THE STORY OF OWEN by E.K. Johnston
Kirkus Star

THE STORY OF OWEN

Dragon Slayer of Trondheim
Age Range: 12 - 18

KIRKUS REVIEW

In an alternate world where humans and dragons battle over fossil fuels, the tale of one slayer and his bard becomes a celebration of friendship, family, community and calling.

Once, every village had its own dragon slayer, but those days are long gone; now, slayers are drafted by governments or sponsored by corporations. Sixteen-year-old Owen Thorskard, scion of a renowned line, wants to help reverse that—starting with the rural Canadian town of Trondheim. While Owen is brave, dedicated and likable, this story really belongs to Siobhan McQuaid, dauntless bard-in-training. In her witty account, Siobhan learns alongside Owen from his heroic aunt and her blacksmith wife, schemes with classmates to create local Dragon Guards and enlists the entire county in a daring scheme to attack the dragons’ own turf. Humor, pathos and wry social commentary unite in a cleverly drawn, marvelously diverse world. Refreshingly, the focus is on the pair as friends and partners, not on potential romance; Siobhan places as much emphasis on supporting her allies as extolling Owen’s deeds. Smart enough to both avoid unnecessary danger and be scared when appropriate, they prove all the more valiant when tragic sacrifices have to be made.

It may “[take] a village to train a dragon slayer,” but it takes an exceptional dragon slayer to deserve a village—and a storyteller—like this one. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4677-1066-4
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2014




THIS SPRING’S HOTTEST TEEN BOOKS:

Children A MATTER OF SOULS by Denise Lewis Patrick
by Denise Lewis Patrick
Children WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart
by E. Lockhart
Children GUY IN REAL LIFE by Steve Brezenoff
by Steve Brezenoff
Children PANIC by Lauren Oliver
by Lauren Oliver

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE DISCOVERY OF DRAGONS by Graeme Base
by Graeme Base
ChildrenUN LUN DUN by China Miéville
by China Miéville
IndieThe Egg That Wouldn't Hatch by Daphne Ashling Purpus
by Daphne Ashling Purpus