Dragons of Introvertia by James and Bit Barringer
Introvertia is – get ready for this – a kingdom full of introverts. People there enjoy reading, spending time at home or with one or two friends, and eating good food; you know how it goes. Small talk is explicitly banned in the constitution and no one will mind if you spend the entire day in the Reading Square with a good book. I bet you’d love it there.
Fifteen-year-old Eza Skywing is training to join the Rangers, the kingdom’s legendary protectors – the ones who can talk to dragons! He’s just finished his Year of Silence, the final step before getting a dragon of his very own, only to be devastated when he learns that hundreds of dragons have gone missing and there are none for his class at the Dragon Academy! What could possibly have happened?
Fifty miles away, on the far side of the Very Large Forest, the brilliant Cammie Ravenwood has just celebrated her sixteenth birthday. She loves living in Exclaimovia, with all its loud parties and chaotic streets and constant interruptions – although she hates the way people look at her sideways when she wants some time alone, in silence. That stings, but what could she do…flee to Introvertia?
Everything changes for Cammie when she learns a horrible secret: her people have stolen Introvertia’s dragons and are planning to start a war. Her father, a famous general, will be thrown into danger again. There’s no way Cammie will let that happen, so she does the unthinkable. She sets off for Introvertia, desperate to find someone who will help her.
In the Very Large Forest she meets Eza, and the two of them immediately discover why their kingdoms have been bitter enemies for thousands of years. It’s up to them to find the stolen dragons and stop the war…if they don’t annoy each other to death in the process! Yet they find that there are forces behind the scenes more sinister than anything they ever suspected – and that both Exclaimovia and Introvertia may merely be pawns in an even bigger scheme…
Dragons of Introvertia is a young adult series like no other. It’s optimistic in tone, a deliberate push-back against all the bleak, dismal, and dystopian young-adult fantasy that seems to be everywhere these days. It also highlights the introvert experience, letting introverts of all ages know that they’re awesome because of who they are. (Our ideal reader is a teenage introvert who flips the pages and exclaims, “Wow! There’s a word for people like me!”) It also hits on big issues, like mental illness, losing a parent, war and its effects on normal people, and staying positive when everything looks impossible. There’s humor, adventure, magic, and dragons…what more could you want?
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This whole series began when James made a joke about being “Grand Pooh-Bah of the Kingdom of Introvertia,” to which Bit replied, “What would a kingdom of introverts look like?” Forty-five minutes later, book one had taken shape. James is an author (obviously) and teacher; Bit is a digital artist whose work can be seen on Instagram.