Monday, April 19, 2010
This book was AWESOME!!! In case you don't know me, I go on 'kicks' shall we say? I like dragons immensely right now. Partially because the amazing movie How to Train Your Dragon but also because I just like dragons.
So I bought this book.
And it is GREAT.
The book is a collection of short stories-- perfect for thirty minutes before bed, reading over a cup of tea, or one between classes on Tuesday/Thursday with music classes throwing your schedule off-kilter.
First, I saw some of my old favorite authors, new favorite authors, and writers I am just coming to recognize. Then there are nineteen stories with dragons and dragon mythology from all over the world.
Tamora Pierce continues the Daine saga with a story about Sky Song. Gregory Macguire's offering is surprisingly kid-friendly and tame while Jonathan Stroud provides a creepy dragon-mystery. Jane Yolan explores the introduction of dragons to the Russian Revolution. Meanwhile Garth Nix, Diana Wynne Jones, Bruce Coville, and a host of new talent are also featured on the bill.
I was starting to get bored with the find-a-baby-dragon, tame-a-baby-dragon, get-to-know-the-dragon routine that most books follow. Other either feature dragons as creatures with human wisdom and comprehension or dragons who are hurt-- people never interact with them just as healthy, capable animals unless the humans are trying to kill them. This book blew all the preconceptions out of the water. A wily dragon waited to be freed from a puzzle. A boy discovers that he can turn into a dragon. A girl misses being a dragon. A baby dragon saves the life of a vulnerable human.
The writing is tight, the stories are fluid, and the arrangement even sings. This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in dragons. Or just interested in reading.
I just finished reading "M is for Magic," a collection of stories by Neil Gaiman. While fascinating and imaginative, they were a little on the creepy side, even for my fantastical senses. The book was marketed at children's fiction but I really think this belongs in the teen or adult fiction section. Just because the book has children as most of the maid characters does not make it suitable. I would not give this to anyone under 13. Still, Gaiman is a master of his craft and the book was a really intersting read.