Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul
Published 2010 by Waterbrook Press, 370 pages
Genre: Christian fantasy, middle grade/young adult
This book is a sequel to Paul’s recent book The Vanishing Sculptor. However, I think Dragons of the Valley probably stands alone pretty well, because enough explanation is added.
Tipper, the king’s granddaughter, is trying to help save the kingdom of Chiril from the neighboring country to the north. At first these northerners infiltrate and cause lots of trouble, but the Chiril king makes very poor decisions, and pretty soon the trouble-makers are invading.
There’s a very troubling ally of the bad guys called the Grawl. In a world with 14 races, this guy is a cross-breed and has all kinds of abilities that others don’t have. Consequently he is a very formidable assassin, getting rid of Chiril’s magistrates and other officials one by one. After a while the country hardly functions.
Now the Grawl targets Wizard Fenworth, a key character who has appeared in several of Paul’s novels. Will the Grawl be able to kill the wizard? What about the Grawl’s other targets, the wonderful, mindspeaking, rideable dragons?
Tipper takes up her first assignment, to confiscate a statue and take off on a quest, hiding it in her belongings. Dealing with various difficulties, she moves from disbelief toward faith in Wulder, the name for Jehovah God in this world. More assignments test her: is she the selfish teen princess, or the maturing future queen?
And don’t forget Bealmondore, the foppish artist. Much to his surprise, the wizard gives him a marvelous sword that teaches him swordsmanship. After Bealmondore gives his life to Wulder, will he be inspired to heroic deeds?
What do I think?
Some of the characters have amusing cartoonish characteristics: Tipper’s mother suffers from foggy brain, useful for confusing the bad guys. Wizard Fenworth continually drops lizards and mice from his clothing whenever he shakes it out. Meanwhile, the characters that undergo change, Tipper and Bealomondore, are believable and well drawn.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You will too.
Check out my review of the previous book in the series here:
This is part of the CSFF Blog Tour. To see what others are saying about this book, check here:
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Author’s web site – http://www.donitakpaul.com/
Author’s blog – http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com/