Read Dragons of Darkness by Antonia Michaelis Anthea Bell Online


The author-translator team behind the internationally acclaimed Tiger Moon reunites for this lush, exotic tale of fantasy and adventure—and dragons galore. In this thrilling modern-day fable, two boys from very different backgrounds are thrown together by magic, mayhem, and a common foe. Jumar, an invisible prince, wants to free his native Nepal from invaders. Christopher,The author-translator team behind the internationally acclaimed Tiger Moon reunites for this lush, exotic tale of fantasy and adventure—and dragons galore. In this thrilling modern-day fable, two boys from very different backgrounds are thrown together by magic, mayhem, and a common foe. Jumar, an invisible prince, wants to free his native Nepal from invaders. Christopher, a shy German boy, wants to find his kidnapped brother. Together they embark on a journey through the wilderness of Nepal—a journey that proves to be a dangerous rite of passage. Fighting the beautiful but deadly dragons that beset the country, the two boys learn that in order to change the world, they must first change themselves.F&P level: X...

Title : Dragons of Darkness
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780810940741
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 566 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dragons of Darkness Reviews

  • Jay Smit
    2018-11-02 11:28

    Let me first say that I didn’t finish the book and I’m really just writing this review because the memory of the book popped into my head again and I needed to express and vent the thoughts of disappointment, regret and outrage I felt for it.Let’s start at the beginning. I looked at the book and thought to myself that this looks interesting; a nice fantasy novel to enjoy. Read the synopsis, a boy named Christopher in Germany is mysteriously transported to Nepal, the young prince of Nepal, Jumar, has never been seen by his subjects nor has ever left the kingdom, escapes on a quest for revenge of his best friend and servant.As I began to read the book, I was in total disbelief that Jumar was really invisible. I mean seriously, invisible?! That didn’t make any sense and no one in the story knew why he was born invisible and why anything he touched became invisible. That annoyed me a bit but I overlooked it and continued.Then the POV switched to Christopher in Germany and how he has this much loved, handsome, better than him, older brother, Arne, who was kidnapped by rebels in Nepal and all his family is worried. Then Christopher picks up a book with a picture of a jungle in it and is suddenly transported to the jungle and he doesn’t understand how. WTF!!?? Was the book magical or did he have a secret power?? None of that was implied, the story moves along. That was strike two!Anyway, Christopher later meets Jumar in the jungle and they together explore the rest of Nepal that is being plagued by the colour eating dragons that could turn people into stone whilst fleeing from the general of Nepal’s army and his men, who is attempting to kill the prince and be one step closer to gaining the power of the throne. Ok, getting better and making some sense now.Then the boys meet a rebel girl by the name of Niya (I think? Been a while since I’ve read the book) in a town square advocating for people to join the rebellion and help end the reign of the king, defeat the dragons and restore peace to Nepal. Both boys fall for Niya and journeys with her to the rebel camp. Niya seems to enjoy the company of boys her age but nothing else of the relationship is described in the book. The boys arrive at the rebel camp, go through training and are separated from Niya.Now here’s the weird part. Christopher suddenly falls very ill and is unable to move for a few days. Then one night, he wakes up wanders away from the camp into a field where he discovers Niya, the singing and guitar playing rebel girl. Starts a conversation with her, she says before she dies at a young age, because of being a part of the rebellion, she wants to experience love (I’m not sure), and next thing I knew they’ve decided to have sex with each other and asking one another if they have ever done it before and whether they knew how to do this. Eff this sh*t, I’m done!! Thrid strike, I’m out!What shocked me even more is that after they’ve had sex, Niya pulls out her guitar and plays a song. Utter nonsense. Rubbish. Crap. I know there are fourteen year olds who have sex at that age in society but come on, I wasn’t expecting it. There was no sexual tension described between them to make me believe they wanted to do it with each other and I was not aware that Niya had developed feelings for Christopher. It was like a last minute and desperate idea that the author threw into the story.You should have seen the back of the book. It was glorified with praises for the author’s work, especially for her outstanding work with her award-winning book “Tiger Moon”, and how this was another great creation. Utter Nonsense. Maybe I’m wrong and the book got better and some people may enjoy it but personally, it got on my nerves and still haunts me to this day. That would be the last time I read a book about an invisible person ever again.

