Ancient China, Han Dynasty. Ping thinks she is safe hiding in the shadow of the Tai Shan mountains. Here she struggles to care for Kai, the baby dragon she is responsible for. But even in her remote mountain hideout, Ping's enemies find her. It is Kai they want. Who can Ping trust? It is impossible to distinguish friend from foe. The easy road beckons. Will they find sanctuary in the Garden of the Purple Dragon? Will Ping embrace her true destiny?


Carole Wilkinson is an award-winning and much loved author of books for children. She has a long-standing fascination with dragons and is interested in the history of everything. Though Carole has written over 30 books, she did not write her first book until she was nearly 40. Before that she had worked as a laboratory assistant and as a film and television writer and editor.


The plot is thoughtful and intricate, the characters skillfully drawn, and the prose as strong and sinuous as a dragon’s tail.

Australian Bookseller+Publisher

Wilkinson’s world convinces with lots of careful calligraphic brush strokes: the feel of a padded vest, the height of a peasant’s roof, the tricks of perspective (both literal and psychological) in the emperor’s garden.

The Age

This is a magnificently written and captivating story.



Queensland Premer’s Literary Awards, Children’s Book Award
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