The Coming of Dragons (The Darkest Age, #1)
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The Coming of Dragons (The Darkest Age #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  557 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Edmund, a king's son in disguise, and Elspeth, a sea captain's tomboy daughter, are the only two survivors of a terrible shipwreck. They just want to go home, but fate has other plans as they are drawn into the fight against an evil warlord terrorizing their homeland. Accompanied by a mysterious minstrel and haunted by magical powers they did not seek, Edmund and Elspeth
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published May 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Interesting blend of fantasy and early-Christian English historical fiction. Very well researched, you really got a feel for the time period. Loved seeing the clash of religions: Christian, English paganism, and the even earlier legends of the old Norse gods. And the crystal sword was just freakin' cool.
I thought this was a good story, but I wasn't really engaged. Like, when I was reading it I enjoyed it, but I didn't have a hard time putting it down and I never really felt the need to pick it up. The characters felt a little flat to me, too--I never really felt what they were feeling or even sympathized. And the end--who the bad guy ended up being--was like a total slap in the face. Totally didn't see that coming, but I think that wasn't a good thing in this case--it was more like it was reall...more
Elspeth is on her father’s ship headed for Gaul. They have a special passenger on board who hasn’t left his cabin for the entire voyage! Suddenly the worst storm Elspeth has ever seen hit the ship. The ship catches on fire and sinks. She manages to swim to a sea chest that is floating in the waves. She grabs the mysterious passenger and manages to pull him up on the chest as well. The passenger’s name is Edmund. A wizard has seen in a dream that they will wash up on shore and is there to meet th...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.a. Motylinski
The Bookseller describes it thus: "Expert storytelling, encompassing Norse legends, ancient prophecies and an age of dragons makes for an exhilarating read—I can't wait for book two."

This book is not a bad book by any means, but neither is it "expert storytelling." It was engaging, but I never felt inexplicably compelled to read on, and never felt the need to read it late into the night to find out what happened next.

I'll start with the plot: there is a plot there, certainly, but the vast major...more
Fascinating first book in a series. Lake has created an interesting YA fantasy with a Medieval feel and tone and budding friendship between the two central characters (Elspeth and Edmund) who must rise to the challenge after finding themselves in the middle of an epic battle of good versus evil.

This book has plenty of action and interesting twists but it certainly leaves you wanting to read the next book as fast as possible.
Jorden Cookland
This is an abosolute MUST READ! if you ever need a distraction, the two main characters are so different they are unique yet they know each other like they've know each other their whole lives. They way the books reviels aspects of the story leaves the reader desperate to read more, and they twist that just pops out knowhere in the end, there are no words i love this Author!!
This is a book for kids, I'd say age 8-11, and it's probably a good fit for both boys and girls of that age. It is fast paced, full of magic and some surprises. For grown ups like me, I thought it was a fun quick read, but it didn't move me in any meaningful ways....
It is NOT about Stonehenge - even though it appears on the cover. Older fiction. Definately for this age group.

About 2 children in Saxon times - Edmund, a Prince and Elspeth a daughter of a captain. Shipwrecked together in Cornwall and discover that they have superpowers. Edmund can see through other people's eyes and Elspeth has a crystal sword that suddenly appears on her hand.

No pictures to support the text. Mythical, magical Norse (especially at the end) topics. Lots of adventure.

Might be su...more
Interesting story! I love the fantasy elements this book has, there’s plenty of magic, battle scenes, magical swords and scary villains that should be avoided at all costs! There’s a LOT of action too, even on the first page of chapter 1 where a dragon is attacking a ship and the main characters struggle for their lives!

I grew to like the characters as the story went on. I LOVED how both Elspeth and Edmund have these unwanted gifts and they have to run from countless of dangers because of them....more
A lovely transition book for older children - I'd say 8-11 yr olds. If you have a child hooked on Beastquest and Cressida Cowell but ready to move on to more epic/historical style fantasy this is a great little book. The style is a little impersonal so it might appeal to boys more than girls: it is essentially a quest novel - the first of a trilogy with a nice cliffhanger ending.

Set in medieval England, Elspeth the shipmasters' daughter, survives a shipwreck by hanging onto a mysterious oaken c...more
This book was just OK for me. The two main characters, Edmund & Elspeth, were OK but not very deep. I liked Edmund better of the two and felt that he was more consistent. Elspeth's character just seemed wishy washy at times. Sometimes she just followed orders & sometimes she rebelled. I guess I just felt that the kids made rash decisions just to keep the plot moving instead of it feeling like a natural thing for their characters to do. It just felt too forced.

