Author: Julia Suzuki
Publisher: John Blake Publishing
Release Date: 9/4/14
*I was sent this book for review from the author*
Quote I liked:
“If you are willing to train hard there is almost no end to what you can achieve.”
This epic novel, first in the Land of Dragor series, is aimed primarily at eight to twelve year-olds but with appeal for all ages. It transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where seven dragon clans live hidden from man having beaten off the evil dragsaur beasts. Their great war is over and the dragons live peacefully among the smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out, but the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans have left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world. There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest. The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?
Chameleon-like Yoshiko is bullied and tormented as he grows up, taunted at fire school as he struggles to produce a jet of flame. Desperate to hide his colour changes, he flees from school one day and finds himself on the fabled mountain of Cattlewick Cave, home to the mysterious and reclusive elder Guya. This chance meeting changes Yoshiko’s life, and as he develops from hatchling to youngling, he is inspired to spread his wings and venture outside Dragor. He returns with magic gifts – but only time will tell if they heal or harm Dragor.
This book was really well written! The author used great word choice and had beautiful language. The main character Yoshiko was adorable, and I absolutely loved him. I also thought that Suzuki did a wonderful job in terms of description. She had a knack for describing things in such a way that the novel did not drag on, but was still very good. This book was really refreshing to me because I had not read a middle-grade book for quite a while. I am liking this book more and more as I write this review! I do wish that felt more connected to the book and to the plot. I had a bit of a difficult time getting myself engaged with it.
Overall, this was a very pleasant read. I would recommend this to any age in terms of content.
The Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20750318-the-gift-of-charms