Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: DragonFire

DragonFire by Donita K. Paul

Recommended for: Ages 10-Adult

Rating: PG (for mild violence, some romance and fantasy elements)

Three years of strife have passed since Kale and Bardon freed Paladins knights. Now, fiery dragons scorch their beautiful countryside as an evil husband-and-wife wizard duo battle one another for supremacy.

The people of Amara just want to be left alone, hoping the conflict with disappear. But Paladin is dying, and Bardon and Kale, now married, must accept fateful assignments if their land is to survive. Will their efforts turn the tide against their adversaries? They face a deadly threat, and a challenging choice.

DragonFire was a very interesting book, and a worthy continuation of the Dragon Keeper chronicles. I very much enjoyed reading it, and it was actually the Dragon Keeper book I read the fastest, reading it in about three days. And it made me still want to read the last book, which is always a good thing.

Writing: 4/5

Ms. Paul's writing is much the same as always, not exactly the best in physical descriptions, but quite sufficient to get the mental movie going in my head. The writing does really get me to feel the emotions of the characters, even if it doesn't give me a good picture of what they look like. Now, when Kale and Bardon are together in the last two books, the point of view character does change quite a bit. It does get somewhat confusing in the mindspeaking, as the POV character does not have his or her dialogue in quotes and the other person does. Several times I had to stop to figure out who was who, though it didn't usually take long to do so.

Setting 5/5

I love Amara. It is definitely one of the fantasy worlds I would want to visit if it was real. As always, the worldbuilding continues in this book, giving deeper insight into the world, that is still consistent with previously established facts. This book (at least I think it was this one, I read the last two back to back) explains better the development of the low races. I was a little unsure about the idea that Pretender had created the low races, that being the common conception of their origins, but the full explanation doesn't give me pause at all. I suppose to explain it would be a spoiler, though not a major one.

Plot: 4/5

The plot of DragonFire was definitely more interesting than that of DragonSpell. Kale and Bardon are given different tasks, Kale to find the dragons with her father and to enlist their help, Bardon to go fight. Like Kale, I didn't want for them to be separated, but it was necessary to the story. There were many ups and downs, especially when Bardon got sick, and when Kale and her father, Sir Kemry, faced Burner Stox. The climax was better than the ones in the other books, though not quite as climactic as I would like. The ending was sweet, though, and I loved it. Now, there are quite a few kisses between Bardon and Kale, but it never is very descriptive (it usually says something like, "He kissed his wife,") and they are married, so it would be odder if they never did.

Character Development: 5/5

I love Kale and Bardon. I was pleased to see that they were married in this book, that the author allowed them to move forward in their lives and not be teenagers throughout all their adventures. Something else that recently occurred to me about these characters is that Bardon is a character in his own right. Sure, he came into the story to eventually marry Kale, but he's not Mr. Perfect. He has flaws, but at the same time is chivalrous and a gentleman. I love for there to be gentlemen. There are so few nowadays. I alternately loved and hated Sir Kemry and often wished with Kale that Bardon was there instead. Sir Kemry just didn't know how to be a father, and had more confidence in Kale's ability to protect herself than she did, but he did aggravate me when he aggravated Kale. Honestly, I had the same feeling about most of the characters that Kale did, which I guess means it was well done.

Fantasy lovers everywhere will enjoy DragonFire, and I highly recommend it.

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