Publication Date: 7 January 2021
Syms Covington has landed the job of a lifetime – cabin boy and fiddler on Charles Darwin’s Beagle. But when he is separated from the crew during a storm, his life takes a truly extraordinary turn. Shipwrecked on a Galapagos island, he makes a discovery that could change the world – and make his fortune. But should he share his find, or will it lead to the extinction of a legendary species? There’s one person who could help, but he’s busy writing a book …
Historical fact is blended seamlessly with fantasy, and leaves you wishing Darwin’s Dragons were all true, in this captivating story of survival against all odds.
Lindsay’s description transports you to The Enchanted Isles with Syms, and you feel every scratch, scrape, bruise and bite his adventure deals him under the searing sun. It could not be more different to the sludgy grey streets of Victorian London.
Syms sheer determination to survive, memories of his father, and relationship with the reptile he befriends all help to create a character who is brave, kind and compassionate.
The Royal Society Scientists don’t fare as well against modern standards of animal welfare, but the stark contrast of Syms’ love compared to Darwin’s analytical interest only serves to immerse you deeper into the historical period and route all the more strongly for the young ship’s fiddler against the men and women of better standing.
A wonderfully believable escape full of heart, hope, and warmth.
Great for fans of:
- The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
- The Great Sea Dragon Discovery by Pippa Goodheart
- The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr
If you’d like to know more about Charles Darwin and his expedition to The Galapagos Islands, then Darwin:An Exceptional Voyage by Fabien Grolleau and Jeremie Royer, or On The Origin Of Species by Sabina Radeva are both excellent starting points.
Huge thanks to Chicken House for sending me a copy of this beautiful book.