Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review of Dragons of the Valley

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul is the second book in her latest series about a young princess named Tipper and the adventures she and her friends experience. Longtime fans of the author will find that the world of her famous DragonKeeper series is the setting for this new fantastic journey of discovery for all ages.

And it is truly a family-friendly book.

The land of Chiril is usually peaceful, and it is the land of Princess Tipper and her artist friend Bealomondore. However, an army soon begins attacking Chiril, forcing her to escape with three special statues made by her father. Bealomondore must learn to put down his brush and learn how to wield a sword to fight a terrible monster called The Grawl. They must journey to the Valley of Dragons before their enemies destroy any chance of peace.

   Donita K. Paul does an excellent job of crafting a totally new and unique world with her words. I enjoyed the journey filled with familiar and new characters that seemed to be a culture so distinct. It was really like stepping into the land of Chiril. And the dragons are just the whipped cream on top of the ice cream!
   My favorite character would have to be Bealomondore. His character is a lot like some of us- we're often put into situations that force us to go above and beyond our comfort zone. Another character I found interesting is Lady Peg; she is one of the most unique characters I've seen in a long time. I've rarely read a book where a character talked so much nonsense yet made sense! It was a good comedic relief in the story, and I applaud the author for creating such unique characters and such a fantastic setting.
   The truths ring loud and clear in this book, and I can easily imagine it as a book a family would read before bedtime or during the weekend.

   I admit I haven't read the DragonKeeper series in a long time (a.k.a Wizard Fenworth and his librarian were my only "aha's!" I had to look in the index in the back to figure out who was who a lot. Indexes are helpful things...), so I was excited when I heard of this new book. I haven't read the first book in this series and I wasn't even aware that there was a first book until I searched the book online... So, this is my background; it may be just me who was confused with several elements of this story.
   My advice? Read the first book first. I was confused when I first became reading. It wasn't until halfway through the story that I remembered things I had read in the Dragonkeeper series along with understanding the story as it went along. This world in the book is really unique, and because of that, readers may get confused or bored pretty easily. I'll repeat the idea: the index in the back with all of the information about what was what, who was who, and where was where really helped out.
I felt that at some places, the story tended to drag on a little. I struggled through the first half of the book because it was all so unfamiliar and the background elements were being set into place. It took an effort to finish the book, and for me, that's a rarity. 

All in all, I rate this book a three out of five.

Specifics (from
~ Paperback: 384 pages
~ Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)
~ Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches

Note: I received this book freely from WaterBrook Multanomah Publishers. I am not obligated to write a positive review- only a honest one.

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Sierra said...

I love Donita k. Paul!
Merry Christmas(we had a white one!!!)

Donita K. Paul said...

Thank you, Prism. I think you did a very fair and thoughtful review. I also appreciate your urging readers to read the first book first. The Vanishing Sculptor is being reissued this Spring as The Dragons of Chiril. Same book. Different title. It should help readers recognize it as part of the trilogy. Thanks again and Have a Happy New Year.

Milli said...

It sounds like a great book. I might pick it up sometimes :)

Jazmine~ said...

Prism, you should read something by Cornelia Funke and review it. =)
She's not like super famous or anything like Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga) but Cornelia masters the art of making you feel like your actually the characters in the story and feeling everything that they feel.
Look up "Inkheart", its the first book in the "Inkheart trilogy" or if its not that its "Inkworld trilogy".
All 3 of them are really good.
You should read the first one at least =D

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