons. Mr. Flitch is after the dragons, and they’re in danger. Is there anything Rafi can do about that?
I also especially like Maud, the companion Rafi meets along the way. She says she’s a dragon scientist, and she’s interested in dragons for the love of them. She’s not bothered or scared by the ways Rafi is different, and she helps him along the way.
Despite being chased, this book comes across as a gentle story of a kind-hearted boy who’s dragon-touched and is trying to figure out what that means.