The Dragon Charmer

by Jan Siegel

Del Ray, August, 2002.
Paperback, 333 pages.
ISBN: 034544258X

The Dragon Charmer by Jan Siegel In Prospero's Children, the first book in this excellent dark fantasy series, we met Fernanda Capel, a child who learns that she is descended from the citizens of the long-vanished Atlantis. Fernanda has some amazing powers, but after the shocking events of her childhood, she has put her Gift aside in order to try to live a normal life. She has a good job in London at an ad agency and she has become engaged to a nice, stable man, although she isn't really in love with him. The night before her wedding, she falls into a deep coma from which she cannot be awakened. Fernanda's soul has been stolen by an evil witch, and she is imprisoned at the roots of the great tree at the heart of Purgatory. While her body lies in a hospital, guarded by her brother, and loyal friends, Fernanda must learn to marshal her powers, defeat the evil that stalks her, and reunite her body and soul.

Jan Siegel is extremely skilled at creating a world which is both ordinary and supernatural at the same time. The characters in this series are wonderfully real: Fernanda's absent-minded father, her best friend, the always practical Gaynor Mobberly, the ancient wizard Ragginbone, Bodachin, the irascible Scottish house goblin and Will, her brave little brother who is growing into a very interesting person indeed. This is an outstanding series, with imaginative plotting, vivid characters and a pervading sense of dark menace.

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This review was published in the September, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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