Ride the Green Dragon

~ A Novel by Andre Norton

Written with Phyllis Miller


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Ride the Green Dragon

 

 

Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of 1985 HC ~

When Tracy and Jared went to stay in the Vargen place in New Jersey, They never expected weird things to happen. Dad was to check out the old hose to see if it could be made into a special resort hotel. It had been built by a circus owner as winter quarters and had later become a home for the retired performers when the circus closed. Mom could finish the Gothic novel she was writing and even get ideas for a new one.
Miss Riggs, who ran the place, was welcoming and talkative - and before long the family had learned of the disappearance years ago of old Mr. Vargen's nephew and with him the money saved up to reopen the circus. The estate could not be settled before the mystery was solved. Karris, a girl about Tracy's age, who also live there, was not welcoming. Granddaughter of a gypsy fortune-teller, she used her grandmother's cards to lay spells and tell the future. Strangely frightening things began to happen to Tracy and Jared - and Jared's pet ferret.
What had become of Mr. Vargen's nephew and the money, and what secrets did the locked-up workshop of the old coachhouse hold? Tracy and Jared unravel the threads of an old tragedy in this dramatic story, full of mysterious incidents and peopled with unusual characters, which builds with mounting tension to a startling conclusion.

 

Write-ups from fans ~

A family moves into an old house designed like a castle, with various intentions; the father wants to renovate is a a resort hotel, the mother just wants a quiet place to do her writing, and the kids want adventure. They find it; the old house use to be the winter quarters for a circus, and the old garage workshop for various circus machines. The former owner's nephew had vanished with money intended to revive the circus, and the owner had died of disappointment. An abandoned project was a carousel with all sorts of fanciful animals, and it seems to be at the heart of the mystery, including a green dragon. ~ SL

 

Phyllis Miller and Andre have penned another YA tale. Mr. Wayne has to scout out locations for B&B and other tourist attractions for his developer boss. He and his family move to New Jersey and into an old house built in the 1800's by a circus owner who used it for a base for his circus and retired there when they couldn't go out any more. The place was like a museum and kept in shape by a small unusual staff.
Mrs. Wayne, a writer of gothic romance novels knows that this house will inspire her writing. Tracy (12, I think) and 8yr old Jared (who has an albino ferret as a pet) have problems with Karris, a spiteful angry girl about Tracy's age who is the granddaughter of a fortune teller. She uses her grandmother's Tarot Cards to cast spells and plays all kinds of dirty tricks on the Wayne kids.
There is a mystery about the house and the long-ago disappearance of a young man (the owner's nephew) and a large amount of money.
The Wayne kids go exploring and chasing the ferret and stumble across a set of large carousel animals, including a unicorn, a Pegasus, and a large green dragon. Why are they here, what do they have to do with the house mystery and can Tracy and Jared uncover the truth before Karris can work her spells and cause them harm? You could cut the tension with a knife. Good ending. Good book and a fast read.  ~ PG

 

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Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1985) Published by Atheneum, HC, 0-689-50331-8, 978-0-689-50331-3, LCCN 85007329, $12.95, 231pg ~ cover by Ellen Thompson {Red Cloth Boards, Library Edition – Yellow Cloth Boards, Pictorial Front}

 

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Non-English Editions ~

  • (1996) Combined with "Velvet Shadows" translation by R. Rezanova ~ Published in Moscow, by Sigma Press, 5-859-49086-0, HC, 416pg ~ "Ride the Green Dragon" translation by Dmitry Arseniev ~ Russian title Бархатные тени [Velvet Shadows]

 

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