Thursday, January 27, 2022

Review: Dragon Games by R. A. Douthitt

Today's review heads into the realm of fantasy and dragons and elves...or at least, I'm pretty sure that's where we're going. I haven't read the first book in this series, but since I tend to jump in on the second book (a bad habit of mine), that shouldn't matter. I have read works from this author before. Honestly, I adore her middle grade Children Under the Ice series (mystery, ghosts, tension). So, I'm looking forward to what adventure these pages will hold.

Who else wants to dive into a world with dragons? 

The Elves of Vulgard, Book Two
by R.A Douthitt
Young Adult Fantasy
223 pages

Winning the Dragon Games is all that Kieron ever wanted. To win the tournament means a chance to be on the Queen's elite Dragon Riders force. But when Kieron discovers bandits abducting dragons to fight in the arena, suspicious dragon games are exposed and it's more horrifying than Kieron had ever imagined. Kieron decides to risk it all to free the dragons...even if it means never flying with the Dragon Riders.



First off, I didn't read the first book in this series, and while I would recommend starting with book one, it wasn't overly difficult to understand what was going on in this book. 

This wasn't exactly the normal 'dragon' read, in many respects, and that's a good thing. Dragon lovers will sink right into this world. The descriptions are very well done, and that includes the dragons. They come across with wonderful vividness, which invites to dreams. But it was the attitude toward and with the dragons, which impressed me the most. These dragons are ridden and steered, but that doesn't mean they are just  'steeds'. They have personalities, are 'spoken' with, and have a atmosphere which makes them simply worth more respect. Kieron's fight to help them just hits home.

Of course, there's so much more than dragons. The main character Kieron is a hero to cheer for from beginning to end. He makes mistakes and learns from them. His personality and especially dialogue comes across naturally. It's easy to understand his choices and sympathize with him. He's a hero with everything needed.

The pacing in this one is, for the most part, quick and steady. Kieron has quite a bit to accomplish , and the characters and obstacles are well woven to keep him on his toes...and more. There were a few sections in the training, which slowed the pace, but it wasn't enough to disrupt the tale. The tension remained high to keep me in the pages, and the ending held a nice, unexpected twist. It's a rich tale and an enjoyable read.

And here she is...

Former writing teacher, R. A. Douthitt is an award-winning author of many books for middle grade readers and adults in fiction and non-fiction.  She is the winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Books Award-Bronze Medal for Best Book Series and the Gateway to the Best third prize winner of the Missouri Romance Writers of America contest. Ruth is working on a Christian-themed women's inspirational fiction series, coming soon. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband Scott and their little dog. When she isn't writing, Ruth loves to run, draw, paint, and garden.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like smart dragons. Can't make steeds out of them anyway, right?

Ruth Douthitt said...

Thank you for this review! I am so happy you enjoyed the story. This series is a spin-off of my Dragon Forest trilogy. More books to come!