Book Review: DRAGON RISING by Katie and Kevin Tsang (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in black on yellow illustration of waves and a blue dragon
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - book 4



Billy, Dylan, Charlotte and Ling-Fei are back in their hometowns, missing each other and their dragons. While out surfing one morning, Billy panics when a water dragon emerges out of the waves, and soon strange sightings are being spotted all over the world.

Meeting back in Dragon Realm, the friends, their dragons and two new acquaintances join forces to investigate. But what unravels is a dastardly plan concocted by an evil baddie and a human and dragon battle that will go down in history. It’s up to Billy and friends to save the world, but can they do it?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


DRAGON RISING is the fourth book in the Dragon Realm series, and the start of a new arc. It is another action packed entry, full of magical worlds, danger, and incredible places. There’s a new threat to the dragon and human worlds as strange things happens – dragon sightings in the human world and vanishing landscapes in the dragon.

There are some classic fantasy tropes that I love but are rarely seen these days (or at least it feels that way.) The one that had me squealing (and in a coffee shop just to maximise how many confused stares I got!) was the fact there is a magical sword complete with riddle-bound instructions. The constraints on and the consequences of using the sword works so well within the book.

We get to meet new characters (as well as returning to old favourites.) We have two new humans, Lola, a Hawaiian-Chinese surfer, and Jordan, a Brit and son of a scientist. The injection of new humans was another great way of making this entry feel like the start of a new adventure, rather than a repeat of the previous. Plus the reveal of which dragons they bonded with? I was so surprised (in the best way!)

I have yelled about this on twitter and to friends but the opening to chapter 22? BRILLIANT. It is a masterclass in creating tension while also setting the scene in barely any words (17 to be precise!) It’s so succinct and yet that works so well by immediately putting you on edge with the incongruous images presented.

The ending sets up a very interesting premise for the next (and final!!) book in the series, DRAGON DESTINY. Roll on September.

Read my reviews of other books by Katie and Kevin Tsang:

Dragon Realm (this series):

For Young Adult books by Katherine Webber (Katie Tsang), see We.


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