"I loved how much the characters changed into responsible human beings, and heroes. There’s a perfect amount of plot twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Lastly, the ending was perfect… almost like a fairy tale ending, but yet suspenseful." ama, Goodreads
Published: August 7th, 2018
Born to... Fight?
Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won’t let him forget that his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking. But when he’s attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand. Killing the giant locust is only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad’s death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose…
To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of dragons stories as a kid. I loved Smaug, the dragon in the Hobbit but that’s about it.
So why dragons in my book, THE ROYAL ORDER OF FIGHTING DRAGONS? Well, the idea just sort of occurred to me one day. What if there was a Royal Order of Fighting Dragons, an organization that has been around since the days of King Arthur? And what if a normal 6th grade boy, Ike Hollingsberry, finds out that he is “next in line” to be its leader? Once I had the idea (which I liked) I realized I was going to be spending a lot of time with dragons over the next few years. So I had to make sure that the dragons in THE ROYAL ORDER would look and behave differently than most traditional fire-breathing creatures.
First, I decided that my dragons would look different. I wanted them to be beautiful. As a result, each one has different markings. Some are lavender and blue; others are red and orange.
Second, I wanted my dragons to have unique names. Somehow along the way I stumbled upon the idea that the dragons would be named after different American cities. That’s how Ike’s personal dragon became Detroit. Another became Seattle and on and on.
Third, my dragons are gentler than most. Sure, they can breathe fire and fight but they also graze peacefully in the Royal Order meadow. These dragons are the good guys. Our kid heroes get on their backs and ride them like flying horses.
And so with lots of work, I came up with the dragons of the ROYAL ORDER – eight lovable, but mighty, creatures who help Ike and his friends save New York City from the villain Theodore Opal and a scourge of giant locusts.
I hope you enjoy them.
About the author:
Dan Elish is the author of nine novels, including The School for the Insanely Gifted, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, and Born Too Short: Confessions of an 8th Grade Basket Case (Simon & Schuster), which was named a New York Public Library "Book for the Teenage" and a "Young Adult Choice for the International Reading Association.”
Dan co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical 13with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, which premiered on Broadway in 2008 and is slated to be a movie by CBS Films. Dan is also a TV writer who has worked on shows such as Cyberchase (PBS) and Jo-Jo’s Circus (Disney). Dan has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and is represented by Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
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