  • Mick
    2018-11-03 13:32

    Dragons of Darkness, by Antonia Michaelis, is a novel that portrays the mythical adventures of both an invisible young prince, who is searching for the power to change his kingdom, and a teenage German boy, who mysteriously end up in an unknown realm in search for him brother. Fate somehow managed to brings these two complete different people and set them on an question that would change the fate of a nation. This is a novel that is full of unique twists and plot that leaves the reader hungry for more.A novel such as this contains many themes and ideas. One of the themes that is seem throughout the storyline is persistence eventually brings benefits. Throughout the novel the characters face many challenges due to the fact that they are completely different people. Because of the " hunger, thirst, exhaustion, fear and pain" pg. 98, determination was something that the two needed in order to fight their way through the obstacles and reach their final destination. On the way there was also multiple conflicts that happened between the duo and other people. Christopher, the German boy, constantly say things such as "Oh please [and] Not those again" pg. 117, because he is not used tot he hard life that he was on. Jumar, the heir to the throne, on the other get tired of Christopher's constant nagging thinks of him as a weak willed boy who shouldn't have started this quest in the first place. However through the different events and battles they go through, the pair become inseparable.For anyone who is interested in novels that are full of courage, love and friendship, this is the perfect novel for you. I highly recommend this book because it contains not only a story of 2 young men achieving their goals but also how they achieved them. It also contains many description of the beauty that exist within the country. I find the setting particularly interesting because it was set during the Cold War. I find this setting compelling because i learned about the horror that happened to these countries. But as the book described it, I felt that i was sucked right next to the characters themselves. If not for this setting, I believe that the novel will lose most of its charm. But because of all elements of the story were perfectly put together, this novel is a fictional masterpiece.

  • Amanda
    2018-11-16 10:18

    2 words for you: Epic Fantasy. Michaelis has done it once again. Her beautiful storytelling shines in this tale set in mystical Nepal. We follow the invisible prince who wants only to help his country, and the German boy on a quest to find his older brother. Their stories are woven so completely and tightly together, it seems as though fate itself did all it could to make these two boys meet. They're both warmhearted and only want the best for everyone. Jumar is headstrong and resilient while Christopher is more reserved and thoughtful, less likely to act rashly. Their personalities offset each other beautifully.The writing is timeless; these events could be happening this very moment, or they could've occurred 50 years ago. It has a magical, mystical quality to it as well. It reads like an exciting, thrilling fairy tale. Michaelis's style of writing is unique and creative. I admire her skills. She knows how to craft a well rounded, gorgeous story.

  • Ryan
    2018-10-30 08:36

    Michaelis' fairy tales have a dreamlike quality. One moment you are looking at a book of pictures of Nepal, the next you are wandering the forests of Nepal - the scenes flow like dreams, and the plot flows in the same dreamlike way. It can be confusing, but was an enjoyable confusing.

  • Vicky
    2018-10-27 08:38

    I LOVE these fairy tales by Antonia Michaelis! Please write more!

  • Natasha Deen
    2018-11-04 10:40

    Antonia Michaelis’ novel is magical. No other word for it. Softly written, beautifully told, it’s the kind of story that lingers in your heart long after you’ve turned the final page.

