Caroline Davis

Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen

In Books on May 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Summary: Three Oxford scholars – John, Charles and Jack – are strangers to each other until an unusual murder brings them together, and sets them on a voyage into the Archipelago of Dreams, a world comprised of all the lands of fantasy and legend.  John is entrusted with the task of Caretaker Principa of a mysterious book called the Imaginarium Geographica, the only collection of maps that encompasses the Archipelago.  The three scholars and their companions find themselves opposing the evil Winter King, who literally sucks the soul out of lands and their inhabitants, encompassing them in shadow (resulting in their disappearance from the Imaginarium).  Can they prevent more worlds from being destroyed?  More importantly, can they keep the precious Imaginarium out of evil hands?

Highlights: This fun fantasy adventure will be especially enjoyed by avid readers who will recognize the literary allusions in the Archipelago of Dreams – from Avalon to Prydain to Atlantis.  There are references to Greek mythology, Arthurian legend, and even Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland.  Rather than finding it derivative of these sources, I found Here, There Be Dragons to be an original concept even as it nods to these inspirations.  There is much darkness and light in this book – there is real violence and death, but there are also many genuinely funny moments (it is rare to find a book that makes me laugh out loud – one of these moments explains how the Loch Ness monster legend originated).  The identities of the main characters, which I will not give away, are revealed on the last page and manage to give even more depth to the story.  I enjoyed this book and am not surprised that they are already planning a movie!


Official Here, There Be Dragons Website

Interview with James A. Owen (Powell’s)

Interview with James A. Owen (

Other Reviews:

@ Semicolon

@ things mean a lot

@ challenging the bookworm

@ Wands and Worlds

  1. Thanks for linking to my site. Good luck in your studies! I only finished my MLIS a year ago, and it’s great fun to be working in the field.

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