Dragon of the Lost Sea

Dragon of the Lost Sea

by Laurence Yep


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The outlawed princess of the Dragon Clan and her young human companion undergo fearsome trials in their quest for an evil enchantress. 'Dramatic tension stays high. Weaves Chinese legend into an exciting tapestry of myth and folklore.' —BL.

Notable Children's Books of 1982 (ALA)
100 Favorite Paperbacks of 1989 (IRA/CBC)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064402279
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/1988
Series: Dragons of the Sea Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 372,056
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.45(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Laurence Yep is the acclaimed author of more than sixty books for young people and a winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. His illustrious list of novels includes the Newbery Honor Books Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate; The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee; and The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island, which he cowrote with his niece, Dr. Kathleen S. Yep, and was named a New York Public Library's "One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing" and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book.

Mr. Yep grew up in San Francisco, where he was born. He attended Marquette University, graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received his PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife, the writer Joanne Ryder.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I stopped when I smelled the magic. It was strong magic. Old magic. And it carried a faint scent of the sea. And yet I was a thousand kilometers away from the nearest body of salt water.

Halting in the middle of the road, I tried to follow the scent. It came from the top of a nearby hill, where a little village sat like a tray of dirty, overturned cups that someone had left to gather dust. But the magic I smelled was too powerful for a small, sleepy place like that.

Well, when trouble isn't drawn to me, I seem to be drawn to it. Leaning on my staff, I stepped off the main road onto the side path that wound through the rice fields.

One of the farmers looked up from his weeding. He stared at my bare, callused feet and then at my dirty, ragged blouse and finally at my old woman's wrinkled face. Almost immediately he made a sign against evil. I suppose he didn't want me infecting him with my poverty. "We don't allow beggars in Amity," he snapped.

Despite all the centuries I have spent disguised as a human, it never fails to amaze me how hard and flinty human hearts always are -- though humans have such short lives that I suppose they have to eat and grasp as much as they can. "I'm not a beggar," I corrected him proudly. "I always earn my food."

"That's what they all say." He picked up a clod of dirt as if to throw it at me. "And then they steal whatever they can lay their hands on."

"Times are hard." I chose my words with care. "I didn't always look and dress like this." With as much dignity as I could, I tried to hobble on past him.

I was mistaken, though, if I thought I could shame him into leaving mealone. His clod of dirt hit me right in the middle of my back. "We don't want your kind here," he insisted.

I straightened slowly. My kind indeed. I daresay he'd be singing a far different tune if he knew I wasn't a human at all. I felt like turning around to teach that stupid farmer some manners when I suddenly caught another whiff of magic. It smelled not only of salt water but of stagnant salt water.

Even more curious now, I decided that I could always deal with the farmer later on. It was more important to investigate this odd bit of magic. So I forced myself to slouch once again like an old woman and trudged on past the rice fields and through the orchards of trees that clustered on the slopes of the hill until I reached the village gates.

The guard there wasn't any friendlier than the farmer below. "Keep out, old woman." He pointed his spear at me.

I squinted at him because he looked very much like the farmer who had thrown the clod of dirt at me. I always have a hard time telling humans apartthey have almost no features at all: such tiny eyes and such little snouts. And this one had the same brown hair and blue eyes as the farmer. "I'm willing to work," I told him.

"The times are so bad we barely manage to take care of our own." He jabbed at me halfheartedly with his spear. "You'd be better off trying your luck at some other village."

"But people always say the same thing at every place I go," I said-which was the truth. "And Ive come such a long way and my belly aches so. " I rubbed my stomach for emphasis. "Haven't you ever known what it is to be hungry?"

The guard looked away from me and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. "Yes, I have." He raised his spear. "All right. You can try your luck; but I can tell you right now that you won't find anything."

I forced myself to smile and bow my head gratefully. (Of all the things I have had to learn how to do among humans, I think bowing my head has been the hardest -- especially when the favor done for me is no favor at all.)

But once I was through the gates, I stopped almost immediately. There, sitting within the yard of an inn, was a wooden sedan chair, and squatting around the chair were four creatures who looked like men. And on the left side of the inn's doorway was a guard in a padded cotton coat. He held a huge cutlass in his hand. And all of them-the chair, the porters and the guard-reeked of the magic that had created them.

But who was their creator? This far inland, I could only think of one creature whose magic would smell like a stagnant sea, and that would be Civet, the great enemy of my clan.

Thief was too small a word for the size of her theft. Killer was too kind a word for the suffering she had brought to my clan. She was a wicked, cruel creature who seemed to delight in hurting others. She had come in the dead of night and stolen the entire sea of my clan, encapsulating it into an object the size of a pebble.

