Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Judith Emmerson James

Legend of the Opal Dragon

Pages: 276 Ratings:
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A rollicking Outback adventure set in the desert region of South Australia, where illicit Asian opal buyers enlist a couple of bushies from Coober Pedy to find the cave of the mythical Opal Dragon in the Flinders Ranges. A series of events keeps checking their progress on the way, what with camel races, black trackers and two crafty prospectors stopping their headway. Kate, a worker at the local pub, is abducted by the Asians, in an effort to force the two prospectors to reveal the cave of the opalised skeleton of the Australian dragon, Megalania priscus. The local tribal people were right on their tail and stealthily intervened to rescue Kate and spirit her away during the night. The tough Outback Police, a Flying Padre and Army reinforcements were right on the trail of the mobsters, who fell foul of the difficult conditions of the Outback, which caused their downfall. Possibly the spirit of old Arkaroo, the maker of the waterways of the Ranges, intervened to stop the finding of the dragon. As well, a rugged camel catching team saves an injured small dog, Kate learns to ride a camel well for the next races and one of the Coober Pedy protagonists, Chook, and his big dog Bitzer, deals with the knife-wielding crim in a most unusual way. Laconic Aussie humour, like the flies, pervades the story, with the opal dragon having the last laugh.

Judith Emmerson James is an artist, arts lecturer, editor and journalist. A writer since childhood, she was educated at U.S.Q. and Q.I.T. in Queensland, Australia. A child of the bush, she grew up with indigenous people, and roamed around much of Outback Australia. Having contracted Multiple Sclerosis in the 1980s, Judith was aghast at the lack of help for people with all types of disabilities in country areas. She helped form aid groups across Australia, dealt with all levels of government, written, edited and published disability newsletters and bulletins for nearly thirty years, as well as film and stage scripts, having had a play produced, with short stories and poetry published in Range Writers Anthologies.


Receiving many awards and medals for her work for so many years in the disability sector across Australia, Judith writes for Government submissions and Disability Organisation websites. She was nominated for Australian of the Year in 2012.


On her desk is a pave of purple amethyst crystals which came directly from the lost cave in the Flinders Ranges…the inspiration for her first full-length novel.

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