  • Megan
    2018-10-30 10:12

    Okay, so this book is by a German author, translated to English, and I strongly suspect that there is a rather large disconnect between German and American standards when it comes to young adult literature. That doesn't change the fact that my reaction to closing the cover is...What the crap did I just read? This book ping-pongs all over the place when it comes to tone and maturity level. The marijuana reference in the acknowledgements notwithstanding, the books opens with a fairy-tale sensibility. The young (14) protagonists feel like older children, not young teens, and the events are filled with the clearly fantastical (despite the modern-ish setting) and related in "story-telling" way, with an omniscient narrator frequently relating the thoughts and reactions of background character. A book that transports you to another land, a sleeping queen, an invisible prince....I was starting to wonder if this book really ought to be categorized as middle grade when the boob references started coming. Yup, interspersed with flowery, fairy-tale prose about color-eating dragons and invisible heirs to the throne proving their claims to the salt-of-the-earth villagers, we get lovely passages about groups of men oogling a breast-feeding mother or teenage girls or our heroes basically noting any time they encounter a female of the species with a nice pair. Otherwise, the story very much reads like a Lloyd Alexander or maybe one of Dianne Wynn Jones's Howl or Chrestomanci stories. Everything takes a deep dive when our heroes decide to join the Maoist insurgency. All of the sudden, the story is supposed to be grim and serious, and gritty realism is only to be expected. There are references to torture and sexual assault, everyone learns how to shoot, politics are explored with a bit of complexity, and there is an implied sex scene between two fourteen year olds that is supposed to be fine because "they're in war, and that makes everyone mature." Well, first of all, I *might* buy the maturity argument for Niya, but like crap were either Jumar or Christopher hardened before their years by war. They'd had maybe a month of war, although the timeline is vague and screwy. Secondly, it was such a pointless, out of nowhere scene. Any plot significance could have been 100% replaced by a kiss between the two, which would have been so much less problematic on so many different levels. The entire love triangle plot was so aggravating that I wasn't even upset when (view spoiler)[ Niya died(hide spoiler)]. The whole plot continues in this vein, juxtaposing adventures very much in the "anything can happen with little to no justification" vein of fairytale logic and magical happenings with these gritty "war is terrible," "oppression is wrong, but Communism has its problems too" detours. It made for a very strange reading experience. The overlaying of this fantastical tale over Nepal's political situation felt very uncomfortable to me. It struck me as if a JK Rowling had written a story where Bigfoot, not General Sherman, was responsible for the devastation of the South, and when the wizards hunting him finally tracked him down at Appomattox Courthouse, they obliviated all the muggles present into ending the war. While I don't know much about Nepal or its politics, it was clear enough to me that real issues were being brushed over in favor of dragons turning people to bronze, and by a Western author. I constantly wished the author would have just set her story in a fictional, perhaps Nepal-inspired, world of her own invention, because some of her "mythology" was interesting, and the writing, when it worked, was strong. If that also stripped away all the Communism-centric stuff, and her too-sympathetic portrayal of it, so much the better.

  • Chuck Ledger
    2018-10-30 09:19

    I felt that the writing was a little clunky. Maybe it's just me, but 14 year olds having sex seems inappropriate for a 'teen' book.

  • Anna Bablitch
    2018-11-20 13:35

    Have you ever heard of a story involving dragons, invisible people, and rebellions? It may sound a bit crazy at first, but the novel Dragons of Darkness, by Antonia Michaelis, is an adventure in a book. With relatable characters and themes, Dragons of Darkness is not just a book about adventure and fairytales, but also about discovering yourself and who you are. This book has a complicating but riveting plot, along with a setting that’s unbeatable and foreshadowing that will keep you on your toes. I recommend the exciting story Dragons of Darkness is an impeccable, imaginative book that will stay in your heart.To start off, this book has characters that you can easily relate to, whether its because of their problems or their personality. The quote, “Christopher, on the other hand, was the kind of kid who went almost unnoticed,” (2) is just one example the characters being easily relatable. Not only that, but the development of Christopher and Jumar (the main characters) is amazing. They learn to deal with their differences and about themselves; throughout the whole book, they begin to accept who they are and what is in store for them. “He had admired their beauty at the time. Now he was beginning to hate them…” (297) this is a small example of the change in characters. The fact they are similar (to me and many others) in age, personality, and conflict helps the readers understand more.Another big part of Dragons of Darkness is the theme it has. I think that it mainly reflects on how to never give up and that you can always do something, but I also realized that each of the characters have specific themes. “Words were all that he had, all that he could control.” (369) The characters, such as Jumar, learned what he could control, what his talent was. “At that moment, he knew he couldn’t pretend to Kartan anymore.” (439) Here, all of them learn how to deal with their conflicts, internal and external; because of this, the book is even more interesting, as it teaches so many things, big and small.An element that this book did wonderful with was foreshadowing. There are various warnings, both obvious and very unnoticable, that leave you wanting more. “Death will find one of you there in Kathmandu.” (487) “We will meet again soon. Don’t forget to think about us.” (86) They all lead to different events, although a few point out one character’s fate. The moment you get caught up in the action and suspicion, you can’t put this book down.Setting is a very important part of Dragons of Darkness, as it explains clearly not only where and what is happening, but it also explains the characters too. Nepal is the main setting, which includes mountains, villages and castles, but where characters like Jumar and Niya come from, it defines them. “‘My father went into the mountains to join those who want to change things,’ she went on.” (193) The setting is also new and unusual, which I find interesting. “Dozens of exotic birds, invisible in the high branches, were making a lot of noise…” (9) It’s not another boring book taking place somewhere you’ve experienced or understand; you actually get to learn something new about the culture and country of Nepal. This setting makes the book new and exciting.The plot is complicated, but once you get into the book you begin to understand everything that’s happening. Not only that, but everything is connected; the plot isn’t made up of random events all happening at once. “The glow of it. The metal in his hands. Then the crack of the shot, the explosion.” (512) “‘The same story…’ he muttered. ‘They aren’t the same story, they’re the same woman.’” (317) When you get deep into the story, all of the various happenings (the dragons, Arne being kidnapped, etc.) tie together. This sets up for a great plot and makes the novel even more compelling.In conclusion, I think you should read Dragons of Darkness because of its diversity and it’s understanding. The fact that you can actually relate to the characters and their lives makes it an incredible journey, along with the new setting and different and unknown places and people. I recommend this novel to anyone who would be slightest bit interested in this, because this is surely one of the best books I have ever read.Michaelis, Antonia. Dragons of Darkness. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2010. Print.

