Read The Shadow Dragons Online

Authors: James A. Owen

The Shadow Dragons

BOOK: The Shadow Dragons




The Chronicles of the
Imaginarium Geographica

Book One:
Here, There Be Dragons

Book Two:
The Search for the Red Dragon

Book Three:
The Indigo King

Lost Treasures of the Pirates of the Caribbean

(with Jeremy Owen)





Written and illustrated by

James A. Owen


An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales

or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2009 by James A. Owen

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.


trademark of

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please

contact Simon &

Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or

[email protected]

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event, contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at

Book design by Christopher Grassi and James A. Owen

The text for this book is set in Adobe Jenson Pro.

Manufactured in the United States of America

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Owen, James A.

The shadow dragons / written and illustrated by James A. Owen. p. cm.—

(The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica ; bk. 4)

Summary: The Winter King’s Shadow, having gained control of the doors from the Keep

of Time and of an army of Dragon Shadows, plans to use the turmoil of World War II

to take over both worlds, but all Caretakers, past and present, come together to

stop him using some unlikely weapons.

ISBN 978-1-4169-5879-6 (hardcover)

[1. Time travel—Fiction. 2. Characters in literature—Fiction. 3. World War,

1939–1945—Fiction. 4. Fantasy.] I. Title.

PZ7.097124Shc 2009 [Fic]—dc22 2008050303

ISBN 978-1-4391-6055-8 (eBook)

For James Chapple and Jeremy Owen


List of Illustrations



Part One: Inklings and Mysteries

Chapter One: Ransom

Chapter Two: The Inn of the Flying Dragon

Chapter Three: Pursuit of the Un-Men

Chapter Four: The Pieces of Time

Part Two: Abandoned Houses

Chapter Five: The Spanish Prisoner

Chapter Six: The Last Map

Chapter Seven: The Grotto

Chapter Eight: The Nameless Isles

Part Three: The League of Poets

Chapter Nine: The House of Tamerlane

Chapter Ten: The Cuckoo

Chapter Eleven: The Master

Chapter Twelve: The Adversary

Part Four: The Town That Wasn’t There

Chapter Thirteen: The Legendarium

Chapter Fourteen: Abaton

Chapter Fifteen: The Construct

Chapter Sixteen: The Broken Sword

Part Five: Beyond the Edge of the World

Chapter Seventeen: Strategies of War

Chapter Eighteen: The Descent

Chapter Nineteen: The Ruined City

Chapter Twenty: The Bargain

Part Six: Reign of Shadows

Chapter Twenty-one: The Return

Chapter Twenty-two: Pax Terra

Chapter Twenty-three: Justice and Mercy

Chapter Twenty-four: The Notion Club

Author’s Note

List of Illustrations

… a man was standing as if he were waiting…

The lamps were … moving with the light of active flame.

… they saw the miniature image of an old friend.

“All set…. What is our destination?”

… on the edge of the uppermost shelf was a small glass bottle…

Attending to the various globes were three women …

“I expect you must be the Caretakers,” the cat said…

The walls were covered with paintings … large enough to step through. …

There were many … the companions knew by name and reputation …

“The place you’re seeking … isn’t there.”

Three … glided close, then landed smoothly on the deck.

There were other familiar faces as well…

The gatekeeper was a blind man … covered in tattoos…

It was the Keep … remade as a patchwork lighthouse…

… an apparition … her gown floating in the water…

The old knight … moved the
Scarlet Dragon… over the edge…

Resting amid some coral … was an oval-shaped frame …

Standing among the ruins was a man, dressed in rags …

n one hand he held a hammer. The other was not a hand at all…
one hand he held a hammer. The other was not a hand at all…
hand at all…

“Show them what it looks like when a hope is fulfilled …”

A tearing sound ripped across the hilltop…

… Hallward was just completing the varnish on a painting…

“Greetings, Caretakers and company,” said the stout, bearded man…


The Shadow Dragons
was an interesting challenge. It’s a “middle book,” and so brought with it both the expectations generated by the first three, as well as those anticipated by the stories to come. It was the most complex book to work on, and the easiest to understand—because the characters involved are now old friends. And so are the ones in the book itself.

Navah Wolfe and David Gale have continued to be among the most valuable supporters of my work. I believed (and still do) when I started my relationship with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers that I had found in David the ideal editor. He has found a perfect balance of push and pull, of encouragement and prodding, which allows me to do what I do to the best of my limits. And Navah has become an invaluable first reader. Without a doubt her queries about characters and situations has made this a tighter book—and in one specific case, allowed me to revise one character to better reflect who he was supposed to be (and in the process made the book better by far). After David and Navah are done, Dorothy Gribbin and Valerie Shea are the editing gatekeepers, who make us all look smart. I am grateful to them all for all the hard work.

Julie and Ellen at the Gotham Group, and my attorney Craig Emanuel, continue to keep the contracts pulled together and make sure that everything I need to keep doing this for a living flows smoothly and well. And Cyndee Larson at National Bank of Arizona has gone the extra mile time and again to make sure the lights are on so that I can keep doing the work I need to do. Without their support I would be hoeing a much tougher row.

It’s also been gratifying to know that I’ve had the support of all the executives at Simon & Schuster. Rubin Pfeffer and Rick Richter have moved on, but I remain hugely appreciative for their kindness and faith in my work. And Carolyn Reidy, Justin Chanda, and Jon Anderson have all made it easy to work with this house, and I am looking forward to working with them for a long time to come.

My art directors, Laurent and Lizzy, continue to make the books shine; and over at foreign rights sales, Cecilia and Shannon have made sure that the books are shining in around two dozen other languages. My publicists, Paul and Andrea, have arranged stellar signing tours and taken very good care of me.

Friends old and new inspire me to my best work: Jim Pascoe, Daanon DeCock, Joe LeFavi, Jason Lust, Brian Henson, and Lisa Henson make me proud of my profession. And my friend Rachel Nabors ( gave me one of the best character designs (the Yoricks) I’ve ever had the pleasure of drawing.

My family, in particular my wife Cindy and children Sophie and Nathaniel, are the reasons that I love what I do. Watching Nathaniel and Sophie come into their own as creative individuals gives me the steam I need to keep my wheels turning, and hopefully tell the kind of stories that will inspire them throughout their lives.

My Coppervale team continues to be my base. Lon, Mary, and Jason are supportive in the best of ways; and I would not be able to keep the schedule I do without Jeremy, who is my protector and advocate in more ways than I can count.

And not least, I want to thank a friend who remains with us in spirit, and (in his brother’s words) who often seemed more committed to my goals than I was: James Chapple. He was not a writer or an artist, but was a very good man who saw virtues in me I could not see for myself, and was and is one of my great friends and inspirations.

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