Dragon Storm 1: Tomás and Ironskin
by Alastair Chisholm
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Pub Date 13 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 23 Jan 2022
The first book in a thrilling, magical, and action-packed new fantasy series, illustrated throughout and perfect for 7 – 9 year olds!
In the land of Draconis, there are no dragons.
Once, there were. Once, humans and dragons were friends, and created the great city of Rivven together.
But then came the Dragon Storm, and the dragons retreated from the world of humans.
To the men and women of Draconis, they became legends and myth.
Tomás has always been told that now, dragons are extinct, and so he can’t believe it when a mysterious stranger invites him to join a secret society, the Dragonseer Guild – and tells him that not only do dragons still exist, but also that Tomás has a very special power… he can summon his very own dragon!
But Tomás faces a difficult choice, and he and his dragon, Ironskin, must learn to trust each other – and together, they have to save their home from a deadly threat.
An exciting new fantasy series from the highly acclaimed author of Orion Lost, brilliantly illustrated throughout, and perfect for fans of Beast Quest and How to Train Your Dragon.
Please note that this title is being supplied as an advance PDF for reading on Kindle and other devices. This means that the illustrations alongside the text may appear in different places and not provide the best reading experience. This is in no way representative of the final eBook version of this title.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 17 members
A brilliant book for newly confident readers and an ideal class read for year 3.
Tomàs has a special skill but he has to learn how to use it without losing his family.
A great balance of action, adventure and love. I know this will be a popular series with children and an ideal addition to book shelves.
Who doesn’t love stories about dragons? This is an exciting adventure perfectly pitched for newly confident readers who want a brilliant story but aren’t quite ready for longer chapter books yet.
Tomas is following in his father’s footsteps and training to be a blacksmith when one day he sees a strange face in the flames of the forge. Suddenly, he doesn’t feel happy handling the strange dragon swords anymore. Then, he is asked to join the secret Dragonseer’s guild as the face in the flames is that of a dragon. Apparently, dragons are not extinct in the land of Draconis after all.
The story follows Tomas and his fellow dragonseers as they train with their dragons. Tomas struggles and begins to feel that he would be better off back home with his parents when a fire breaks out and nearly destroys everything.
The story is fast paced and will certainly keep children’s attention and the illustrations add to the appeal of the book.
I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for providing me with the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
I’ve said before that everyone loves a dragon and one of my favourite recent middle grade series has been the Dragon Realm series by Katie and Kevin Tsang. Packed full of adventure, danger and mystery, they have had a great many readers hooked, but up until now I have not been able to find anything comparable for younger, or less confident, readers. Yes, there are some brilliant titles for those in lower KS2, but in the main they are much lighter, more humorous titles that while hugely entertaining have been lacking that element of adventure that I have found wanting.
Seeing that Alastair Chisholm was writing a new series aimed at those less experienced readers, I was curious as to what they would be like. Having read and loved Adam-2 earlier this year, as soon as I saw this was available on Net Galley I was desperate to read it. After starting this in bed on Saturday morning, I dipped in and out through the morning, each time promising myself I would only read one more chapter until by lunchtime I had devoured the entre thing. Gripping, exciting and with enough danger to thrill younger readers without scaring them silly, this is a cracking title and exactly what I have been looking for – a story that will hook them in and make them too wish that they too had a dragon in their lives.
When we first meet Tomás, he is helping his blacksmith father with his craft, creating dragonswords for the king, in case the fierce and terrible dragons that had once lived in the kingdom of Draconis return. Placing the weapons onto a rack, Tom is startled when he sees a face appear in the flames of the forge’s fire, which tells him to be ready. Already confused by what he has seen, Tom is even more so the following morning when he spies the face again which this time gives him another message.
When the king’s representative, Captain Hork, comes to collect the swords, he pays much less than the agreed price – leaving Tom’s parents worried about their finances. They are soon distracted, however, when one of Hork’s men – Malik – returns to speak to them regarding Tom’s future, offering him an apprenticeship as a member of the Guild of Clerks. Realising what an advantageous position this would be, Tom’s parents agree and he finds himself leaving with Malik the next day.
