Author: A.H Richardson
Type of book: Fantasy, different worlds, dragons, prophecy, children to teens, friendship, orphans, loyalty
Year it was published: 2015
When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn't imagine the adventures she would have with dragons - good and bad - and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie - for that is what she prefers to be called - finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog - stones of enormous power - and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly. Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship.
Main characters include Jorie and Rufus. Jorie is an orphan who comes to live with her somewhat stuffy aunt and is best described as a bit brash. hurried, adventurous, fearless and very loyal to friends. Rufus is a bit shy, uncertain and tends to be careless with personal information. There are other characters like the little dragon that Rufus connects with, then the evil sorcerer, the evil teacher, etc. What I also liked is that some of the characters seemed to be a bit ambiguous and if its a series, I imagine it will be difficult in telling which will be on the good side and which will be on the bad side.
The story is in third person narrative from Jorie's and Rufus's points of view. Personally for me, the story is pretty simplistic and predictable, but I do admire the imagination that the author used in creating the world. Almost the first three-fourths of the book read quite a bit like exposition, but the last quarter is when excitement begins.
(From the book)
A.H Richardson is a treasured storyteller whose depth of imagination conjures up challenging characters-both good and evil-to dare children to find their own imaginations, courage, and strength. She writes from her colonial estate in eastern Tennessee in the magical Smoky mountains.
The teenager/inner child in me enjoyed the book, but the adult me didn't enjoy it, sad to say. I think if I was much, much younger, I would have loved the story, but because I am much older and already grew up on complex characters that are neither black nor white, and a more complex and nuanced plot where its impossible to tell the way the story is going to go, this was a bit too simplistic for me, but I imagine that for little children it will be a great read because it has friendship, strong heroine, an imaginary world, and its written in an an accessible language.
I was given this book for an honest review
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)