The Storm Dragon

by Paula Harrison
Series: Secret Rescuers 1
Reviewed date: 2017 Sep 15
119 pages
cover art

The Storm Dragon is the first book in The Secret Rescuers series. Young Sophy is an orphan working as a maid in the Queen's castle. Sophy longs to travel the kingdom and meet magical creatures, which she's heard so many stories about: dragons, firebirds, unicorns, and more. But since the King's death, the Queen has come under the influence of Sir Fitzroy, and Sir Fitzroy hates magical creatures. You see, he was gored by a unicorn when he was a boy, and the gaping wound in his left eyesocket never healed properly. The constant pain has driven him mad with revenge-lust. He screams and raves in his high tower, but in his lucid moments he whispers false promises in the Queen's ear, and she's convinced he's an oracle. She signs a decree against magical creatures.

OK, none of that is true about Sir Fitzroy, except the part about a bad childhood experience with a unicorn turning him off magical animals forever. Sophy figures that if a unicorn hurt little Fitzroy, then Fitzroy had probably antagonized the unicorn: "An animal as lovely as a unicorn wouldn't have hurt anyone without a very good reason!"

One morning a baby storm dragon crashes into a tree just outside the castle. Sophy rescues him before Sir Fitzroy's search party can apprehend the dragon. Sophy is able to speak to the dragon using a magic Speaking Stone, which she had found among some of the the King's old belongings that the Queen had discarded. The dragon's name is Cloudtwister. Cloudy for short. His wing is hurt and he can't fly, so Sophy will have to keep Cloudy safe and hidden until she can bring him some dragonweed to heal his injury.

Complicating matters, the royal housekeeper Mrs. Ricker still expects Sophy to perform her chores, which include polishing and dusting the Queen's chambers, and serving dinner to the Queen and Sir Fitzroy. And there's the little dragon himself, who, like a curious kitten, would rather explore the castle than stay safely hidden. It's tough work keeping him safe from Sir Fitzroy. With help from her friend Tom, Sophy smuggles the dragon out of the castle and brings him to a patch of dragonweed. Cloudy eats the leaves and his wing heals. He takes to the sky just in time to meet a sky full of dragons: his family has come to find him.

The adult storm dragons fly off with Cloudy. Later, Cloudy and his adult brother Windrunner return to meet Sophy on the roof of the castle. She hops on Windrunner's back and flies off to her next adventure: the sky unicorns need help!

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