Guardian of the Gold Breathers

Guardian of the Gold Breathers

by Elise Stephens


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From Writers of the Future Winner Elise Stephens comes an epic adventure of magic, risk, and coming of age.

2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist

Twelve-year-old Liam Finley doesn't expect anything good when he is forced to change his Dublin home for his stepfather's large country house on the edge of the wild woods. But after the first night there, Liam

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781988256351
Publisher: Dragon Moon Press
Publication date: 06/24/2016
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

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Guardian of the Gold Breathers 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written book had me from the first page. Set in 1950's Ireland, Guardian of the Gold Breathers is a magical and compelling story about a boy discovering his place in the world. Not long after losing his father, Liam is forced to move from his beloved home in Dublin to the home of his cruel step-father in the Irish countryside, where he finds himself immersed in an adventure full of danger and trial. Liam must learn to overcome challenging obstacles, stand up for his beliefs, and perhaps most importantly to trust and believe in himself. I loved it!
Stephanie_Fuller More than 1 year ago
Meet Liam. A boy nearing his teen years in Ireland, in the 1950s. He's going through many changes in his life. He's lost a father. Mother remarried a not so nice scientist. Now his mother, and new step-father, are moving him from the only home he has ever known. Liam didn't have many friends to leave behind. He was able to bring his friends with him: his books. Liam loved to read and had many books. Including fairy tales. He was about to find that there was one tale was true... Guardian of the Gold Breathers is a wonderful fantasy story for young and old readers, alike! I found it very easy to connect with the story from the beginning and hunger for more. I even stayed up late because I didn't want to let it wait until the next day. The story had a lot of ups and downs that you feel right along with the main character, Liam. Completely worth it. A good story takes you on a journey. That journey is not always an easy one. Something that all of us can understand and relate to. I plan on telling my 10-year old daughter that she should read this book. I think she'd love it! I secretly (okay, maybe not to secretly considering I am writing it here) hope that the author will write another one and maybe make a series out of this. I think it would be a great series for young readers that are into fantasty/fairy tale stories! I was given an e-copy of Guardian of the Gold Breathers in advance, for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review This is a story about a young boy, Liam, whose mother marries an unethical scientist and moves the family to the country. Liam befriends the gardener and begins to learn about the fairy lands and dragons and a myth about a lost guardian of the dragons. It is a chosen-one/coming-of-age story with elements of classic dark fairy tales and a few unexpected twists and turns. I mostly enjoyed this book, although sometimes the writing style pulled me out of the story (some of the phrasing felt a bit stilted and the dialogue a bit forced), and I wanted to know more about the fairy lands. I was surprised by the ending, which I won't spoil in my review, and I imagine it's setting up for a sequel.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite Guardian of the Gold Breathers by Elise Stephens is the story of 12-year-old Liam’s adventure into a world of magic, fairies, dragons and fantasy. Liam’s father has died, his mother remarries scientist Dr Parker, and they move to a large house on the edge of a mysterious forest. Liam dislikes his stepfather and worries that he will use the family pet dog, Benson, for his medical research. The blind gardener, Michael, tells Liam about the Far Country or land of Tir No Nog and how a path to this extraordinary place opens up in the forest every five years. It seems Liam is the long awaited next Guardian of the Gold Breathers (dragons) who must succeed at set tests, enter the land, and restore peace and harmony. Can Liam save Benson, overcome his fears, and develop the courage to pass the tests to show his bravery, loyalty and obedience? Liam himself is brave, real and likable, and young readers will side with him as he copes with the emotional toll of loss and change, and his determination to pass the tests he has been set. He seems at first to be a sad little boy having little say over what happens, but then finds friendship, strength, purpose and happiness in a whole new world. There are several lovely messages about loyalty and love, discovering yourself, tolerance and understanding in this story, giving it an extra depth. Liam tries hard to understand his stepfather’s motivations, even though he doesn’t like what he does. Elise Stephens has written a magical, inspiring and thought-provoking tale. The book has a well-thought out plot that unfolds at a good pace with plenty of mystery, suspense and magic as it does so. There are some lovely descriptive pieces, and I loved the idea of the hidden path into Tir No Nog and renaming dragons “gold breathers.” The fantasy characters enable Liam’s own character to develop and mature as he finds himself and uncovers the truth about the challenges he has been set. A lovely mixture of fantasy, magical happenings, overcoming threats and dangers, and the strength and development of character that occurs when difficulties are faced. A well written book, Guardian of the Gold Breathers will be enjoyed by young fans of fantasy and magical adventures.
