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Dragons at Crumbling Castle

(Children's Circle Stories #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,205 ratings  ·  638 reviews
Dragons have invaded Crumbling Castle, and all of King Arthur’s knights are either on holiday or visiting their grannies. It’s a disaster!

Luckily, there’s a spare suit of armour and a very small boy called Ralph who’s willing to fill it. Together with Fortnight the Friday knight and Fossfiddle the wizard, Ralph sets out to defeat the fearsome fire-breathers.

But there's a t
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 11th 2014 by Doubleday UK (first published 2014)
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Dane Wagner It totally is. From drawings to simplicity of the stories it is perfect for children getting into reading. The catch is that there is a fair amount of…moreIt totally is. From drawings to simplicity of the stories it is perfect for children getting into reading. The catch is that there is a fair amount of wordplay in the stories and I think it was fun to read as an adult as well. As John Bullock mentioned: It's amazing as a bed time story book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  4,205 ratings  ·  638 reviews

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Sean Barrs
I’ve somewhat neglected Terry Pratchett over the last few years. I read a few of his books in the Discworld series when I was very young and I didn’t really like them. So I’m yet to pick up another book from there (despite owning several) any time soon.

Instead I’ve been very selective about the material I read of his. I read Nation and was really rather impressed with its balance of humour and postcolonial themes. This year I read The Long Earth and I was swept away with the sheer scope of its
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. I even much enjoy his children stories. Sir Pratchett is a great place to turn when I need a break from serious readings. 9 of 10 stars
Althea Ann
When Terry Pratchett was a young man, he worked at a newspaper. These short and humorous stories were published in that paper, the 'Bucks Free Press' as part of their 'Children's Circle' page. They're a wonderful glimpse into the early development of a writer - but they're also wholly enjoyable on their own merits.

Dragons at Crumbling Castle: The title story is a charming and punny, if not altogether unfamiliar-feeling, tale of a quest to slay some dragons who turn out to be more congenial than
Take delight in these stories from a very young Terry Pratchett, before he became Sir Terry.


“Dragons at Crumbling Castle”
“Hercules the Tortoise”
“The Great Speck”
“Hunt the Snorry”
“Tales of the Carpet People”
“Dok the Caveman”
“The Big Race”
“Another Tale of the Carpet People”
“The Great Egg-Dancing Championship”
“Edwo, the Boring Knight”
“The 59A Bus Goes Back in Time”
“The Abominable Snowman”
“The Blackbury Monster”
“Father Christmas Goes to Work”

At seventeen, Terry Pratchett went to work fo
Sarah Tipper
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I should start this review by saying I’ve been a big Pratchett fan for over half my lifetime. He could publish a book of his shopping lists, or of all the occasions when he’s got up in the middle of the night to go to the loo, or of the noises he’s heard people making while getting up out of chairs and I’d buy it in hardback on the day it came out and be excited about it.
So, this is a children’s book and I am forty (luckily I’m a very young forty, I’ve lived a very virtuous lifestyle). Was it s
Sophie Crane
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myths-legends
What an absolutely daft lot of stories, but hey, what fun. Who cares that they were all daft, they were a pleasure to read, and a great amount of comedy, went into them.
Even at his younger age, as he was when he wrote these for kids, Terry Pratchett,
then had a terrific sense of humour, and story telling.
Read and enjoy these silly,but delightful, little yarns. If you have children, or grandchildren , of a young age like I have,you will have a great amount of enjoyment reading these to them.
Much b
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was so much fun to discover some new (to me) stories by one of my favorite authors! Learning that Terry Pratchett "taught himself to write by reading as many books as he could carry home from the Library" endears him even more to me. Julian Rhind-Tutt's expressive voice is a delight as always.
Joey Woolfardis
A collection of short stories that Sir Terry Pratchett wrote for a child-friendly audience whilst he was a young journalist on a local newspaper. Collected here, along with some wonderful illustrations by the Dahl-drawer, Quentin Blake, are (I assume) a book of fourteen the best ones.

