Friday, March 19, 2010

Enchanting Review: Voices of Dragons

VOICES OF DRAGONS
CARRIE VAUGHN
YA Fantasy
HarperTeen
ISBN# 9780061798948
309 pages
$16.99
Hardcover – Available Now

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Wow. Following in the footsteps of the great dragon writer, Anne McCaffrey, Carrie Vaughn created a fantastic new world and beautiful young adult story in VOICES OF DRAGONS. Combining a modern world with creatures we normally reserve for mythological places, Ms. Vaughn gave us what many readers search high and low for: real life with a touch of fantasy.

Kay Wyatt is our heroine of the story and probably one of the best aspects of the book. She is a well rounded character and very relatable. Not overly gorgeous or full of angst, Kay allows us to delve into the story with her and join in her adventures. Seventeen and feeling the pressures of teenaged life, Kay escapes to nature when she needs to clear her head. Hiking and rock climbing are her passions, the exhilaration of feeling free enough to calm any frazzled nerves. More than that, her outdoors activities end up serving another purpose. Coupled with fate, they lead her over the border to Dragon and to Artegal, with whom communication is strictly forbidden.

While Kay discovers that dragons may not be as evil as humans think, the rest of her normal life still has to go on. Her best friend, Tam, goes out of her way to encourage the budding romance between Kay and Jon. Caught in the middle of the peer pressure to take their relationship farther than either are really prepared for, the two navigate confusing and rocky waters while still managing to find comfort in the presence of one another. Unlike many new young adult stories hitting the market, Ms. Vaughn allows Kay and Jon to have a simple and fairly innocent romance. It was refreshing in a way because it kept the story light and sweet in terms of that aspect of the book.

As Kay learns more and more about the dragon, Artegal, she soon learns that there is no reason why humans and dragons cannot once again be friends and allies. As fate would have it, however, right around the time she comes to this conclusion, the military decides to start testing its borders with Dragon. As Kay struggles to keep both sides at bay and encourage talk between the two nations, she must learn how far she is willing to go and how much of herself she is really willing to sacrifice.

VOICES OF DRAGONS was a fantastic story. As mentioned previously, Ms. Vaughn’s work easily stands proudly next to some of the best dragon stories out there. With clear writing and beautiful imagery, the author manages to really pull the reader into the story and allow us to take part in the adventure. Although one would expect the main dragon in the story to be brilliantly hued and perfect in every way, Vaughn gives him more of a grey appearance and allows him to have his own quirks. She allows us to use our imaginations while still giving large depth and robustness to something as simple as the color grey.

There are a number of traits that make VOICES OF DRAGONS a winner, but the two that had the most impact in my opinion were really the development of her characters and her writing style. Full, detailed characters gave us something to hold on to and follow throughout the story. Each had their own personality and shared uniqueness in that they weren’t your typical young adult novel characters. There wasn’t a lot of angst, although there was quite a bit of emotion. Jon didn’t act like the typically hormone driven teenage boy we usually see and Tam, although she definitely could get prissy, didn’t end up being the bratty friend that would eventually turn snobby toward our main character. Pairing these well-rounded characters with a very fluid and clear writing style made for a book that was not only a pleasure to read, but one that was easy to read as well.

I would highly recommend VOICES OF DRAGONS to readers of any age but especially those looking for a little bit of magic in their lives. This was a fabulous book and one that will surely grab the hearts of those who read it.

Carrie Vaughn is also the author of the Kitty Norville series, an adult series about a werewolf who hosts a radio advice talk show. VOICES OF DRAGONS is her first young adult novel and she is very excited about it. She can be found online at http://www.carrievaughn.com/.

Cinnamon
ENCHANTING REVIEWS
March 2010

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review--I'll add this one to my list!

    ReplyDelete