A Darkening of Dragons by S.A. Patrick, illustrated by George Ermos

A Darkening of Dragons (Songs of Magic 1) by S. A. Patrick, illustrated by George Ermos. Peachtree, 2022. 9781682633762

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? This is the first book in a series, it follows a 13-year old Piper named Patch Brightwater. In this tale, a piper can weave magic through his/her music. One can do this with an actual musical pipe (some materials are more powerful than others), but it is also possible to pipe magic by whistling in a pinch. Patch wakes up in a town that has called for a Piper to fix their rat problem; the town’s infestation threatens its winter food stores and thus its survival. As Patch attempts to rid the town of the rats, he realizes that the townspeople are accidentally caught up in the deadly tune and has to end it before harm comes to the humans. Meanwhile, a pair of Pipers emerge from the woods on the trail of a Piper who has used illegal tunes. It turns out that Patch is the felon. He is arrested and sentenced to jail, but not before making friends with a rat who turns out to be a cursed girl, unable to return to her natural human form. When jail is attacked by dragons, Patch escapes and meets a dragogrif (half dragon, half griffin). Patch, Wren ( rat/girl), and Barver ( dracogriff) become fast friends, each with their own mission but willing to help each other. Wren needs a way to return to human form, Patch wants to evade the Custodian Pipers, and Barver wants to complete a quest set by his late mother. The three have exciting and scary adventures along the way and learn devastating secrets that could threaten everyone. This was a very fun story and we can’t wait to read the next installment.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing at all

To whom would you recommend this book? Ages 8-12, fans of Harry Potter, Septimus Heap, and The Wizards of Once.

Who should buy this book?  Middle schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction/fantasy

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Vicky Tandy, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review: September 22,2022

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