Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth J.M. Walker

by Elizabeth J.M. Walker
Mirror World Publishing
YA Fantasy
234 Pages

Trina is a fifteen-year-old dragon mage in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards – the same people who have brought dragons and other magical creatures near extinction. Trina can barely control her fire powers and is desperate for an apprenticeship, but finding a fellow dragon mage to be her teacher is proving more difficult than coming across an actual dragon.

Then there’s the Royal Tourney – a competition presented by the Queen to find a successor to the throne. Trina heads to the competition in the hopes of sparking some interest in the mage society and earning herself an apprenticeship.

She never intended to be a frontrunner in the competition.

She never meant to catch the attention of the evil witch trying to take over the throne.

She never expected to fall for a wizard.

Now Trina must face tough decisions about who she is and who she could become. Trina must ask herself: Can she really win the Royal Tourney?

or in paperback


Firstly, I know this is marked as a young adult book, but in my opinion, it's a solid middle grade novel, and I'm going to review it as such.

This reminded me a bit of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani. Trina is a dragon mage, something which is very rare, and she's a powerful one at that. But as a dragon mage, she doesn't fit in at the school of mages. But then the school of mages itself is an outcast in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards. Not much time was spent on the School of Mages (which is a good thing) since the real story happens at a tournament, where from 200 partakers, one will be chosen as the kingdom's heir. 

This entire set up was wonderful. I'm not usually one to get into dragon, witches and castle stories, but this one pulled me in right away. Trina is an enjoyable character, who has several kinks, but knows right from wrong and has a heart of gold. She's easy to cheer for and adore. The rest of the characters are fun and entertaining. I know several of the reviews here say that there isn't enough character depth, but for middle grade readers, it's perfect. 

There's action, and the plot is very well-paced, never leaving a reader of the 8-12 age group time to set the book down. And the dialogue was peppered with humor among the tension, creating a great atmosphere.

The scene descriptions are vivid but never wordy. Most of the book is pushed along through the dialogue and adventure, but this is something I enjoy. 

The only thing which I felt was a little lacking were the subplots. The story is pretty laid out, and there's very little happening with the other characters in the group or any secret, side-line tale. If there'd been a little more of this, I believe this story could have ridden along with the best.

As it is, SHE DREAMED OF DRAGONS is a super, fun read. I can only recommend it to fantasy fans ages 8+.

And here she is. . .
ELIZABETH J.M. Walker!!!

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with her on her website: www.elizabethjmwalker.com



Sharon Ledwith said...

Great review! Congrats, Elizabeth!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful review! Thank you for hosting!

Thornton Berry Shire Press said...

Sounds like a good read…might need to bring her to my blog for a promo…always looking for good books for kids! Thx for sharing!

Unknown said...

Thank you for being part of the blog tour!