Of course, I had been away at the time, but the tales had spread throughout the land. So I had heard how she hadretreated inside the Weeping Mountain. My clan pursued her as soon as it had recovered from its surprise; but they found that she had filled the mountain with all sorts of traps, soldiers and monsters. Very few who entered ever returned. Without the sea to shelter them, the survivors of my clan had been exposed to the cold and the terrible winds; and since they now had no way of getting food, they had been forced to abandon our ancient home and become wanderers and beggars within the other kingdoms.

Occasionally, in the following years, I had heard some tragic tale of one who had tired of that homeless life and tried to enter the Weeping Mountain to take our revenge and perhaps restore our home. But as yet no one had ever succeeded.

I could not understand what errand could draw Civet from her mountain; but it was an opportunity not to be missed. My luck had been so universally bad for all these centuries that at first it was hard to believe it was finally beginning to turn.

My heart began to pound and my pulse began to race. If I could just capture her and the pebble, I could end the long years of wandering for both myself and my clan. We could hold our heads proudly once again. And my clan would have to thank me for it all. They would probably be making up plays and songs for ten generations about my deeds.

My fingers arched involuntarily like claws. I would have liked nothing more than to change myself and charge inside; but the inn was too tiny for my true shape. And sneaking in there while I was disguised smacked of her kind of tactics. No, I would meet her out in the open in my true form.

But I had spent so much time that the guard began to look at me suspiciously. There was no sense making trouble until it was time. Quickly I showed him the palm of one hand and looked at him as if pleading for some cash. He chopped at the air disgustedly. I made a point of tottering on.

Dragon of the Lost Sea. Copyright © by Laurence Yep. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Dragon of the Lost Sea 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After the completion of my summer reading book, Dragons of the Lost Sea I had found it to be a reasonably good book. I was lookng for a fantasy fiction type novel and I got just what I was looking for when reading this book. I wouldn't go so far to call it one of my favorite books, but it was a bearable summer reading book for me. The book had a lot of reference to Chinese mythology, and Chinese mythical creatures.This, I thought made the book somewhat original and unique.The main characters in the book are, Shimmer, an exiled dragon princess who is trying to rescue her dragon clan's stolen sea from the evil water sirit, Civet. The other main character is an orphan boy by the name of Thorn. Shimmer and Thorn are first presented to each other when Shimmer is passing through a small village(Thorn's home). Shimmer admires Thorn's unusual kindness towards her. Which she thinks to be uncommon seeing that she has profiled humans as being the most rude and vile cratures on the planet. In seeing this she rescues Thorn from his abusive foster father, and allows him to accompany her on her quest. Together they work together to try and overcome Civet's superior dark, magic powers.I thought this was a bood book, but to me it seemed that it was meand for a younger audience. Most likely best fit for kids around the age of ten or twelve. Maybe then it would have been a great deal more enjoyable, but to me it was still a good book. Again I thought it was a good book, and was made interesting with its Chinese mythology and fantasy. It is also a very good example fo a classical fantasy novel. I would mainly recommend this book to kids of a younger age, just because, to me, it seemed that it was meant for a younger auduence. Even so, it was still an enjoyable book that i think many people would enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book three times, and enjoyed it every time. This book seriously doesn't deserve all of the negative comments.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is book sucks so badly that i cant even write anything good about it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't really remember why I picked up this book, but I can assure you I wish I hadn't. This book is extremely hard to read, and I love reading. The plot drags on and on and the story itself barely makes any sense. Wasn't worth the read at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was such a bore....the story dragged on for what seemed like forever and doesn't make sense. This book is good if....wait, no....this book isn't good for anything. Unless maybe you need something to burn in the fireplace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know what you people consider a good book but this is NOT one of them. I had to read this in ILA class and my whole class hated it. It made no sense and was as boring as watching paint dry. The charatcers are not believable and it's hard to tell whose talking. The worst book I have ever read, by far.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laurence Yep is my favorite author. He is very descriptive, and makes his books interesting.This book was about a Dragon, sent away from her clan.The evil Civet took away her sea to destroy her own home town. Shimmer met Thorn, and they became th best of friends. At first, Shimmer does not trust Thorn. She learns to trust him near the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is completely awe inspiring with it's weaving tale of two figures, a orphan boy name Thorn and a banished dragon princess name Shimmer. This book is absolutely wonderful with its comedy and enchanting storyline. I recommend this book to all people over he age of 7.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book about a million times now and I never tire of it! Be sure to read it's companions, Dragon Steel, Dragon Cauldron, Dragon War.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about a dragon's friendship with a little orphan, human boy named Thorn. They were on a mission to get some magic pebbles from the evil Civet. Will they ever get them? You will have to read the book to find out.