Monday, June 01, 2009

The Dragon of Trelian (MG)

Knudsen, Michelle
. 2009. The Dragon of Trelian. Candlewick. 407 pages.

Meg has a secret. And it's a big one. Who is Meg? A princess. A princess seemingly lost in the shuffle. You see, her oldest sister, Maerlie is getting married. She's marrying the prince, Prince Ryant, a foreign prince. The two countries have been at war a hundred years. Will this future marriage bring peace? That's the big question. But this book isn't about the big question--not really. (Okay, the last hundred pages, it jumps to the big question.)

It's about the players in the background. The little sister, Meg, who is almost more interested in having adventures and having a BIG secret than she is in love, romance, and finding a "prince charming" of her own. It's also about Meg's new best friend, a young boy named Calen. He's an apprentice to the royal magician. These two inhabit two different worlds. Socially speaking, Meg shouldn't even be talking to Calen, let alone becoming his best friend. But when the two meet, something clicks. She feels compelled to share. To share her secret.

What's the big secret? As you might can guess, it has something to do with a dragon. A dragon named Jakl. She found him; he was just a baby dragon. But now it's been months, and he's getting bigger and bigger. He's outgrowing his cave of a home. Meg loves her dragon of course, and she's concerned for him. If others see him, then his life could be in danger.

Calen and Meg make for a good team. He's researching dragons just to help her out, to make her feel at ease. And she is making his life easier too. Giving him a purpose and new-found motivation to live life. Calen's life as an apprentice isn't all fun and games. His teacher, Serek, isn't all that inspired a teacher. At least not as first...

Meg and Calen's developing friendship acts as a catalyst for many things. Together they might just make a difference.

What did I like about this one? I liked the adventure of it. It took me a few chapters to get involved in the characters--this is a whole new world we're entering after all, and it takes a while to get your footing and figure out what's what and who's who--but once Meg does the big reveal. Once she shares with Calen the fact that she's got a pet dragon, then things really start moving. Soon there is danger, action, mystery, and plenty of thrills.

What didn't I like about this one? Well, to be honest, I was a little confused by all the M's. It seems that most if not all of the royal women have names that begin with the letter M. And it was confusing--at least to me--to try to figure who was who. Which sister was which. Who was oldest. Who was youngest. What their exact ages were. Perhaps if I'd retraced my steps and made notes, I would have gotten it all down. As it was, I went through the book a bit fuzzy with a few of the characters. And that was really about it on the dislikes. I liked everything else.

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April 11:35 AM  

Great post and review, Becky! I enjoyed this story as well. I really like the characters of Meg and Calen!

Sarah at SmallWorld 8:23 PM  

Funny--the "M" names were one of my daughter's favorite parts!
(Oh, and I didn't know your last name was Laney. My best friend's daughter is also Rebecca Laney. That kind of took me aback!)

Anonymous,  2:06 AM  

Great website and a very nice review. I'm not much of a Fantasy fan, but this sounds pretty intriguing!

Anonymous,  10:51 AM  

Good point about all the "m" names, Becky. I thought that too. It's wise for authors to avoid having two main characters whose names start with the same letter. But to have so many, it made me less interested in the sisters because it frustrated me to have to go back and remember which was which. The dialogue usualy made it clear, but the reader shouldn't have to figure those types of things out. Thankfully I liked the main characters enough to ignore the sister issue. :-)
Jill Williamson

Zibilee 11:45 AM  

My daughter loves all things dragon, so I think this book would go perfectly on her summer reading list. Thanks for the great review!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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