Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Last night I finished Dragonspell. I enjoyed reading it again! All the characters are so interesting...among my favorites are Dar and Fenworth, an eccentric wizard that forgets things (or at least pretends to forget things. I can't always tell which).
I love how the mythology behind this isn't just another dwarves and elves book. Miss Paul (as far as I can tell) took the ideas of the fantastical peoples and made them her own. She even made up her own names for them (Tumanhofers: Dwarves. Emerlindians: Elves. Urohms: Giants)
At least, that's how I identify them. I appreciate how original she is, but how there is still the subtlety of influence from Tolkien and Lewis and old mythologies.
One thing worth noticing about the furry people from the book (called doneels) is that I didn't shrink back when I found out that one of the characters walked on two legs that resembled a dog. I'm not sure why. I think normally I would have. Dar (a doneel) has thick brown hair (or fur) and he is very funny and very real acting. Maybe that's why. Dar acted so natural from the beginning, that I just sort of slipped into liking him. I can kind of picture him too, and that always makes reading the character more rewarding.
Also (and this is something that I should learn how to do) I feel like Miss Paul created a world where I can find out about different things, but I'm not bogged down in history and explanations, because we find out as Kale (the main character) does. This is a great way to do it. I love reading Tolkien, and I'm perfectly willing to read a stack of history books about Middle-Earth to find out more about it. Not everybody is, though. So it's good to have a little glossary in the back, or an extra book that might be a field guide, or to just have more experienced characters explain it to less experienced characters who have been hidden from this kind of stuff their whole lives. She created different kinds of foods for this world! I suppose that every fantasy author does that, but the best part is that she has the recipes on her website. :D
Unlike The Inheritance Trilogy (which some of my readers might be comparing this to) The Dragon Keeper Chronicles is original in its mythology and rich in its wisdom. Dragonspell was a pleasure to read, I look forward to reading the other three before Dragonlight comes out.
(More on the wizard in the next review....)