  • Cleo
    2018-11-07 12:15

    Dragons of Darkness is by Antonia Michaelis, author of Tiger Moon and The Storyteller. Dragons of Darkness is more in the vein of Tiger Moon; it's not as dark and grim as The Storyteller. It's a sort of modern fairy tale or fable, starring two boys. Christopher is a German boy whose older brother Arne vanished into Nepal. Somehow he ends up in Nepal with Jumar, the mysteriously invisible prince. And there are many problems facing Nepal. You see, deadly dragons have come out of the mountains and are attacking the villages. These dragons drain color from the land and turn anyone under their shadow into bronze. And also, the Communists are threatening the king's reign. Jumar and Christopher must somehow save the country.What interested me was that the dragons here are evil, whereas most Asian dragons are considered helpful and good, sometimes supplying the people with precious water. But maybe that's only Chinese dragons. These dragons were more like European dragons (though even more powerful.)Dragons of Darkness (also published by Abrams) is an easy but engaging fantasy. I wanted to share a particular quote that struck me while I was reading. Jumar and Christopher have both discovered disgusting leeches on their legs. "Leeches don't distinguish between visible and invisible prey. They are both deaf and blind. All they can detect is body heat, and they don't care whether they suck noble blood or the blood of a commoner. Leeches are natural Communists."

  • Brianna H.
    2018-11-11 09:15

    I read this book and felt that overall the good parts in this book balanced out the bad. First off, The setting was different from a lot of other books. For the most part it takes place in a country called Nepal high up in the mountains. I loved the way it was brought to life and I felt as if I was there at parts. Another part I really liked was the dragons. It was such a cool concept and It really put an interesting twist on the idea of dragons and what they are. Thats kind of where the good stuff ends for me though. There wasn't really a whole lot of character development throughout the story and most characters had the emotional range of a pop tart. I also never really found out why Niya was there. Like, besides being thrown in there halfway through the book and introduced as the boys love interest she has very little backstory and really doesn't do a whole lot, which is a shame because she had a lot of potential. I did love the idea of an invisible price and thought that was really cool idea. One more thing before I go, I never felt like there was truly a climax, it was always them trying to do somthing so they could go do somthing bigger or harder. So again, it was an ok book overall but I think it could have been better.

