This playful fantasy novel tells the story of Borgon the Axeboy – a brave barbarian eager to impress his fearless parents, Fulgut and Freaky Fulma. The family live in the treacherous Lost Desert, home to terrifying places such as the Upside-down Mountains, the Scat Cacti and a confused bush. We first meet Borgon’s family munching on a meal of crocodile tails in their cave but, to Borgon’s disappointment, the tails are not to his mother’s taste. Armed with only a few warnings from his father, he sets off in search of a breakfast fit for his fierce, barbarian mother. Only a ‘dangerous and fun’ breakfast will do.
Borgon’s quest is just a few pages long before high spirits are dampened by his next-cave neighbour, Grizzy, who enjoys dangerous breakfasts of her own, including bowls of scorpion porridge! Grizzy finds Borgon’s quest unconvincing, and hilarious, and decides she should join him in order to taunt and tease him throughout. She brings with her the Book of All Things that proves unsurprisingly useful as they make their way through the Lost Desert.
For his dangerous breakfast, Borgon needs to find a dragon, and it is Poskitt’s playful characterisation of these traditional monsters that readers will enjoy most about the story. Borgon and Grizzy learn that dragons come in different shapes and sizes and that some are clumsy and drowsy, especially after a visit to the Punch Pit (a lake of fermenting fruit). Despite a certain lack of ferocity, the dragons prove rather difficult to vanquish and it becomes necessary for Grizzy and Borgon to put their childish squabble aside and help each other.
The chronicle of Borgon and his dangerous breakfast has several silly characters to engage younger readers and Reeve’s illustrations, as always, are charming and eye-catching. However, though there is a somewhat surprising twist at the end of the tale, the story is a bit predictable and rarely reaches far enough in terms of humour or action.