City of Thieves (Battle Dragons #1)

Alex London. Scholastic, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-338-71654-2
“Reckless, easily distracted, and afraid of heights,” Abel, 13, is secretly glad that he failed the Dragon Rider Academy Entrance Exam, though it means he can’t follow in the footsteps of his older brother Silas. But when Abel accidentally bonds with a stolen, “rare and valuable” dragon named Karak, he becomes a pawn of one of the dragon-riding criminal kins that dominate the technologically advanced city of Drakopolis, expected to train and fly on their behalf. With his implied white family—particularly rebellious older sister Lina—thoroughly entangled in a multi-faction struggle between the various kins and Drakopolis’s secret police, Abel must enlist his best friend, nonbinary veterinarian-in-training Roa, as well as Karak himself, to help save them all. London (Gold Wings Rising) establishes an absorbing semifuturistic society where technology and dragons go hand-in-wing, the latter used for everything from transportation to settling gang disputes high in the sky. Abel proves a quick-witted protagonist who copes well with the constant danger and unsettling revelations that invert his world. Fast-paced and adventurous, this series starter hints at a complicated, fascinating setting while leaving plenty to be explored in subsequent installments. Ages 8–12. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/08/2021
Release date: 09/21/2021
Genre: Children's
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