Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review of Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

     "Stunning beginning to a new series!  Rarely does an author recapture the exquisite charm and the bold freshness first discovered in her initial series.  Donita K. Paul fans are in for a treat as the uncover new wonders and enchantment in the world of Chiril." Eric Reinhold speaks truthfully, though this statement also fits for those who have not yet read Donita K. Paul.  As a first read it might have been better to start with her original series, The DragonKeeper Chronicles; however, this book (complete with its glossary on terms, races, and characters) takes the reader into action that is already started when the book opens and does not leave the reader confused or unable to follow along without reading the other series priorly, but instead the reader is drawn into the world and curious about the earlier series--wishing to read it as well. This is a book that has such a refreshing turn of phrase and sentence structure that it is at once a good pace and tale for the young and the young at heart.
     In this follow up book to The Dragonkeeper Chronicles, Bealomondore--an artist--and his friend Princess Tipper Schope are drawn from the security of Amber Palace into the adventure of a journey to protect priceless statues sculpted by Tipper's father.  These statues are more important than simply being works of art but can be used to help keep the kingdom of Chiril safe--physically and mentally-- and they have other powers too.  Neither Tipper nor Bealomondore are positive they want to go on this adventure or that they need to take steps to protect the statues, because they seem safe already, but they go and through meeting new friends, learning to deal with enemies, and protecting the kingdom from an invading army, they each grow in their own ways and become warriors for Wulder.  Wulder is the God of their friends and the one that guides their steps in this journey; however, at the beginning of the tale neither of them know Wulder or believe in him.  So this is a physical adventure, a grand friendship, and a spiritual awakening.  
     Romance and comedy also take their place beside action in this story.  This is something that would be great to read for someone just wanting to sit back and relax, looking for enjoyment, or for a reader looking for characters that evolve with the tale.  No one finishes the story just as they began it and Donita K. Paul writes in such a way that the reader can truly see what happens as it unfolds as if the reader is present.  There were two scenes dealing with death that might be disturbing for younger readers, but it would be unreal to have an adventure against an invading army and not deal with death--the author at least did so in a tasteful way with no gratuitous details.  After receiving a free copy of this book in order to give an honest review (through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers) it is possible to say that this is a book that can be read as a family or by book lovers, and should provide for the need to experience action, laugh, fall in love, and just plain reflect that most readers want to have satisfied.  Pick up a copy today and find a cosey chair.