When I discovered Secret of the Dragon's Eye 1. is set in World War II Britain and 2. features one of my favourite mythical beasts, a dragon, my curiosity was raised and I couldn't wait to read the novel.
Mr. Hart has done his research well: in the first half of the book, life in wartime Britain is described with a lot of convincing detail and a little (British?) humour thrown in for good measure.
I couldn't wait to meet the dragon, and I wasn't disappointed: Sir Thaddeus Osbert is anything a dragon should be: he has charisma, wisdom, heart, and buckets full of dragon charm. He also has a weak spot (for sugar) which, like his fondness for humans has gotten him into trouble in the past.
It doesn't take long for Thaddeus' young friend Gavin to experience the horror and futility of war and revenge first-hand, and Gavin and his friends learn important lessons about love, courage and friendship as they are caught up in the battle for the legendary sword Excalibur, coveted by both the British wartime government and the Nazis. And just as they think all battles are done, Sir Thaddeus' past catches up with him.
A charming and exciting children's / YA historical fantasy adventure that will also appeal to adults who are young of heart!