Three Tasks for a Dragon (Hardcover)
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With wit and gorgeous art, New York Times best-selling author Eoin Colfer and multi-award-winning illustrator P.J. Lynch team up again for a quest story of knights, dark magic, and a maiden with powers of her own.
Studious Prince Lir is next in line to become the Wolfhound King, but he can’t ride a horse, lift a sword, or summon the fabled wolfhounds. So his stepmother decrees that her own son will inherit the crown instead, sending Lir away on a seemingly impossible—and assuredly fatal—quest: to rescue the maiden Cethlenn from the once-fearsome dragon Lasvarg. Rather than wage battle, Lir insists that Lasvarg, now decidedly past his prime, honor tradition by setting him three tasks to perform—starting with tackling the mold encrusting the dragon’s cave (and his feet!). As Lir improves Lasvarg’s life, he also grows closer to Cethlenn . . . as well as the wolfhound puppy strangely devoted to her. In time, they learn more of the dark magic that may be making pawns of them all—and how Cethlenn herself could be the key to breaking a spell that clouds the entire kingdom. With transporting language and a magnificent dragon masterfully rendered with a range of emotions, Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch make their own magic in this classic fantasy with a light feminist twist.
About the Author
Eoin Colfer is the New York Times best-selling author of the children’s fantasy series Artemis Fowl. His other notable works include Half Moon Investigations, Airman, and The Supernaturalist as well as his previous collaboration with P.J. Lynch, The Dog Who Lost his Bark. The recipient of many awards, he lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
P.J. Lynch has won many awards, including the Mother Goose Award, the Christopher Medal three times, and the Kate Greenaway Medal twice, first for The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and again for When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. He is the author-illustrator of The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower and The Haunted Lake. P.J. Lynch lives in Dublin.
[A] story of gifts discovered in struggle and friendship forged in adversity. . . Colfer draws out details of kingdom-building in lyrical language while interweaving his characters’ relatable idiosyncrasies, motives, and griefs. Lynch’s sandy orange and misty blue hued watercolor illustrations, replete with detailed dragon profiles and majestic wolfhounds, seamlessly frame the story. . . An elegant and inspired fairy tale that feels both familiar and freshly penned.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A fabulous fairy tale with a standout style that feels pleasingly traditional and yet terrifically fresh, and the well-drawn characters often subvert classic genre expectations. The elegant text is sonorous and suspenseful, always with the feeling of a twinkle in its eye, and every page is splendidly illustrated. . . A wonderfully classic fairy tale that still surprises and delights.
—Booklist (starred review)
Colfer takes familiar fairytale themes (family, bravery, questing) and twists them ever so slightly to produce an enchanting and uncommon fantasy about found family and power from unexpected places. Lynch's pencil drawings are digitally colored in muted tones and delicately lined, graceful and elegant like the work of contemporary Chris Riddell. Three Tasks for a Dragon shows quests (and heroes) need not be about physical strength; great heroes can be calm, resourceful, and kind.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
A quest that suggests certain death unfolds quite differently in this reason-centered fantasy novella by previous collaborators Colfer and Lynch. . . . Colfer combines thrilling moments and hints of romance, while Lynch provides misty fantasy landscapes and portraits of the story’s heroes and villains in expressive art.
Vibrant, glowing artwork is a highlight, with spot drawings throughout and intricate linework that invites the reader to pause and explore the details of each scene. The trim page count and stunning illustrations make this an appealing offer to reluctant readers, while fantasy and fairy tale buffs will gravitate to this book on their own, based on little more than the promising title that hints at (and ably delivers) a memorable quest.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A lavishly illustrated epic journey, ‘Three Tasks for a Dragon’ is bound to leave readers and listeners breathless, start to finish.
—The Reading Eagle