It's a mixed collection (topically) but the general outlook is the same: very Pratchett-esque fantasy stories that use real-world events or situations and plonk them straight in the middle of a fantasy world. There
This was a fun little collection of early Pratchett stories for kids all ages. They were told as if they were children's tales, but there is always an undercurrent of humor that's a treat to adults. Kinda like his later work in that respect.

This book was chosen as a March 2015 book selection in a Good Reads group that I'm in, Flights of Fantasy. Little did we know when we nominated it and voted it in, that it would appear on our group shelf in the very month that Sir Pratchett passed away.

MrsJoseph *grouchy*
4.5 Stars

Dragons at Crumbling Castle is an adorable selection of short stories and illustrations. This title is a book club pick - it's a bit younger than I normally care to read - and I'm pretty happy I was introduced to this novel via my book club.

There are quite a few short stories in Dragons at Crumbling Castle and each of the stories are full of adorable illustrations and wonderfully fun font choices. My favorite stories in the book are:

Tales of the
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
This is a great kids book, although it appealed to me less as an adult (some kids books are... basically only for kids!) But I loved the illustrations, and the way the text was playful (use of fonts as art), and of course, all of the great puns. I could imagine small children laughing at many, many things in this book. It's a wonderful one to read with your kids.
Kaethe Douglas
I'm quite fond of Pratchett's writing for younger readers, so even though these stories aren't as well crafted as his more mature writing, they definitely contain the same sort of sensibility and humor as the rest of his work.

Library copy
I ordered this and had been meaning to read it to my kids at bedtime, but hadn't found the time. When Terry Pratchett passed away, I promised myself I would do it that night as a little tribute to him, and I went home and did. Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale, and my kids were not interested at all, and so I finished reading the title story to myself while my kids jumped frantically around me. It was still a strangely cathartic experience. In another year or two I'll give this book anothe ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I really enjoyed this short stories collection that Terry Pratchett originally wrote as a young man for his newspaper. On audiobook...they are the perfect length for running errands, or working on the yard. Light, short, fun, silly short stories! They'd make great little bedtime stories for children as well.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now remember friends, 3 stars means "I liked it", it's not a bad review!

I'd like to begin by saying that I'm what society would call "a fan" of Terry Pratchetts.
The word "fan" usually instills this feeling of 333 tarantulas walking up and down my body about to sting me because when I hear the word "fan" I either picture the electronic device stirring the air or I picture a lunatic without a shirt and the words "I want a baby with you" written with Edding across her breasts.

Not that kin
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I collection of cute short stories from Pterry's journalist days. (As a side note, I may have teared up a bit reading the intro... *sniffs*)

Anyway -

There are some gem lines and Pratchettisms hidden throughout, but, mostly, the stories are just "cute" and definitely aimed at the younger set. Some do have really nice messages and lessons and whatnot, to boot.

That said, my favorites were "Dragons at Crumbling Castle" and "Dok the Caveman" were my faves. Next would be "The Great Speck" and "Another
Gary Sundell
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very early Pratchett short stories, but still amusing and enjoyable. The final story concerns Santa Claus trying to find a job between his yearly Christmas job. Two other stories are thd basis for Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pure delight! Especially the carpet people one
This is some of Terry's early work, he was a teenager then. This is my first Prachett's reading, but I guess the writer got so much better with time. Anyway, I Ioved and enjoyed every story, lots of humor, wit, sarcasm and themes, just awesome!
Florin Pitea
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It was interesting to read a collection of stories written by Sir Terry Pratchett back in his teens and twenties.
Dec 25, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Peter Taylor
Dad & I have been fans of the Discworld books for years but I’ve not read many of TP’s children’s books so this should be fun ...more
I will preface this by saying that I am a massive, massive Terry Pratchett fan - to the extent of dressing up in Discworld outfits, going to cons and even owning some of his books in German, which I don't speak a word of. This one, unfortunately, was not for me.

