Monday, 20 August 2018

Liz Flanagan - Dragon Daughter - Book Review - David Fickling (Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books)

On the island of Arcosi, dragons and their riders used to rule the skies. But now they are only legends, found in bedtime stories, on beautiful murals and ancient jewellery. Then servant girl Milla witnesses a murder and finds herself caring for the last four dragon eggs. Forced to keep them secret amidst the growing tensions in the city, she begins to fear that the island's ruler, Duke Olvar, isn't all that he seems. But how can Milla and her friends keep the eggs safe when it means endangering everything she's ever loved? Fiery friendships, forgotten family and the struggle for power collide as Milla's fight to save the dragons leads her to discover her own hidden past.

The last book to be reviewed this month is in keeping with our theme of escapism. It is Dragon Daughter by Liz Flanagan which will be published by David Fickling Books on 4th October 2018 in glorious hardback. The cover has been fantastically illustrated by Angelo Rinaldi and deserves a closer inspection. It has a large blue dragon taking centre stage with three smaller dragons in the sky above. It is a very appealing look for this genre and has a similar look to that of Eragon (Christopher Paolini) and the original book cover for Dragon Rider (Cornelia Funke). It will certainly help to pull the readers in once it's been published later this year. 

Will it live up to the fantasy expectations when it flies off the shelves later this year?

For me, the answer is YES. The story inside is a fantastic middle-grade read that is full of rich detail and a great story concept. As soon as you turn the pages, you stumble into an epic adventure that is thrilling, captivating and covers one of my favourite fantasy themes, Dragons. The author's love for travelling has made the location of this book wonderful and imaginative. The small island of Arcosi feels like a magical timeless place that you would really want to explore yourself. If you take a magical pinch of Yorkshire, a splash of Rome and a very large Italian fishing village, this just about sums up the amazing location. 

I HEAR you say you need more than a great location and dragons to make a good story. Well, the story also has a fantastic set of characters. Each reader, I'm sure, will have their favourite which will make this book exciting to read. It also covers key themes that are relevant today like migration and belonging in society. You follow the characters with your heart as the struggle for power is a key element in this story. It's a fantastic blend of action, fleet of foot realism that coalesces into a brilliant and vibrant story. It makes you want to take flight on the wing of fantasy and adventure. Soaring on the thermals of friendship, forgotten family and war, it will take you to new literary delights like no story will have taken you so far this year. 

THE DRAGONS WILL RETURN ONE LAST TIME... One of the best aspects of the story was to follow the evolution of the Dragons from eggs to hatchlings and the bonding process with the four main characters. This was a very different and interesting take on events. All the characters personalities and traits came through with their respective dragons.

This is a very creative story that has been well written and is very different from Liz's first book Eden Summer.  It slowly builds into an epic adventure before finishing with a climatic and brilliant ending. This, for me, reflects the author's life and passion for stories that she has both read and loved. It really shows the power they can have on the reader. This is a story that stays with you for life and this one ends with a bang. Hopefully, there is still more to come.... 

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