Making polite conversation with him, Tom is astonished when Malik asks him about the mysterious face in the flames and even more so when the two of them encounter a tall woman on their way to the Guild, in the company of a dragon. Explaining to Tom that dragons are not the evil monsters he has been led to believe, she tells him that he is in fact a dragonseer – and he is really to be apprenticed to the Dragonseer Guild. As he starts to learn what this entails, Tom’s world is turned upside down by the demands of his new life, but can he bring himself leave his old life behind, or will his love for his family prevent him from fulfilling his destiny?
Despite all the trappings of 21st Century life, modern children’s interest in mythical creatures shows no sign of waning, and as with other dragony stories aimed at younger readers, there are some wonderful illustrations – here from Eric Deschamps – to accompany the text. These together with the short length of the book – 160 pages – make this the perfect read for its target audience of 7+ readers, who are just moving onto short chapter books and want a read that has the feel and appearance of a more grown up book. Certainly, as a class, my current Year 5s are a lot less confident in their choices of reading material than in previous years and I have a huge number of fans of Andy Shepherd’s The Boy Who Grew Dragons series for whom this will be perfect.
Tom is a great protagonist – torn between the love he feels for his family and the expectation he has always carried of joining the family business, and the prospect of a new life with people he doesn’t know but using the abilities he has just discovered. So many children aspire to joining their favourite football team or becoming a pop star, for instance, but here it is very clear to them that even for those who have the most marvellous opportunities in front of them, difficult decisions and hardships may be the price it is necessary to pay for success.
With Book 2 – Cara and Silverthief – publishing alongside this title, it should be obvious to all that Tom’s decision will be to carry on with his exciting new life, and – although I have as yet to read that title – I would suggest you should probably pick up both books together. While this book is a great story that works well by itself, much of the book is taken up with setting up the action ready for the sequel and it would be a real shame not to find out what happens next. With Book 3, Ellis and Pathseeker, following hot on the heels of those reads in April, I have no doubt there will be a great many readers who eagerly embrace this series, and why would they not?
Dragon Storm: Tomás and Ironskin publishes on January 13th 2022, and your lovely local independent bookshop will be delighted to order it in for you. Enormous thanks go to publisher Nosy Crow and to Net Galley for my advance read. 5 out of 5 stars.
Alastair Chisholm is an author whose books I will always pick up. His writing is superb, characters are well written and the plots are always intense and action packed,
This new series has all the promise of above plus it is written for a younger age range, where serious books with brilliant writing are lacking. This will be a very popular new series for Years 3 and 4.
Tomas sees a face in the fire and at first is worried but comes to learn this is a face to trust. When he is offered an apprenticeship, his parents are thrilled as his opportunities will open great doors now. What they do not know is that he has been considered to be a Dragonseer, someone who connects to and summons the great beasts. Heavily feared, this must be a secret.
Incredibly well written and with the promise of more to come, I will certainly be investing in this book and eagerly awaiting the others.
The master of sci-fi, Alastair Chisholm, has shifted genres for his next venture and has dived into the fantasy world of dragons. The new series is set in Draconis where dragons once roamed the land but retreated thousands of years ago, following the Dragon Storm and are now nothing more than legend to the residents of the town.
I have been lucky enough to read Tomás and Ironskin which introduces us to Draconis where Tomás lives with his parents. His father is the local dragonswords maker, as ordered by the king who wishes to be prepared in case the dragons reappear. Tomás is set to become an apprentice smithy like his father until Malik, one of the kings' clerks, arrives and tells Tomás about a secret society known as the Dragonseer Guild and invites him to join them. Having seen images of a dragon in the fire, Tomás joins Malik but will he take to the Guild and will he be bale to master his new-found skills?
I have loved both of Alastair's sci-fi books and have been very excited at the prospect of a book for younger readers (this one is aimed at 7-9 year olds) as well as Alasitair writing a different genre, and I was thrilled when I read Tomás and Ironskin. The book is perfectly pitched and paced so that younger readers will be drawn into the plot. The setting is vivid and allows readers to imagine themselves in the Guild and part of the lessons - I can imagine so many children at school who will be thrilled at dreaming of this!
