Age Level: 10 and up | Grade Level: 5 and up
An Ancient Prophecy. A Secret Royal Destiny. An Incredible Epic Fantasy Adventure.
On the first day of the Year of the Dragon, Master Ming Wu, a Chinese dragon disguised as a mysterious elderly gardener, makes orphan Little Tiger his son and only heir, secretly putting the fate of the world into the boy’s hands. Suddenly finding his life in terrible danger, Little Tiger must flee China for the safety of Tarpon Springs, Florida, where his magical destiny is waiting for him.
Little Tiger and the Year of the Dragon is a 6-part Epic Fantasy Adventure and Modern Dragon Story by author D. Byron Patterson and includes these sequential titles:
- The Dragon King of Beijing
- The Sponge Docks of Tarpon Springs
- The Song of Dragons
- Watchwardens of the Dragon King
- The Shadow Mists of Twilight (July 2012)
- Throne of the Songfinder King (August 2012)
Amazon Exclusive: Author Q&A with D. Byron Patterson
Q: Byron, what inspired you to write this story?
A: I’d been designing this cartoon lamb. You know, creating a voice and developing a world, including all these funny songs and anecdotes for his website Lambpants.com. Lamby’s personality matches his enormous heart, but he’s a wounded creature. He was a tiny plush toy that the family dog chewed up, and he came to life after a magic water bottle cap was shoved into his head. A friend of mine thought he was interesting, but he challenged me to figure out where his magic originated. Admittedly, I hadn’t given it that much thought. But since Lamby had two Chinese dragon companions, I decided to delve into the mythology of ancient China, specifically the legends about royalty, magic, Sacred Beasts and the strange dance between our world and the world of the supernatural, the spirit. My wife and I live in Tarpon Springs, Florida, so as I began to wind down my research, I decided to write about an orphan named Little Tiger in our modern age and then find a way to bring him over to my neck of the woods and see how that played out.
Q: But it’s six books, right?
A: Technically, it’s a novel-length story — roughly the length of a Harry Potter book — bridged by six parts that we’ve been releasing in chapter books. I originally created this very simple tale that connected the dots for Lamby’s world, but when I saw there was much more there, I expanded it greatly. Instead of one night, the action takes place over the course of one year, the Year of the Dragon. I also developed the plot to revolve around Tarpon Springs, which turned out to be very entertaining for me, as the characters are going all over the world and fighting demons and flesh-eating ghosts and other darker forces of evil, and then they come back to this tiny coastal city in the bayous of central Florida in the end. Having the characters rooted in a place not terribly known for magic or dragons or heroes really appealed to me — it somehow makes the action and events more extraordinary.
Q: How do you think The Dragon King of Beijing differs from other children’s fantasy?
A: Only that it’s like a prologue which opens into a bigger story that grows more complex with each part. There are universal themes: coming of age, first love, going home, struggling with identity, facing fears, watching loved ones die. It’s a multicultural, modern-day dragon story with bits about hidden ancient royalty. Every character is from somewhere else and has a vital part to play in shaping Little Tiger’s journey. And it happens in America!
Q: What would you like readers to take away from the Little Tiger Dragon King series?
A: That there’s magic everywhere, that you are better off being yourself. That you often find hope or love in the least expected places.