Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dragons of the Valley Review

Title: Dragons of the Valley
Author: Donita K. Paul
Publisher: Waterbrook
Pages: 370

Dragons of the Valley is the wonderful sequel to The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul.

Invasion is upon the land of Chiril and the main character Tipper Schope is tasked with protecting the statues crafted by her father from falling into the wrong hands.

The eccentric wizard Fenworth, librarian Librettowit, prince Jayrus, artist Bealomondore, and many of the characters from the first book join this tale. Several new races are introduced which in turn presents several new faces that take a prominent place in the story.

As noted by some other reviews, I found this one a little harder to get into compared to the first book. There was quite a bit of running around in the first eight chapters and different characters going this way and that on mini-adventures. For the most part it starts to all come together about mid-book and that is where this novel starts to shine.

I thoroughly enjoyed Donita Paul's use of witty dialogue especially Lady Peg (Tipper's mother) and the banter back and forth between the wizard and librarian. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

There is one dastardly character introduced in this story and his name is The Grawl. With the addition of this bad dude the story does have a darker tone when focusing on his plans. The way this evil character was written into the story was done perfectly and the ultimate conclusion of the story involving this character brings shows redemption.

Several times in this story I was hugely encouraged by the spiritual message. Paul has a canny ability to write a crazy tale of fantasy, but still pull in elements of the Christian faith to ask tough questions, encourage people, and illuminate grace. As this was written by a Christian author, by a Christian publisher, with an allegorically Christian God as the creator written into the story, this should be expected if you chose to pick this one up.

Looking forward to the third book!

4/5 Stars

Note: I was provided a free review copy of this book by Waterbrook press through Librarything early reviewers program.

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