I like Tomás as a main character: he is close to his parents and keen to follow in his father's footsteps; however, his curiosity having seen the image in the fireplace and the lure of something new seem to intrigue him. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of the team (including the dragons) as the series progresses.
Pacy and full of dragon excitement, Dragon Storm is a series I'm very much looking forward to introducing in school at the start of next term once it's released on the 13th January.
This was a popular title in our house, exciting and interesting, holding our attention till the end. We like books about dragons but the story has to be good also. This one ticked all of the boxes and we are awaiting the next in the series with anticipation.
This is a great start to a series that will hopefully help to fill the gap between early readers/picture books and middle grade titles. Engaging and interesting characters inhabit an easily imaginable world, where humans and dragons exist - but can they exist together? The readers experience Tomas’ journey of discovery with him, with much of this being Tomas discovering himself and his possible future. The supporting characters are varied and believable, and the plot carries itself at a steady, manageable pace for young readers. This is an ideal read for children with developing confidence and independence to read by themselves, but is engaging for adults too if read as a shared story experience. There is much to like here, and I look forward to many more in the series.
This was such a wonderful book to read and I am sure it will be very popular with the pupils at the school where I work. The book is beautifully illustrated - even on my ancient Kindle - which I think really helped bring the story to life. It is advertised as being suitable for ages 7-9 and I think that is spot on! This is an early chapter book, which I think newly fluent readers will find captivating.
The story is a fantasy genre and is set in a medieval town where life it not as it seems. Tomas comes from an impoverished family and has no ambitions other than to follow in his father's footsteps and be the best son that he can be. He is plucked from his family home by a 'mentor' following a strange experience at his father's forge. Tomas learns that he has magical skills which the realm needs him to put to good use and is sent to school to bod with his dragon: Ironskin.
This book will suit readers of Beast Quest, and is a good place to go when they become boring, as it feels fresh with good characterisation. There are many similarities to the 'Dragon Mountain' series by Kevin and Katie Tsang.
This book will definitely have a space in my library. I can't wait to get it in the hands of our borrowers!
Eeeeeek! I adored this! Fans of Beastquest and Rainbow Magic will find this perfect to leap into, especially as the series writes about each of Tomas's friends and their dragons. I loved Orion Lost, and Alastair Chisholm has pitched this new series perfectly for younger readers. Quality writing for the 5-8s and above all a brilliant story arc to each of the characters which I cant wait to continue reading.
This was a brilliant first book/introduction to what will be a great series. I really enjoyed this one and getting to know the world. Tomas has to make some big decisions that will not just affect him. This was such a joy to read and definitely has some good lessons for a young and older audience. Cannot wait to grab a copy for my school library.
Wow! This was fantastic read! It's such a short book, only 150 pages, but it manages to pack so much detail, magic and intrigue into its pages. I picked this book up just to see if it would be suitable for my class, but quickly realised this is going to be a series I'm invested in too.
As a teacher of 8 year olds, I'm always on the look out for good books written for the 7 - 9 age group. This is the perfect book for them! It's not too long, the language is interesting but not too challenging and the plot is easy to follow but without what happens next being obvious. I also loved the mystery posed at the end of the book that I look forward to exploring in the sequels.
Would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon and the Dragon Realm series.
Alastair Chisholm is an author whose books I read as soon as they come out.
This one is no exception. Brilliant. There are not enough sci# or fantasy books for primary aged children and Alastair is filling this gap.
Dragon Storm is the perfect fantasy book for younger (7x9) readers finding their independent reading feet.
Can Tomás really summon dragons, especially as they are supposedly extinct? Can he build trust with Ironskin and not have to make a difficult choice?
A fabulous read.
I do so love a book that dives straight into the action and this glorious offering from Alistair Chisholm does not disappoint.At the beginning we meet Tomas who makes Dragon swords, swords so powerful they can destroy dragons. But surely there are no dragons left! Join Tomas as he leaves the life of a blacksmith and becomes a Dragonseer.
This is going to be a glorious series that readers embarking on independence are going to enjoy & those more fluent readers will want to dive into time and time again. A wonderful adventure story.
Thank you to NetGalley and Nosy Crow for this eARC to review.
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