Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen

Published: 2006

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 326 pages

Setting: WWI England and the Archipelago of Dreams

Font: Adobe Jansen Pro

Interest: This is book one in the The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series. I had picked up the last book in the series and noticed the main characters included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. My interest (as well as Mr. Curiosity’s) was piqued. I enjoy reading books that reference other books I’ve read. To have the authors be characters in the story seemed like a premise I could enjoy.

Summary: Charles, Jack, and John are drawn together by the death of Professor Sigurdsson. Their lives become decidedly odd when Bert gives John the Imaginarium Geographica at the request of the Professor. They are forced to flee London, chased by Wendigo, and the Indigo Dragon out of London and into the Archipelago of Dreams. There, the Winter King is trying to conquer the Archipelago, turning people and different islands into shadows of themselves. The Winter King is after the Imaginarium Geographica and the Ring of Power so he can summon the Dragons back to the Archipelago to serve him. The Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica (John, Jack, and Charles) try to keep it safe, but the Winter King steals the book through treachery. They all meet up on the Island at the Edge of the World to battle over who will rule the Archipelago. The Caretakers have a secret weapon – another heir to the throne, Artus. Artus calls the Dragons instead of the Winter King and they turn the tide in the war.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, especially the reveals of who the Winter King and the main characters were. Now I want to read something by Charles Williams. I had to look him up, but he was in the Inklings, a writers group that also included Lewis and Tolkien. This book (and, I’m assuming, the whole series) rewards the well read because the geography and characters come from classic fantastical stories (like Prydain and Captain Nemo).  I enjoyed catching the references sprinkled throughout the book.

Title comes from: The text on old maps that indicated dragons could be found in the unexplored edges of the world (although in the case of the Imaginarium Geographica, it was a literal statement). It was also a phrase found on each page of the map so John could translate all the pages.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 24/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and an O in my Alphabet Soup Author Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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