Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review: Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbach


since I write for kids and teens myself, it is no surprise that I love to read YA and MG stories as well. So I filled my eBook-reader with many stories aimed at readers from 8 to 17 years of age. One novel for the lower end of this age group is Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbach:

I picked up the book because the blurb intrigued me. I like new takes on the Arthurian legend and this promised to be fun. I didn't regret the decision. This is a wonderful story with nicely rounded characters and many interesting twists on details of the Arthurian legend.

I liked the main character immediately. He was just the kind of boy I used to be (except that I was a girl). I liked the way he planned nearly always ending up with unexpected results. The fantasy creatures fitted the world without feeling artificial.

The only real problem I had was with the language. In the beginning, it was aimed at middle grade readers with a humorous undertone that worked very well. Once Leonard, the dragonfriend, entered the magic forest, the tone changed, became darker, and Leonard began to sound much more grown up. Toward the end of the novel, the story had changed to one for the lower end of the YA reading range. This did not stop me from enjoying the novel thoroughly but might be off-putting for other readers.

I hope Roger Eschbach will write a sequel featuring the spunky Maid Glennys (the one Leonard fell in love with) and the Brownie (my favorite character).

Try it. You'll be surprised how much you will enjoy it.


Gwen Gardner said...

I love reading YA also, but haven't read much MG. YA can be such an escape: The Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter. Can you recommend a good MG? I think I want to try my hand at writing one, so I should probably start reading it. I read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and that was good :)

Cat said...

Try anything by Astrid Lindgren or Diana Wynne Jones. They are the Queens of MG and YA.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

What an interesting review. The book sounds appealing in the way it shifts focus, although I can see how it might be a little hard to "niche" for the same reason. But I love anything to do with the Arthurian legend. Another book on my TBR list!

Cat said...

It's well worth it.