I think one of the reason’s Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch is such a compelling story is that it is so close to being a true story. All the components are at once fantastic and based on fact. The opening scene, in which a small boy is almost consumed by a tiger, but lives to tell the tale, is based on a recorded incident. The story that follows of a group of adventurers out in search of real live dragon, could just as easily be true if you allow yourself to imagine what it would be like to live in a time when no one in your part of the part of the world had ever seen a Komodo dragon and all you knew were the stories.
Terrible things happen in the course of this novel, but what I was left with was a sense of wonder and possibility.
~EM, Reference desk