Hightman postulates that dragons, which harbor a "vast desire to do harm," exist throughout the world today, living among humans by clouding minds so people don't see the beasts in their true form. Simon St. George is a loner at an elite academy, sent there by parents he does not know. His father, Aldric St. George, the last Knight of the Order of Dragonhunters, learns Simon is in danger and retrieves the boy to help fight dragons. Their quest takes them around the world to confront the White Dragon of New York City, the Water Dragon of Venice, the Parisian Dragon, the Russian Red Dragon, and the Black Dragon of China, and eventually all the dragons together in one place for a cataclysmic climax. Filled with dragon lore and nonstop action, the humor-laced story is preposterous to be sure, but readers willing to suspend disbelief will enjoy going along on the adventure.
Simon St. George attends an elite boarding school and hasn't seen or heard from his parents in 11 years. Then one October day, a greasy-haired, ragged, and dirt-ridden man shows up on campus claiming to be his father. Before 24 hours pass, Simon finds himself abducted by this odd stranger and about to be initiated into the family business - dragon-hunting. The man explains that "the Dragon is the source of all that is rotten in the world," and that since the time of the legendary St. George of England, his descendants have been dragon-hunters. Now 13-year-old Simon is needed to join the fight. What ensues is a long series of sword-and-sorcery adventures heavy on action and light on plot - much like a video game, comic strip, or feature-length cartoon written in short sentences and simple language but without the pictures. The setting is contemporary and decidedly dark. Dragons and humans alike, with the exception of Simon, have all the subtlety of cartoon characters. His father is not exactly a noble knight, showing as little tact and feeling in his dealings with friends and family as with his sworn enemies. The cover of this book is reminiscent of Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003), but readers who expect the depth and complexity of contemporary popular high fantasy will be disappointed. Those who prefer the macabre outlook and less demanding style of Darren Shan's "Cirque du Freak" series (Little, Brown) might enjoy The Saint of Dragons.
GREAT premise: dragons have not completely died out, but have evolved and look very much like you and me. Aldric St. George is a dragon hunter sworn to eliminate the dragons, and he teaches his son to slay dragons, too.
Sounds like an amazing book, but it seemed more like the author was writing a movie, a "Harry Potter" movie at that. So many similarities between the stories...it got silly after awhile. Child who doesn't know his destiny? Check. Child learns a skill while making mistakes? Check. A very powerful magic enemy? Check. A final showdown with a nebulous ending, begging for a sequel? Check. Sigh...
The author uses exclamation points in his description, too, which really gets annoying. I understand the river caught on fire. He didn't have to write: "The river caught on fire!" I'll get it with a period, too. Don't waste your exclamation points, Hightman. You only get five for your entire lifetime and you used 'em all.
Didn't like the negative view of dragons as disguised as evil people.
This book would be perfect for a teenager.