Kidlit :: The Children of the Dragon series :: Rebecca Lim

May 13, 2019

Rebecca Lim was one of the editors of my favourite book last year - Meet Me at the Intersection - and I have been keen to read more of her work since then. It seemed like a sign, then, when I saw she had a new middle grade novel coming out this month - right when I was planning to read more books for that age group myself. The team at Allen and Unwin were kind enough to send me a free copy of the The Relic of the Blue Dragon, which is the first book in Rebecca's Children of the Dragon series, and I was thrilled when I saw book two, The Race for the Red Dragon, for sale at the Sydney Writers Festival (Where I was also lucky enough to see Rebecca speak on a panel, and to have a quick chat with her after!).

It's always tricky to write about subsequent books in a series because spoilers! So, I'm going to give you the summary of the first book from the Allen and Unwin website, and then tell you about a few of the things I loved about these books.

When Harley Spark accidentally releases Qing, one of five dragon sisters, from the ancient vase she's been trapped in for centuries, he is soon on a dangerous international mission with Qing to find and free her four sisters.

Harley gave a little shiver as he peered at the mysterious girl's message. She'd written: DRAGON KING RETURNS

Harley Spark is just an ordinary thirteen-year-old kid who lives with his mum, Delia.

Rumour has it that his dad, Ray, is an international crime figure with a talent for nicking old, valuable things.

So when Harley finds an antique Chinese vase on the footpath, something compels him to stuff it under his school jumper and run for home. Little does he know he's about to reignite a centuries-old war between two ancient, supernatural families...

First, can we please just take a moment to admire those covers?! The artwork is gorgeous (as an aside, Rebecca talked a bit about the cover design on the One More Page podcast and it was so interesting!)

So, let's talk about what I loved inside those beautiful covers:
  • I love how the writing gives credit to the readers for being clever - while the langues and topic are all age appropriate it doesn't feel like anything has be adjusted down for the audience, and nothing is over-explained. For instance, there are bits and pieces of other languages used without translation - it is either up to the reader to figure out what they mean based on the context, or an explanation is given in a way that fits with the narrative so the reader isn't pulled out of the story. 
  • The trope of the invisible parents is really popular in both middle grade and young adult stories, so I really loved that both Harley's mum and his dad were super present in these stories. Harley's mum is involved in the action from the very start, and there is no question of him keeping his adventures a secret from them. I think this is really cool, and I love that it promotes trust between kids and their parents, which I think is so important especially in this age group.
  • The books feature a diverse cast of characters, and are own voices. I felt like this really shows in the was that the story is rich in culture and history, and this is impeccably blended into the story - I felt like I learned a lot, but never got the sense that I was being lectured to. I also thought that although this is a fantasy book, the setting of today's Melbourne (at least to start of with) felt really authentic.
Overall I thought these made a thrilling read for kids at the upper end of the middle grade range, or confident readers at the younger end (as well as a quick and engaging read for adults!)
I'm assuming there are more books in this series (there are definitely a few things to tie up at the end of the second book) and I am truly looking forward to getting my hands on them!

xo Bron

Children of the Dragon series by Rebecca Lim
Out now from Allen and Unwin

Source: Free copy of book one sent to me by Allen and Unwin, I bought book two myself
Category: MG fantasy fiction (recommended age 9-12)
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $14.99
Children of the Dragon on Goodreads

You Might Also Like


  1. Super cute covers with plots and tropes that are right up my alley?
    I'll be adding these to my never-ending wishlist/tbr. =D
    I'm so glad you were able to get copies of these, and even talk to the author! That's so exciting.