Friday, January 29, 2010

DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul

Dragonspell is the story of 14 year old Kale, a village slave girl with the remarkable gift of finding dragon eggs. This absolutely blows away the village council of River Away, so they direct Kale to the Hall where she will use her gift for Wulder. This blows Kale away. Leave River Away, the only place she’s ever known? She’s excited and nervous and bit stressed, but all that doesn’t really matter when she falls down a hill and is captured by a rowdy band of grawlings, who love to play catch. After enduring these disgusting creatures for a few hours and attempting a near failed escape, she’s rescued by a party of four warriors (not counting the dragons) of an assortment of sizes, and is turned her from her original orders. Two of her rescuers, a doneel named Dar and the young emerlindian Leetu Bends, take her along to the bogs in search of the reclusive Wizard Fenworth, whom they hope to enlist in their questing party. Their mission? Rescue a meech dragon egg from the wicked Wizard Risto before he uses the egg to make another low race, killing the dragon inside in the process. But when Leetu Bends is captured, Dar and Kale have to trust Wulder (God) to bring them through and save their friend and the dragon egg. Throughout this “uncomfortable” journey, Kale is transformed from a timid, self-deprecating girl, to a young lady who knows the love of a creator and good friends.
The characters where wonderful, some were humorous yet realistic. The setting and different races were fascinating. Some people found this over whelming, but really, if you get past that one sentence listing the seven races, learning the seven different races is a breeze. Ms. Paul introduces them at a nice speed so as not to make them confusing. She doesn’t throw them into the plot and leave it up to you to figure out what a tumanhofer or marione is. She describes the races so as to give one an idea of what they are like, but leaves room for the reader imagination as well. The plot and numerous adventures along the way will hold one’s attention, such as sword fights, fire dragons, several rescues, mind speaking, and earthquakes.
DragonSpell would make an excellent addition to an intermediate reader’s library.