The kids' powers were intere...more
Dominika Kaníková
After seeing the front page i was expecting more of a childish story "DD with dragons but i was surprised. The story was well written as i had expected it to be for a fantasy book and i´m also looking forward to read the second one.
This was a fantastic fantasy book. Real action packed adventure from start to finish (very literally) and many twists and turns and close scrapes in the story to continually make you want to read more. Can't wait to get into the next part of the story (no spoilers) because the story is really hotting up. However one thing that caught my attention was on page 156, line 4, there had been a name mistake implying that Elspeth had in fact been in two places at once, I think A.J. Lake meant Edward, no...more
Tanya M Henderson
Could not put this book down and I wanted to kill my daughter for introducing me to a series before it was completely written. This was a truly great read.
Fun, easy story. It's definitely written for a slightly younger audience, but I liked the characters and plot. Fun little young-ones-destined-to-gain-power-and-overthrow-evil story. There are a couple of interesting things with the boy's power and the "personality" of the girl's sword that are intriguing. I also liked her decision about what to do with the bad guy, and how the ending threw in a large twist to interrupt the celebration of victory. I'll be reading the sequel.
This book would probably be best for young people who don't necessarily have a joy for reading yet. It's fast enough paced to keep the attention of someone not into reading. Seems like the kind of book that could help someone grow into it.

If you're a more "advanced" reader, you may find this book lacking a bit. I have an early edition of this title that has just enough editing errors to make it irritating.
This was in Junior Fiction but I couldn't help but picking it up. The cover was amazing! Although it was a little easy for me, it was fast paced and action packed. I couldn't connect with the characters as easily because they were only 11 years old... However, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it if you wanted a good, fast paced, short read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maybe I just haven't read the right things, but I've never read anything like this before. It's short, clear, and I like almost everything in it; the only reason it has 4 stars instead of 5 is because I didn't really love anything in it.

It was definitely worth reading. I'd reccomend it to any fantasy reader who isn't set on trends.
Ho hum. Some clever ideas executed with the finesse of Soviet urban planners. The best fantasy has great characters, with compelling relationships and intriguing idiosyncrasies. This story is cardboard: there's a girl, a boy, an old man/teacher, an evil villain, and zero character between them. Don't care enough to read the next volumes.
The first time I read this book a few years ago, I literally could not put it down. My family got mad at me several times because I had my nose in this book the whole few hours it took me to finish it, even when I was walking to go get something. I think the characters were great, and I love Edmund and Elspeth's powers.
Jonathan Soriano
Nov 09, 2007 Jonathan Soriano rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves dragons or loves myths.
This book interested me because in a way it told me that people are born with special talents and that sometimes you might not like the talent you have. it also told me that we have to except the gift god gave us and we have to learn to live with it. this book is confusing at first but its good towards the end.
YA Fantasy- The main characters are 11 yrs old, which I find a little unbelievable for the things they get involved with, but it is well written and an interesting story with a little surprise towards the end. I found it an enjoyable read. This is clean enough for kids 11 and up.
Feb 13, 2013 Melmat rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: won-t-read-again
Wow, I'm very dissapointed. The characters kept making the same mistakes again and again, and there was hardly any character development, plus not much a plot. And the endings kind of flat. For people who love literature... I wouldn't reccomend it.
Jul 28, 2008 Michele rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children 10/12 to adult
Recommended to Michele by: Saw at bookstore
Children 10-12. Set in 5th century southern England. A good, well written adventure story with a dragon, evil sorcery, mysterious guides, strange unwanted magical gifts, and destiny. Some brutality. This is the type of book Christian and James tend to like.
Jan 12, 2011 Beau rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bobby, and grandma Kay
Shelves: fantasy
very well written,and packed with action are the words that best descibe this book. It had less fantasy and/or magic than I usually read in fantasy books. It felt vaguely familier, the names anyway were. It had a nice plot. all in all a good book
Edmund, a king’s son in disguise, and Elspeth, a sea captain’s tomboy daughter, are the only two survivors of a terrible shipwreck. They just want to go home, but fate has other plans as they are drawn into the fight against an evil warlord.
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
A bit too young for me really - aimed at early teenagers really. I probably would have enjoyed it then! Got the next two to read though so will carry on with the series as a friend gave them to me as all mine are packed up!
I want to read the second book. :) .. And I'm searching for it. :D

I really like the mystery surrounding Cluaran...It started when Aagard made him protect Elspeth and Edmund by using the name of "someone who never dies." :)
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