Dragons Away! by KD Berry
Review by Laura Hart
Drewdop, long-suffering Royal Astrologer and Court Illusionist to King Credos of the Central Realms, teams up with lonely, universally shunned, half-ogre, Urquhart, to defeat the wicked enemies of Credos’ Kingdom.
Tricked by megalomaniacal King Davkosh of the Southern Realms, hapless King Credos accepts a challenge race between Realm Champions; the prize, half of their respective Kingdoms. The species of mount selected to race the arduous course are entirely up to the challengers. Unbeknown to King Credos, Davkosh has a secret weapon; a young, though rather ill-tempered and tempestuous dragon named Fiery Flier.
Retivor, Royal messenger to King Davkosh, is forced by his tyrannical sovereign to risk his life at the irascible jaws of Fiery Flier and win the race for him. But Retivor, unlike previous unfortunate jockeys, forms a bond with the young dragon after promising that he will assist in finding others of her kind, once they have easily won the race for their despotic ruler.
Meanwhile, Drewdop and Urquhart are burdened with the task of spying on King Davkosh in order to discover his secret. Enlisting the help of Davkosh’ oppressed subjects; the Dwarven people, Drewdop and Urquhart seek out a viable opponent to meet the insuperable odds-on-favourite challenge, of Fiery Flier…
The concept of this tale is very appealing. From the outset, tongue-in-cheek narrative and amusing dialogue sets the tone and one immediately settles in knowing that smiles and chuckles will abound. The principal heroes, Drewdop and Urquhart, are well-suited flipsides of a coin; Drewdop being the brains behind the espionage and Urquhart the gentle brawn.
The mad King Davkosh and his similarly disposed Queen, Gunora, are caricatured as amoral dictators who reign with iron fists - and lashing bullwhips - oppressing their subjects to the point of terror on a daily basis.
In the opening chapters, the language and narrative is very well written for the most part, and I was thoroughly enjoying the banter, wordplay and eccentric lateral observations. But by chapter five there were so many secondary, peripheral and fleeting characters given a point of view - ‘voice’ - that I was floundering as to who the chief protagonists and villains actually were. Every section break within the chapters hailed the introduction of another minor viewpoint - some used to communicate essential plot details - and I was left wondering what, or if, they had some significance later on in the story. When they reappeared periodically, I had to track back to remind myself of their contribution. Eventually I gave up and dismissed them.
Given that this book is aimed at a young audience, the staccato handling of characters and plot will almost certainly lose the readers attention, which is a shame as I believe the story would delight youngsters and engage older generations.
The authors have worked hard at this story; the vocabulary, grammar, sentence construction, punctuation etc. is pretty much faultless, but they would benefit hugely from the advice and input of a professional editor. It is extremely hard to see the wood for the trees when editing ones own manuscript and the art of creative writing needs to adhere to a fairly standard set of rules. If the book were rewritten with only two principals - one in each camp, it would allow for a secondary voice to accompany both protagonist and villain, in order to flesh out the sub-plots. The story would then flow very nicely, allowing the reader to engage with protagonists and build sympathetic relationships with them.
This is a very good start and I think it has great potential, but it does need a lot more technical groundwork before it’s ready to delight youngsters.
This Dragons Away! book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Dragons Away!?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Dragons Away! reader reviews
4/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is distur...
The Dragonsdome Chronicles
Quenelda has always had a magical bond with dragons, and her greatest wish is to fly one and fight alongside her father in the war against the hobgoblins. Root, on the othe...
The Dragons of Ordinary Farm
Tyler and Lucinda have to spend summer with their Uncle Gideon, a farmer. They soon discover that Ordinary Farm is well, no ordinary farm. The bellowing in the barn comes n...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon
Tomkin Thornhewn, youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell, has a problem: he’s not heroic. Regardless of his aspirations, the bookish, untrained young man is better suited...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...