cover image DRAGON RIDER


Cornelia Funke, , read by Brendan Fraser. . Listening Library, $33 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-9090-7

Funke's (The Thief Lord ) tantalizing fantasy about a quest to find the magical Rim of Heaven, the legendary place where dragons can live in peace forever, is a wildly entertaining ride, thanks to Fraser's top-drawer performance. The actor exudes the enthusiasm of a kid at Christmas as he tackles a full roster of inventively written characters, including heroic dragon Firedrake, human boy Ben (who just may be a dragon rider) and various comrades and enemies. From the mellow whisper of a weary, aging dragon to the spunky and hilarious fast-clip lilt of a Scottish-accented brownie named Sorrell, Fraser nimbly moves through this vivid and briskly plotted adventure. Listeners will find much to like—and much to keep track of—as the journey to escape human destruction progresses and gathers more excitement, travelers, dangers and intrigue along the way. In Fraser's command, Funke's punchy dialogue and descriptive storytelling style sparkle. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)