Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Review: DragonLight

DragonLight by Donita K. Paul

Recommended for: Ages 10-Adult

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

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon--despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease--has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin.

When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy. can they overcome the ominous peril they can't even see?

The Dragon Keeper Chronicles has taken me on a delightful journey that sadly has finally come to an end. Well, it hasn't really come to an end. I still have the last two books from the library and keep picking them up and rereading my favorite bits. DragonLight was a worthy continuation that I greatly enjoyed, and I'm sad to have to say goodbye to Kale and Bardon.

Writing: 4/5

The writing is really pretty much the same as always. I suppose I can mention here the flaws in her climaxes. Donita K. Paul is excellent at worldbuilding and character development. I mean fantastically excellent. And she weaves it all together like a master. But when it comes to climaxes, it just could really be better. The climax of DragonLight was rather anticlimactic. It so deserved to be epic and amazing, but it fell short. That being said, her writing did pull me into the story and make me sympathize with the characters.

Setting: 5/5

If you've been following these reviews, you already know how much I love Amara, so I won't bore you by reiterating it yet again. In this book you get to see the origins of the dragons, which was extremely interesting. I love how she weaves in further worldbuilding with every story in a way that interests the reader and never feels like an info dump.

Plot: 4/5

I really did enjoy the whole book. There were several plots woven through. One involves the cult of the Followers. It was very well done, and the allegorical meanings of it really stood out to me. The way they solved the problem did happen somewhat offscreen in a way that was easy to miss, so that's my only complaint about it. It really made me think about how easy it is to fall into the traps of those who wish to deceive.

Then there was the whole thing about finding the meech colony. That became the main plot as...well, spoilers. But I loved how they gradually discovered the reason behind the attacks of the little black dragons and how it led into the climax. It was a bit anticlimactic and abrupt, the way it ended, but I still loved it. There's also Toopka's story, related to that, but I won't spoil it. To be honest, I'm not sure I understand it well enough to spoil it.

Then there's the personal side of the story. SPOILER Kale has a baby! END SPOILER I loved seeing Kale and Bardon together. They're so entertaining, and it was great to see them move on to the next stage of their lives in this book.

Character Development: 5/5

Again, excellent. Gilda was a very well drawn character, and thoroughly aggravating. Seriously, when she found out that the aforesaid spoiler was going to happen, she was angry about it and made me mad. Bardon. *sniff* It was so sad to see him still struggling with stiffness from the stakes (a childhood disease dangerous in adulthood) that he had in the last book. I wanted so bad for him to be healed completely. No more spoilers, I won't say the conclusion of that. Kale was quite interesting in this book, due to the previous spoiler (my anti spoiler sister gave it to me before I read the book, so maybe it's not such a big one, but it isn't revealed until about halfway through the book). She was sometimes grumpy, and sometimes quite not, but I really enjoyed reading about her. Toopka was extra interesting, so was Sittiponder, and, really, the characters are just fantastic!

Despite my struggles to get truly interested in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles at the beginning of the series, by the end I loved it, and highly recommend it to fantasy lovers. I only wish there were more books.

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