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Secret of the Dragon's Claw
The Dragon Series #3
by Derek Hart
iUniverse, $16.95, 231pp
Published: April 2010

From the back cover: “Secret of the Dragon's Claw continues the adventures of Gavin Kane, Emily Scott, and Bunty Digby, fourteen-year-old teens who struggle with their daily lives in England during the winter of 1941 and into the spring of 1942. War has forced everyone to settle into an uncomfortable daily pattern, while England is still under siege, as U-boats relentlessly attack vital convoys. Halfway across the world, British, American, and Allied forces are now also fighting the Japanese Empire. Twice before, the teens have helped battle the forces of darkness, but once again face strange and wicked creatures sent from deep within Nazi Germany.

Secret of the Dragon's Claw further develops the friendship and alliance between this teenage trio and the eccentric Sir Thaddeus Osbert. The dragon has become accustomed to battling a myriad of dangerous foes over the ages, but protecting Gavin, Emily, and Bunty has become a full-time endeavor. Thaddeus must deal with his nagging sweet tooth, which this time gets him into several compromising situations. However, the dragon's addiction to sugar has unforeseen benefits too. The children band together with their dragon friend, of course, but they also discover magical powers are commonplace throughout the United Kingdom. Will a hasty alliance with a senile old wizard be enough to prevent something so horrible, so unimaginable, that it threatens to plunge the entire world into permanent darkness?

The US enters the war after Pearl Harbor, Hitler is bombing England and Himmler has a black dragon he sets on missions against the allies as he turns to the dark arts, urged on by an unseen apparition who wants Himmler to open a rift between worlds.  While Himmler is assisted by Agnes Olmorri, a dark witch who once fought King Arthur, our teen trio and Sir Thaddeus enlist the help of Lanken Rune, a wizard who has lost is powers along with his staff, Elizabeth.

If you are an adult fan of history, dragons or fantasy you will enjoy these books and they are certainly going to be a hit with young readers as well. Parents will find this series a wonderful introduction to both fantasy and history for the young readers in their families. Next month look for reviews of book #4 Secret of the Dragon’s Scales and #5 Secret of the Dragon’s Teeth. Highly recommended series. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

Click title for reviews of other books in the series #1 Secret of the Dragon’s Eye and  #2 Secret of the Dragon’s Breath

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