HMTR More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful story about Liam, a young boy who moves with his mother, new step-father, and trusty dog to Dublin, Ireland in 1958. Life is not easy for our hero. He is still grieving the loss of his father while adjusting to his new life. To make matters worse, he strongly mistrusts his step-father, though he puts up with him for his mother’s sake. His family moves into an ancient house on extensive grounds cared for by Michael, an old, blind gardener and Hannah, a kindly cook. As his step-father grows increasingly unkind, going so far as to threaten Liam’s dog and mother, Liam finds himself escaping to the grounds and surrounding forest. There, he befriends Michael who tells him stories of magic. As Liam soon finds out, there is more to Michael, and the forest, than meets the eye. This is Ms. Stephens third book and, having read her others, I believe this is her best yet. The story is imaginative and her writing style pleasant. Readers should be aware the book alludes to animal and spousal abuse. However, this should not be cause for alarm as these themes are handled with tact and grace. I give this book four stars for being a fun read. I received an advanced e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute gem of a fairytale; mythology is woven in throughout the story but it still feels fresh. The story is expertly crafted, the characters are dynamic, and the plot is inherently appealing. Who doesn't wish that they had a dragon egg??? I wish this book had been out when I was a middle schooler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a delightful read. I love stories that lead me away into mysteries, fairy tales, and magic and that's what this book did. In addition to the fun, magical side of it there was also complex relationships that reflected real-life challenges and joys. It ends with, what I thought, an incredible twist that I truly enjoyed. I like being surprised in books (a hard thing to do nowadays). =) I would recommend it to any young adult AND to any adult looking for an enjoyable read!
Gentleman_Johnny More than 1 year ago
Early adolescence is a tough time for boys, especially boys who lose their father, find themselves ripped from everything they’ve ever known and are then expected to undergo a series of tests to prove themselves worthy of protecting a dragon. We’ve all been there, and Guardian of the Goldbreathers does an excellent job of reminding us what it was like to be young and on the cusp of something incredible without the knowledge, experience and judgment to be sure of pulling it off. As may have been the case in your own early dragon days, the adults in Guardian are each a mixed bag—supportive but ignorant, knowledgable but secretive, loving but ineffectual. With the exception of the frankly villainous stepfather and the idolized but dead father, every adult in sight is somebody that Liam needs desperately to be greater than they are. In the end, like all of us, Liam does what he can with the grownups he’s been given and thus takes the first steps towards becoming a grownup himself, nudging some of those grownups towards greatness along the way. By mixing real-world mythology with her own inventiveness and setting the story in the recent past, Stephens has written a book that feels realistic and relatable, as if the storied other realms were real and we just haven’t personally happened upon them. If you’re up for a mix of fantasy, folklore and traditional coming-of-age travails, give this book a read!
KellyFields More than 1 year ago
This children/tween fantasy novel follows a young boy named Liam as he comes to live in Ireland with his mother and stepfather. The morals presented in the plot are centered around honesty, gentleness and selflessness. The story is filled with beautiful description and imagination but to some extent, lacks originality. Prophecies and dragons have been used over and over again in the mythic fantasy sub genre. Nevertheless it is a good read for introducing kids and tweens to the fantasy world.
Impersunator More than 1 year ago
Entertaining Read I really loved this book, and had a hard time putting it down. There were times when I thought I knew what was going to happen and it didn’t. The characters were complex and interesting. I found it imaginative and interesting, and continually found myself hoping it would be made into a movie. It read so fluidly that it was easy to get into the story and stay there. I highly recommend Guardian of the Gold Breathers for young adult and adult readers. Plus, I love the cover.
staticfloat More than 1 year ago
Stephens depicts a vibrant Irish countryside that gleams softly with the charm of mystery, magic and the beauty of putting others before yourself. A cast full of selfless characters guide the reader through a family-friendly story about a youth learning who he is, what he stands for and how he can make the world a better place. Although the book takes a few chapters to find its legs, it becomes quite a page turner toward the end and finishes on a warm note. All around, a good read for younger audiences and a pleasant book to read aloud with its variety of accents, if you're into that sort of thing. :) Full disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Harmony More than 1 year ago
Liam wasn’t looking for a quest... Having lost his father 18 months ago, he’s just hoping his mother will be happy in her new marriage. But their move to the countryside lands him in a manor house that seems to have the potential for magic! A kind and thoughtful boy who likes to draw and to read fantasy stories, Liam is not the best student in school. But when presented with challenges and characters such as an evil stepfather, a troll, firebugs and a Gold Breather—a dragon—Liam discovers his strength and resourcefulness. I genuinely liked Liam, finding him delightfully imperfect. And I enjoyed the fresh aspects Stephens brought to classic fantasy creatures: a dragon's first flame, for example, gives life to firebugs! Though an evil stepfather may be too classic, there is much in Elise Stephen’s novel, Guardian of the Gold Breathers, that parents and teachers can discuss with middle grade students, making this novel a rich and welcome read for all. I received an e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Elizabeth Buege More than 1 year ago
Guardian of the Gold Breathers is a middle grade fantasy novel set in 1958 Ireland. I was excited when I read it was going to involve dragons, but also a little cynical—I’ve read a lot of dragon books and thus seen a lot of themes repeated. Happily, the context for the dragons was unique enough to meet my tastes! The mix of dragon lore with countryside fairies, trolls, and goblins was charming without getting cheesy. There were only a couple of things about the story that weren’t 100% for me—the vast contrast in character between the main character’s dead father and new stepfather was suitable for a kids’ story but one of the less believable aspects of the book. Some of the history passages were a little hard for me to track, though the history they shared was definitely a rich tale. Other than those distractions, the rest of the book was quite realistic to me—the pacing of the story took place over just a few days, the mother and servants were realistic, multi-faceted characters in a way that many children’s books don’t get into, and the questions that Liam (the main character) had to face along the way were both fresh and common to kids everywhere. This is a fun story, and I’d recommend it not only to kids who love fairy tales but to readers of all ages who are interested in a story full of magical moments and everyday heroes. I received an electronic advance reader’s copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for an honest review.