Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Dragons of the Valley
Author: Donita K. Paul
With an invasion of her country imminent, Tipper Schope is drawn into a mission to keep three important statues from falling into the enemy’s clutches. Her friend, the artist Bealomondore, helps her execute the plan, and along the way he learns to brandish a sword rather than a paintbrush.
As odd disappearances and a rash of volatile behavior sweep Chiril, no one is safe. A terrible danger has made his vicious presence known: The Grawl, a hunter unlike any creature encountered before.
To restore their country, Tipper, Bealomondore, and their party must hide the statues in the Valley of the Dragons and find a way to defeat the invading army. When it falls to the artistic Bealomondore to wield his sword as powerfully and naturally as a paintbrush, will he answer Wulder’s call for a champion?
I'm a huge fan of this author. This book is the second in The Chiril Chronicles and is related to the DragonKeeper Chronicles. The story takes place in a different place and time, but some of the characters overlap. Now that the background information is out of the way...
This time the book opens with everyone thinking that peace has just been obtained, the bad guys defeated so everyone should be able to relax. Suddenly there are mysterious summons and told the statues must be removed for their own safety. No details, no reasons... no knowledge of who the enemy is or if they should even trust this summons. So the journey begins.
It is a journey in every sense of the word. They travel distances and meet new people, learn new skills and challenge many of the ideas they've accepted. The force they are up against can't be beat if they don't trust each other - and some have trouble trusting even themselves. As is so often the case, they are badly outnumbered and need the help of the only one who can help in such cases - God - or as He is called in this book, Wulder. Tipper and Bealomondore don't trust in Him though. They aren't even sure if He's real.
Then there is this new creature, a sort of mercenary called The Grawl. He is very formidable and not the kind of... person/thing you would ever want to meet in a dark forest. He's hunting them and wants the statues for himself - among other things.
Like all the books, there is plenty of action, well-drawn characters, a fantastic story world and the kind of dialogue and writing that you quote to people as you're reading. There are places you laugh out loud, some you may feel pity for a character, others that have you mad and wondering why that person was being so mean. You feel totally connected to what the characters are going through - like you are one of the people on the adventure with them. What could be better than that?
The only weakness I could possibly come up with is that I think it reads better as part of the whole series and not as a stand alone book. I just don't think you'd enjoy it as much or get as much out of it without the other books. Like all the books in this and her DragonKeeper series, I think it could be enjoyed by upper elementary all the way to old fogies like myself. :o)
Posted by Margaret Metz at 3:52 AM