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Read + Review: Legend of the Dragon Slayer: The Origin Story of Dragonwatch

As the prequel of the book series Dragonwatch, Legend of the Dragon Slayer describes the origins of the Dragonwatch society, who will hunt down life-threatening dragons in the magical lands of Selona and beyond for generations to come. Long ago, King Titus of the Kingdom of Selona was concerned about the dangers facing his realm from the south, north, east, and west. They were feared among the populace of Selona, and included the Gorgon of the Southern Swamp, the Yetis of the Northern Mountains, the Vampire of the Eastern Forests, and the Phoenix of the Western Waste. He issued proclamations promising wealth, titles, and marriage with the princess if anyone could eradicate these perils for the kingdom. Despite the bounties, only the son of a lowly cobbler, named Konrad, would face the challenge. As Konrad unexpectedly defeated enemies one by one and recounts fabulous tales of his adventures, he rises in fame and becomes known as the Legender, and accumulates favors, wealth, and titles from the King. After being rewarded with the rule of Selona by the aging king, he would have to face the greatest challenge of all: dueling Kula Bakar, an unbeaten conqueror, to protect Selona.

The part I love most about this book is its inclusiveness to all readers. At first glance, Legend of the Dragon Slayer seems to just be a short picture book destined for elementary school students. However, the extensive use of advanced vocabulary and sentence structure made the book still intriguing to me, a high schooler. The illustrations provided are very detailed and do not overpower the text. They allow readers to visualize the story similar to an average person from Selona would as Konrad recounts his adventures. The yellowed page design with eloquent patterns is further pushes the lore of the story. Lore aside, I felt that sentences felt awkward at times due to the organization of the text and repetition of similar wording. Due to the repetitive nature of the plot, Konrad seemed too full of himself at times, perhaps even a bit egotistical. To solve this obstacle, the author managed to add personality to Konrad through dialogue close to the end. Overall, the book is a quick and fun read, and a great way to get into a magical series!

The typical purpose of prequels of a series is to provide a backstory to the existing plot in a series to satisfy avid fans. Although I have not touched this series beforehand, the book was incredibly written and new readers like me can still be drawn into the narrative, which makes this work one of the most memorable prequels I have read. In fact, I am so compelled to learn about the plot of the rest of the series that I will be checking them out when I get a chance!

Reviewed by  Eric H. at Twin Hickory Area Library

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