Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Donita Paul's Dragonlight ~ Reviewed

By Donita K. Paul
WaterBrook Press
ISBN: 978-0-4000-7378-8

Review by Michelle Griep

The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon—despite physical limitations—has become a leader, serving under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon join the dragons on a quest to find a hidden colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy…can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

Of all the books in the DragonKeeper Chronicles, Dragonlight is by far my favorite. I am sad to see this series come to an end, but what a masterful finish indeed. Donita Paul’s skill at imparting timeless truths via story shines the brightest in this final Kale and Bardon adventure.

One of the things I appreciate most about this fantasy is the humor woven throughout. How could anyone not smile while reading about a baby dragon suffering from frequent bouts of hiccups that singe anything nearby? I especially enjoyed the conversation between several wizards discussing the naming of a new gateway. One pressed for the practical use of the initials M.P., which greatly annoyed another wizard who stated that could mean anything from Magnificent Pottery to Monkey Poop.

The relationship between Bardon and Kale also endeared me to this particular DragonKeeper tale. As husband and wife, they set an example for what marriage should be like: respectful, kind and loving. In this age of rampant divorce, these fictional characters teach a thing or two about living and serving together.

All in all, Dragonlight provides a satisfying conclusion to the DragonKeeper Chronicles. My only grump is that I would’ve liked to have seen more of Holt Hoddack. He does reform, quite admirably at that, but he never loses his roguish charm. This is one reader who’d be happy to see a new series spin off with Holt as the lead character.

It’s hard to say good-bye to friends, which is what all the characters in the DragonKeeper Chronicles have become to readers worldwide. While Bardon and Kale, Regidor and Gilda, and many others will be missed greatly, their adventure lives on each time the series is re-read.

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