  • Laura
    2018-11-04 11:26

    Interesting fantasy about a boy, Christopher, who lives in the shadow of his older, popular, athletic, intelligent, wonderful brother Arne. When Arne is taken hostage by Maoists, er, make that insurgents in Nepal, Christopher decides to learn everything he can about the country and wishes he could save his brother.Suddenly, he's there, in Kathmandu, making the acquaintance of Jumal, the invisible heir to the throne. Together, they go hunting for the Mao, uh, insurgents and Arne, and on their way give rise to many rumors and strange occurences (like the invisible bridge). They also meet Niya, one of the insurgents, and during their time in the training camps each changes in ways that will effect the rest of their lives. Oh, and did I forget to mention the color-eating dragons? I can't say more because of spoilers, but will say I did like the book up through the last part. Sometimes the coincidences just seemed too piled on, as though the author were trying to make it clear that Here Lies Allegory and Here Lies Fairy Tale. The last scenes in Nepal just felt implausible (if one can say that about a fantasy!), knocking this from a four to a three-star review. ARC provided by publisher.

  • Madeline Rose
    2018-10-26 12:12

    This was probably the most confusing, crazy, and wild book I've ever read.Right up there with A Wonderlandiful World.I found that the characters where kind of...odd.Christopher was annoying at times. I disliked Niya VERY much.Jumar was my favorite character out of all of them.Well...and maybe Arne...This was a SUPER thick book, and I'm proud I pushed through, but I had a lot of problems with it;(view spoiler)[ I thought the sex scene was totally weird and inappropriate, I mean...why?!? Another reason I hate Niya...(hide spoiler)],There was more swearing than there should've been. I mean, the characters are fourteen year olds!I found some parts to be gruesome and some of the descriptions were gross. But...I thought the storyline was really interesting. I loved the fact that Jumar wasinvisible . That was really cool and fun to read.All in all, I think this is definitely for older kids, like 14+. That said, I really enjoyed this, even though it was a little odd at times...3.5/5

  • Zachary M
    2018-11-03 06:19

    Even though I have not lived in the medieval times, Antonia made me feel like I was on an adventure with the main characters. The book Dragons of Darkness is very descriptive of what is going on at all times. The main character is Christopher, a German boy that is very shy goes on an adventure to find his kidnapped brother. On the way there he will slay the Dragons of Darkness. During the adventure he meets some other people including the prince named Jumar who can become invisible at will. He also meets a girl named Niya.The theme of Dragons of Darkness is medieval dark times. Christopher likes Niya but does not expose his feelings throughout many pages and pages of adventure. The dragons of darkness suck the color from everything making it hard to survive wherever they go by draining the life from plants. The setting takes us to places like the forest, jungle, plains, and kingdoms. The characters are what make the book so fascinating by having them do actions that make you want to continue.

  • Josie
    2018-11-03 08:37

    I just could not finish this book. I tried, I really did. The beginning was great, since after all, we always talk about invisibility but never really read about what it would be like to be invisible. The middle, though. Ugh. The novel became stuck in a depressing rut of description about a Nazi-esc camp out that the main characters stayed in. Foreeeeever. Then the characters (14 year olds, by the way), formed an incredibly stupid love triangle and two of them had sex, which I found very inappropriate for the target audience (and the age of the characters). After this, the book never really picked up again, at least through about 350 pages. At that point I put it down and couldn't convince myself to pick it back up again. I was sorely disappointed in this novel, especially because the title and cover were enticing and exposition cleverly composed. Overall? Boring, inappropriate, depressing read through.

  • Stefanie
    2018-11-04 13:20

    Christopher, a 14-year-old German, is stunned when he learns that his brother Arne has been kidnapped by Maoist rebels while traveling in Nepal. Suddenly he finds himself mysteriously transported to one of Nepal’s forests, where he meets Jumar, an invisible prince on a journey to destroy dragons and change his country’s future, and Niya, a Maoist rebel girl. Although the book is not action-packed until the end, Michaelis has created compelling characters with interesting stories, and a setting so vivid you will want to travel to Nepal. Despite the cover, this is not a hardcore fantasy book, but rather a present-day fairy tale.

  • Rene Kirkpatrick
    2018-11-22 09:17

    Beautifully written, set in a made up Nepal, a young boy falls into a book of photos about Nepal when his brother goes missing in that country. Once there he sets out to rescue him from the insurgents who have kidnapped him. He makes friends with an invisible boy and a girl with a gun who join him on his quest. Not only are they looking for his brother, they are fighting the insurgents, and trying to find out why, when the dragons fly, the landscape turns gray and the people become bronze and hollow.Lots of fairy tale aspects to the story, a great deal of humor, and a really different reason for dragons.

