The Dragon’s Pearl
Chomping at the bit in the desk job destined for him in Venice, teenager Marco Polo jumps at the chance offered when an Abarimon monster kills his just-returned uncle. Marco runs away with his friend Amelio to find his father held captive by a dark magician in the unknown lands of Asia. Further adventures are promised.
Parents and educators would not do well to present this book to young readers as having much to do with the historical Marco Polo. Passages presented as from the actual Polo journals—well, some are and some aren’t, with no aid to the trusting youngster in guessing which is which. The evil Arghun has nothing to do with the great-nephew of Kublai Khan, the insect-like Abarimon hold no resemblance to the backwards-footed people believed to inhabit the Himalayas. The real worlds of Venice and Constantinople are badly drawn indeed. Once we’re over the hurdle of pretending that this book has anything to do with history, however, the magic of a fantasy adventure is compelling enough and hits all the selling points competently if not with originality. Dragons, magic jewels and escaping princesses abound.