After just finishing A Slip of the Keyboard which is brutally honest (not to mention funny, sad and thought-provoking) this book just comes across as rather dishonest - on the part of the publishers, that is. The material is Sir Terry's

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. When I found out I got approved for this, whatever noise I made, got everyone on in the office to ask me what happened.

Seriously, someone give Terry Pratchett the Nobel already.

This is a collection of Pratchett’s early short stories, published in newspapers. You can see the start of the Disc here, and this is where the Carpet People got their start.

And of course, the footnotes are present.

In many ways, these tales remind me of Terry Jones’ collection of fairy
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dragons at Crumbling Castle is a collection of 14 tales for children by Terry Pratchett but, trust me, you don’t need to be a child to appreciate them – all you need is a sense of humour and whimsy and perhaps a little private space so that people won’t stare at you funny when you read them on the bus (trust me, it’s embarrassing).

Although these tales were written early in Pratchett’s career, they are just as funny as his Discworld books. As I read them I kept thinking I wish I had a small chil
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2015
This is a collection of some of the late great Sir Terry's earliest work, originally written in the late 1960's and early 1970's that has been repackaged and delightfully illustrated by the artist Mark Beech.

There are some amusing tales in here, and these are some of the first stories of the tiny people that became the Carpet People later on. It is a book primarily written for children, but hey, it's Terry Pratchett. The stories are not complicated, but you do get a feeling for the way his mind
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a lovely collection of short stories. Although aimed at the younger reader I found the whole book quite enjoyable. It is not as Pratchetty as the Discworld books, it feels more like Sir Terry meets Roald Dahl and after putting their heads together came up with this. There are definitely some Pratchett gems peppered throughout these stories though. There are some nice illustrations to help the younger reader'd imagination along. I can see that I will try to use this book to introduce the ...more
I read the first two stories. Unfortunately the book archived before I could finish! I am very bummed about that. I did enjoy what I read though, and do plan to finish it someday. I'd defiantly buy it for myself or a friend. I loved the first two stories. They were cute and short and sweet and had all the excellent Pratchett humor.

-I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review-
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry-pratchett
Terry's early writings when he started his career with the Bucks Free Press newspaper in 1965.
Definately for children and for adults looking for light relief from the usual heavy reading.
Stupid, funny stories with some excellent commentries for each. What made this interesting is that the slipcase edition had an extra 100, yes, an extra 100 pages. for once a limited edition that justified its asking price.
This collection had a good variety in the stories, but felt a little short on the way they were handled. I found few of them really entertaining or interesting, had some difficulties to not space out while reading and was often disappointed by the outcomes. Several stories were also built on the same narrative road, with a journey and random events happening along the way, so after some time, the read seemed repetitive. Anyway, as a Pratchett's work, there was plenty of imagination, some crazy i ...more
As with most story collections, I found stories I enjoyed, stories that were okay, and stories that were boring. The best were the shortest stories, especially the fairy tale themed ones like Dragons at Crumbling Castle, The Great Egg-Dancing Championship, and the Blackbury Monster. I also liked Hercules the Tortoise.

The ones I enjoyed the least were the long (and somewhat politically insensitive) stories about the Carpet People and the bus that went back in time.

You can definitely see sparks o
Pop Bop
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Tortoise Wanderlust - A Brilliant Introduction of Sir Terry to Younger Readers

This is a collection of 14 tales that Pratchett wrote as "a young lad" for his local newspaper, before "The Carpet People" and before all of the other later books that have marked his storied career. Let us pause for a moment to appreciate that this wonderful volume is simply Pratchett's amateur warm up material, (albeit with some tweaking on the part of the now thoroughly grown up author). The stories stand on their o
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, i

Other books in the series

Children's Circle Stories (4 books)
  • The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner: And Other Stories
  • Father Christmas’s Fake Beard
  • The Time-travelling Caveman

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