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Roses in the Dragon's Den

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Twelve year old siblings Karina and Charlie Rosas aren't looking forward to vacationing with their estranged uncle. But when the Fernweh Express derails and tosses them into a wild, unrecognizable land, they trust he'll know what to do. After all, Diego Rosas wrote the book on survival in deserts and arctic tundras. There's nothing he can't handle . . . until a colossal, fire-breathing dragon snatches him up and carries him away, leaving the siblings to embark on an impossible rescue mission.

With the natural elements working against them, the Rosas family adventures through the curse-infested, uncharted world in order to solve the mystery of what doomed their travels. When they meet up with a dwarf and a pirate queen who offer aid, Karina and Charlie must decide whether they can trust anyone willing to voyage into a dragon's den. But if the siblings ever want to return home, they must trust and lean on each other, and above all, hope Uncle Diego is still alive.

358 pages, Paperback

First published April 9, 2019

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About the author

Jacob Devlin

9 books157 followers
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves geeking out at comic book conventions and blasting Italian pop rock music in his car. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Janelle.
67 reviews63 followers
April 14, 2019
I had the privilege to read an ARC of Roses in the Dragon's Den. This book was SO MUCH FUN!! Family. Adventure. Magical worlds. Pirates. Well-written villians! Dragons!

The adventure was non-stop from page 1. Jacob Devlin did an amazing job keeping me turning the pages. I loved the family dynamics between Uncle Diego and the twins, and their quest to take care of each other no matter what . . . even if "Here there be dragons!"

Devlin's voice really shone with this story. I can't wait to find out what happens next to the Rosas!
Profile Image for Avon Van.
Author 5 books72 followers
April 15, 2019
Boy, do I have a treat for you guys, today–an advance review of a book still available for pre-order, here!

So a little while ago, my good buddy, Jacob Devlin, put out a call for ARC (Advance Reader Copy) readers. Basically, a few copies go out before the official launch and we read and review it to boost awareness and drum up some buzz.

So, what are my thoughts? Let me break it down.

Karina and Charlie

Karina and Charlie Rosas are the primary main characters, teenagers on a European holiday with their adventurer uncle. They have a solid Dipper and Mabel Pines feel, with neither of them being the dominant twin, and both have their own arcs and personalities. Karina is warm, friendly, and resourceful, with a big heart and an iron spine. Charlie is more emotional, he can be a little unforgiving, but he’s brave and quick thinking. They work well as a team as they navigate the confusing and chaotic world where they find themselves.


Diego Rosas is a tv celebrity famous for travel and survival shows, where he goes around the world and has amazing adventures. He is handsome and dashing, with a carefully preserved sense of wonder and an unshakable respect and reverence for nature. Even after the traumatic and bizarre things that happen to him, he never loses his nerve or principles.

Niraya Storm

Niraya Storm is the pirate captain of the ship The Red Hood. She is fearless, strong, and loyal. She’s both a guardian for the kids and a helper, taking her cues from them as often as giving the orders. She is full of stories, and a little birdie tells me that we have more to look forward to…

Other Characters

Roses in the Dragon’s Den is also full of lots of other familiar faces to fans of the Order of the Bell series. I personally feel very attached to a number of them (I won’t say who, it’s a surprise 😉 ), so it was fun for me to get to see some old friends. But there’s a whole cast of new people with new stories to tell, and each of them is complex and compelling in their own way.

Now, I don’t want to give away too much of what happens, but obviously, I do need to touch on plot, my favourite aspect of storytelling.

We begin with a train wreck, which catapults our heroes into the world of the story. I won’t spoil too much down’t worry, but allow me to whet your appetite.

The book is split into 5 acts, and much like a 5-act play, the tension rises and rises and rises, and just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any more crazy, something else insane happens. There are dragons plucking people into the sky, a werewolf attack, a whole village living under a curse, mythical objects, giant spiders (something close to my own heart), and honest-to-God, someone gets eaten alive. It’s a wild and crazy ride from cover to cover, and I promise you’re gonna love it. No detail slips by unnoticed and no punch is pulled. There were times I truly wondered how our heroes were going to get out of this one, and the solution always surprised me.

There are a bunch of themes Jacob explores in this book, the most important being family, or in Spanish, familia. Familia means no one gives up on each other, it means ‘we’re all in this together,’ it means loving each other even when you disagree. It means living in terror of how your mother or sister will react when she finds out what you’ve been up to. But because she loves you.

Familia doesn’t just mean flesh and blood, it also means the people we meet along the way who treat us like family; people who make sacrifices, people who are loyal and don’t abandon us. For them, we are selfless and altruistic and brave. We don’t leave them behind, we trust them, and we fight for them. And sometimes we have to defy them.

Roses in the Dragon’s Den is a modern story for modern teens (and adults, too). Jacob is great at using modern slang and references in a way that firmly roots the story in our present day. It really feels like this story could happen today.

I’ve known Jacob a little while, and one thing I’ve always admired is his casual yet vivid style. Nathaniel Hawthorne said, ‘Easy reading is damn hard writing,’ and I can’t imagine how hard Jacob works because he makes it look so easy, so effortless. Having a good story is only half of the job–telling it well is just as important. If you can’t describe the action and feeling of what is going on and make the audience feel like they’re there, you’re just reporting the news.

