Here, There Be Dragons: The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica
The author’s note at the end of Here, There Be Dragons, says it best: “The most interesting stories are those that have one foot firmly planted in fantasy, and the other in the real world; and the best way to create a marriage of the two is find those gaps in history where there is no certainty, and create a supposition.” That’s what this story does so well.
Opening one rainy London night, readers find themselves drawn into the lives of strangers John, Jack, and Charles, as they are being summoned by their mutual friend, Professor Sigurdsson. They soon find themselves caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica—an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale—and traveling across the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams to do battle with the Winter King and his minions. Along the way, these young men encounter a fantastic range of characters from a talking badger to the Cartographer inhabiting the Keep of Time and fight the Wendigo, the Shadow-Born, and all the evils of Pandora’s Box.
Replete with such fantastical characters, this book feels almost Tolkienesque yet keeps a foot firmly planted in the real world. At times, the breakneck pace did seem to slow a bit, but each new chapter reinvigorated the reader and stoked interest in the characters’ latest struggle.
Intended for a young adult audience, Here, There Be Dragons will appeal to that age group as well as to any fantasy-lover.