Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Brass Dragon Codex

Brass Dragon Codex

Rebecca Shelley
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Mirrorstone Books, 2009   ISBN: 0786951087

Hector is a gnome who has, like every self respecting gnome, a quest to fulfill. Gnomes are inventors by nature, and Hector is determined to find a way to allow people (and gnomes, dwarves, and elves) to communicate across long distances. Quite by chance, Hector discovers how to send a signal along a copper wire using “lightning.” He builds devices to send and receive messages, but unfortunately, the lightning is dangerous. The leaders of the city of Kaal who see his demonstration are afraid of it and they insist that Hector has to leave their city. Determined to show the leaders that his invention will be invaluable, Hector begins to lay copper wire across the desert. If he succeeds in connecting Kaal to the home of Goldmane, prince of the dwarves, he is sure that they will approve of his invention.

All is going well until Hector is attacked by poisonous centipedes. Luckily he is found by a young orphaned dragon called Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed takes Hector back to his lair and cares for him until his wounds are healed. When Hector gets all better, Tumbleweed, who does not want to be left alone again, offers to help Hector to lay his wire all the way to the kingdom of the dwarves.

In this delightful story, R.D. Henham and his assistant, Rebecca Shelley, share the account that Sindri Suncatcher, “Esteemed Collector of Dragon Tales” sent to Scribe Henman. Readers who enjoy a good dragon yarn will quickly fall in love with Tumbleweed, who never stops talking and who longs for companionship. They will also enjoy seeing how Hector’s outlook on life changes over time.

As Hector’s adventure gets more and more complicated and dangerous, he begins to appreciate that there are things that are more important than fulfilling quests. What about love and friendship, what about doing the right thing?