Long, in-depth story short, you guys should totally get this book! You’ll be glad you did!
Profile Image for T.A. Chan.
Author 1 book7 followers
May 4, 2019


Okay, so first off, isn't this cover absolutely stunning??? Secondly, WOW I flew (ha! pun not intended...cuz dragons and because I'm at the airport while typing this and . . . okay I'll shut up) through this read. I'm such a sucker for sibling and family (or, in this case, *familia*) relationships, and Roses sure delivered on this! I loved how different Rina and Charlie's personalities were, and how their distinct voices carried through in their chapter POVs. The worldbuilding was richly layered as well, and readers who have read the author's "Order of the Bell" series will definitely appreciate the nods and cameos of characters starring in the other books (NOTE: you do NOT need to read the other books in order to understand Roses)

The pace moved along at a good clip and the plot kept me guessing all the way through. About 75% through the book, there came along a REALLY good twist that I did *not* see coming at all, though reflecting back on the earlier chapters, I could see--and loved--how the author sprinkled in foreshadowing throughout.

Some other points I absolutely adored in Roses:

-Grownups exist!! And they aren't just used as side props/don't suffer from "adults-mysteriously-doing-nothing-while-the-world-ends" syndrome so commonly found in YA/MG books!! Don't get me wrong, the focus is 110% on our 2 young MCs, but the 2 main adults (Captain Storm and Uncle Diego) also played an active role in the story that enhanced the choices Rina and Charlie made

-The family relationship--the goods and bad, highs and lows--depicted in Roses

-The humor!!!

Final thoughts: Roses in the Dragons Den was a blast to read, and would highly recommend!!
April 29, 2019
I really enjoyed Roses in the Dragon's Den, featuring 12-year-old siblings, Karina and Charlie Rosas. The siblings aren't looking forward to vacationing with their Uncle Diego from whom they are estranged. However, when the train they are on flies off the tracks, they find themselves in a strange land. It only gets worse when a dragon snatches their uncle up and the brother and sister have to rescue him. This is not only a page-turning adventure, but it's also a story about the importance of family. Karina and Charlie were very likable characters. As twins, neither was dominant and both brought different strengths and abilities to the story. I enjoyed the fact that they each had their own character arc. My favorite side character was Niraya Storm, pirate captain of the Red Hood. She is fearless, strong and loyal. I really enjoyed this book and found myself staying up way too late to read "just one more chapter."

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Scarolet Ellis.
7,445 reviews47 followers
May 10, 2019
Roses in the Dragon's Den by Jacob Devlin is a great middle grade story to read. This is a story writen by an author I never read before this story that I really enjoyed reading. I recommend this story to everyone who loves reading romance from great middle grade story.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for MoonGarden.
382 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2019
Fun Adventure

This is a fun middle-grade adventure. Siblings Charlie and Karina have to rescue their uncle Diego from a Dragon when he is flown off after a train accident. Twist and turns, lots of fun and adventure, your middle school readers should really enjoy this one!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Patricia Terry.
185 reviews4 followers
March 9, 2020
This was a lot of fun. The story was original, and yet included many favorite mythical characters in an unobtrusive way. A great story about values, family, perseverance, and respect for nature, but mostly a fun adventure. The characters are wonderful. I received a free review copy of the audio version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for MJ2.
48 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2022
Fun middle grade adventure!
Latinx twins and their famous uncle get magically whisked into another dimension where they must face a dragon and other fairyland creatures relying on their loyalty to each other and their smarts to come through.
10.1k reviews112 followers
April 28, 2019
Karina and Charlie are 12 year old twins who are on vacation with their Uncle. It’s not something that they’re excited about. I totally enjoyed it. Don’t miss out
Profile Image for R.Q. Woodward.
Author 1 book159 followers
May 12, 2019
A fun adventure book with a strong focus on family and doing the right thing. Great MG read. I look forward to reading more of the series.
420 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2020
I listened to about half of the book but it just didn't hold my attention.
Profile Image for Carlynne Toomey.
457 reviews3 followers
April 20, 2020
This was a fun, fast listen. The characters are wonderful and very well developed. It was about family, environmental values and perseverance. I definitely recommend it.
657 reviews
March 9, 2020
The story paints the ideology of kids and the relationship between kids and adults in a very realistic way. The narrator did a good job too. Except for the deep voice, it was easy to imagine I was in the company of 2 young kids
Profile Image for Candy Smith.
440 reviews36 followers
May 2, 2019
This story instantly grabs me with the opening chapter of a background adventure of two kids with their Uncle "Tio" that ends with him assuring Rina that a what she sees in the background is only a train and not a dragon but he makes a promise if it was to he'd keep them safe then they sneak into the kitchen for midnight snack of oreos and milk. After being away for seven years Uncle Tio is back to make lost time with Rina and Charlie. Little do they know the found memory of that backyard campout and their current trip collides for an epic adventure filled with wonder, dangers untold and a journey of survival!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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