There is something special about this book; special enough to make me come back and edit my first review. I have read longer books, more developed books, books with sequels; and yet many do not have the charm of this apparently hastily written little gem. There are so many icebergs extending far down under its apparently shallow surface. Almost more than a physical landscape, it has an emotional landscape. The fact that nothing is spelled out for you only adds to its attraction. Did she think --? Did he mean --? Did they say --? The story provokes a lot of thought every time I re-read it. And while I've owned a copy for years (not the same copy -- I keep giving mine away and then replacing it, though lately I've been keeping a spare to stay ahead of the curve), it hasn't yet lost its re-read value. Considering that I am a very picky reader, that says a lot.
This was a really great little book. I am so used to reading books that are 500 plus pages that this was a real breath of fresh air. I think the only reason I gave it 4 stars is because it left me wanting more, and there isn't a sequel. What struck me as really moving was the message this book brought. Revenge might seem like a sweet prospect, but it just poisons the soul. The characters were really believable for a fantasy book in that the author did not make Selendrile (the dragon) too human. In fact, he seemed to have very little humanity to him, but some compassion and the need for revenge. And Alys was a tough girl who was knocked down way too many times but finally found the help she needed in an unlikely source. Like I said before, I wish there was a sequel to this one because I want more of these two and their adventures.
Excellent fantasy novel; only the length of the book and the ages of the main characters would give you a hint that this is a YA book. It's an easy, fast read about a young girl who embarks on a campaign of vengeance against the town members who condemn her to death as a witch, and then subsequently tie her to a stake for a dragon to eat. The dragon does not eat her, and helps her in her plotting. I really, really liked this book. The reactions of the girl felt natural, and I enjoyed how creative their plans were. The Big Conflict at the end came a bit out of nowhere, but was explained sufficiently. If you like early Patricia Briggs (like The Hob's Bargain, not the later "paranormal" ones), then you'll enjoy this one just as much.
Wow- she's done it again. This is awesome.
I found this one a bit strange. The dragon spends most of his time as a human boy.
Imagine the Salem Witch trials but with a twist-instead of banishment to a dank basement, victims are put out as food for dragons. Shape shifting dragons. Alys suddenly finds herself orphaned and set out as bait due to accusations of witch craft from Saint Toby's. Alys finds an ally in the peculiar dragon/shape shifter in seeking revenge on her town. I enjoyed Alys because she was strong, but still stubborn and flawed. She reacted, not as a flawless heroin, but as an exasperated and struggling teen. The dragon-youth is hilarious and strange and ultimately helps Alys realize that revenge, when served, does not satisfy. I think there are a lot of good messages in this book for this age group. It is simply written, but fun.
Engrossing. The dragon reminded me of my husband. I read through it before letting my daughter read it. While not on the level of safe as say Patricia Wrede, I have no qualms about letting my daughter read it.
This isn't a story that pulls punches. It isn't graphic but it's a story about revenge and the reasons behind the dark emotion. I'm thinking my daughter will find it very thought provoking.
I really enjoyed this book. Very refreshing.