  • Daniel
    2018-11-13 08:40

    If you like fantasy mixed with political dis-rest then this book is for you. When I found this book at the library I expected something different from what I read. I expected more fantasy elements to be found in this book, not saying that there wasn't and I'm not even saying they weren't good fantasy elements, but I was just expecting more fantasy in it. Michalis did a good job at thinking up a new idea for a fantasy story, and at keeping the story realistic at the same time. Even though this book is not what I expected I recommend to anyone who wants to read a good adventure.

  • Noelle Crawford
    2018-11-17 13:36

    The book is an interesting idea, but for me, to similar to many of the things I wrote in Fourth Grade. I wasn't able to get all the way through it. The charecters don't seem to come alive, nor does the plot line grab my imagination and pull me along. I was able to put the book down, and not pick it back up. The stakes were not high enough, nor was there enough tension. I didn't care about the conclusion.

  • Grace Zhen
    2018-11-09 12:30

    This book is very promising because it showcases the characters' development and achievements. Its full of twists and turns that the characters face. Its interesting but the plot was stretched out way too much, in other words it took the characters a while before they finally got moving to the next event in the book. The prolonged amount of time spent in one place talking, made people want to drop the book.

  • Ann
    2018-10-29 06:31

    This book had a lot of potential, but needed much better execution. The plot is very original, and I loved the idea of the dragons eating colors. The descriptions were good, but everything else: the characters, pacing, and dialogue needed improvement. The characters felt flat, and I never really got to know them. Also, a lot of problems the characters face get resolved in a ridiculously short amount of time.

  • Rebecca Shears
    2018-11-05 12:22

    Aweaome. I thought it was great. I t took me a little while to get in to but than again i have 6 year old twins screaming mom every 2 seconds but once i got into it i couldnt stop. I def thought her pther 2 were etter but that was only because of how it ended. Michaelis does and incrediable job of mixing fantasy with reality. I will read anything she publishes!!!!

  • Rainheart
    2018-11-02 08:34

    I dont like books in which dragons are the badyguys and must be killed. I also dont think i want to read a book about two boys trying to get along by killing my fav fantasy creature- THE DRAGON. besides, if the dragon on the cover is the dragon they killed, they killed a beautifil creature! (except the black eyes, those could go.)

  • Roderick
    2018-11-12 12:28

    Pretty interesting story about two young kids who must save a kingdom and figure out how a dragon with no eyes has the power to suck the color out if things and turn people into bronze statues.I'm not on my best review mood today but over all I like the story and hope to read more of this authorJ Vera

  • Katherine
    2018-10-23 10:36

    The beginning was really confusing. It was well written overall though and dealt with government role in society and explored human nature in some ways. It also explored identity. It was interesting because the Prince was completely invisible and had always been so. The ending was good, and very different then I expected so that was nice.

  • Julia
    2018-11-12 12:28

    An interesting story, but filled with such an odd mix of elements that I wonder if some readers will be put off by the modern combined with the magical. Very eastern in it's storytelling manner, nothing is completely linear. Worth the reading for anyone who is a fantasy fan, or a fan of eastern philosophy. Appropriate for both middle and high school.

  • Nic
    2018-11-11 10:13

    I just finished the ARC of this, which has taken me around two or two and a half weeks, I think. It's long. And strange. In places surprisingly dark, violent, and sad, in other places surprisingly beautiful. I may have more to say after I've had time to think about it a bit. In the meantime, I'll be glad to pick up a book that takes less time and isn't quite so unhappy-fairy-tale-ish.

  • Angela M.
    2018-11-18 08:31

    Relatively Enticing, got a little confused, but it eventually cleared out. Perfect for 5th graders and up.

  • Roshni
    2018-11-12 07:32

    An average storyline, with an unclear plot, and a vague border between reality and dream. Very convoluted.

  • Kristin
    2018-11-07 10:32

    I'm not to happy I found out about this in 2013. I was missing out on an awesome book!!