Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dragon Keeper, Part III

Title: DragonKnight

Series: The Dragon Keeper #3

Author: Donita K. Paul

Genre: Late mid-grade (10-14) fantasy

“Sabbatical,” Chapter 1 of Dragonknight:

“People. Always too many people.”

Only the leathery beat of Greer’s dragon wings answered Bardon’s observation. Cool air rushed against Bardon’s face, blowing away the cares of three intense years of training and study.

He squeezed his knees into the riding hooks and leaned forward across the major dragon’s neck. Brisk mountain air rose off the snow-topped mountain and blew his dark hair back from his pale face. Soon he should be able to spot the valley Sir Dar had recommended. He needed time alone. The first part of his sabbatical would be spent in isolation.

Bardon put a hand on Greer’s purple scales and communicated his desire to locate a lake shaped like a boot.

Looking down at the forested slopes, he speculated on how many of the seven high races populated the area. A smile spread across his face. It was likely that not one civilized being walked this southern part of the Morchain Mountain Range for a hundred miles in any direction.

He saw a ropma scurry across a rocky stream.

“Don’t worry, fella. I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me. I’m taking a break from everyone, both high and low races.”

Greer rumbled in his throat, and Bardon placed a hand on the amethystine scales of his dragon’s neck. “No, I’m not running away from you, my friend. And in truth, I’m not running away from civilization. I just need a sabbatical, a long sabbatical.”

Squire Bardon has his sabbatical interrupted by three women on a quest to rescue knights sleeping under an enchantment.

The Writing: As with the previous two books, Dragonspell and Dragonquest, the writing of Dragonknight is fairly good. While occasionally punctuated with minor problems (such as dialogue explaining what two characters already know), Dragonknight is engaging and fast-paced, with some delightful twists at the end.

Characters, as always, remain Ms. Paul’s greatest strength, from the wry-humored dragon Greer to the propriety-minded, mouse-sized Jue Seeno.

Plotting improves once more with this book. The climax is still the weakest link, although it lacks the easy-out of Dragonspell and the accidental nature of Dragonquest. Also, the unexpected addition of a second point of view two-thirds through this book causes the story to lose some of its drive and cohesiveness.

The Story: Many of the same themes from the previous books—servanthood, prejudice, and judgment by appearance—are fleshed out in Dragonknight, with some additional issues concerning faith, forgiveness, and absolute truth.

Magic and supernatural abilities continue to play an important role within this story.

Summary: A good read, with the many positives outweighing the negative.

Rating: 3.8 of 5

(Book 1, Book 2, and Book 4 reviews)


Becca Johnson said...

I didn't have a problem with the second point-of-view. In fact, I had been expecting it and it made me happy! :) What I didn't like about it was that the character seemed to have changed quite a lot. Their personality didn't seem quite the same anymore. That disappointed me.

But overall, I loved this book! :)

Good job on the review!

Becca Johnson

Chawna Schroeder said...

Thanks, Becca, for all your kind comments on my reviews.