Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: Dragon's Future by Kandi J. Wyatt


DRAGON'S FUTURE
Dragon Courage Series, Book 1
by Kandi J. Wyatt
Updrift
Middle Grade Fantasy
260 pages





Every child of Woolpren dreams of becoming one, but only a few are chosen. Now, ten-year-old twin brother and sister, Ruskya and Duskya, have been selected to join an elite group of riders: dragon riders. Full of awe and excitement, the twins leave their mother, and their home, to train for their new lives.

Fifteen years later, dragons are becoming extinct and riders are rare. One day, Ruskya is at the general store in town when a man announces that he is recruiting new dragon riders. Ruskya goes undercover, and discovers that there is another colony of riders with their own agenda—a quest to find a mysterious plant that could restore the dragon population, or destroy it. When a battle erupts between the two colonies, it’s up to Ruskya and his friends to fight for their dragons’ future, and their lives.

Follow Ruskya’s quest as he finds courage and friendship in this exciting middle grade fantasy series by new author Kandi J Wyatt.






TIDBITS


This is definitely a great read for dragon lovers, and honestly, the first one I've read in quite awhile. 

The story starts with a dragon choosing ceremony, immediately setting the tone. I loved the feel of 'times past' these scenes held despite the fantasy world (and the dragons). The town and people seem very natural making it easy to sink into the scenes.

Ruskya and his sister are likable from the very first page. The first moments, they come across as shy and hesitant, but this quickly changes as they meet their dragons and begin their new lives. It's interesting to watch them grow as they're thrown from one adventure into the next, and forced to figure out how to deal with the troubles rising around them. There's a great bond between the siblings, and this extends on to the dragons and their friends as they try to save the future of the dragons.

The characters, including the dragons, enjoy quite a bit of depth. Instead of dropping the individual histories right away, the author allows bits of each character's past and personality to come to the surface as the plot develops. This not only gave me the feeling that I was getting to know the characters more and more throughout the book, but also avoided any boring information dumps. I especially appreciated that the dragons had as much personality as their riders. The dragons are seen as companions and drawn into the plot as much as the riders themselves.

There are many layers in this book, making sure that the momentum flows all the way to the last page. The battles are vivid and tense, the evil plans are not easy to decipher and it's not always clear that everything will turn out as it should. In other words, once the reader is hooked, they stay that way to the end. 

I, personally, did have some trouble getting into the story during those first chapters despite the interesting characters. The formal exchanges made the dialogue a bit rough in the beginning (although I understand why it was written this way), and the names of the dragons were too similar, making it difficult to keep them apart. But once I got past this, I was caught up in the pages. 

Due to the writing style and length, I would recommend this more to the upper end of the middle grade audience, ages 10+ or even younger YA. But I can recommend this to anyone (even adults) who love dragons, fantasy and adventure. 


The Buzz!

"Have you ever ridden a dragon? You're about to, so hold on tight! Dragon's Future is quite the ride!"
-Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers



And here she is. . .
KANDI J. WYATT!!!

Kandi J Wyatt is a wife, mother of five, teacher, artist, and author. In her free time, she enjoys writing fantasy stories and Christmas programs, and drawing with graphite and colored pencils. Portraits are her specialty. Kandi also enjoys photography, thanks to her photographer husband who has let her join his journey as both his model and apprentice, and she occasionally serves as his assistant when he needs a “light stand with feet.” To learn more, visit:

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