Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Runaway Dragon

A Review Featuring Bit (Bibliophile in Training, age 6)

As a followup to our most recent read aloud, The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs, Bit and I read the sequel, The Runaway Dragon. 

The StoryFrom the book jacket:
When Meg’s dragon, Laddy, flies away from home, she knows she must go on a quest to find him. But she hasn’t counted on her parents, the king and queen of Greeve, sending ten guardsmen along. Fortunately, she is also accompanied by her best friends: Dilly, a lady-in-waiting and a cool head in any crisis not involving heights; Cam, a gardener’s assistant who knows the exact value of a brick shed filled with sausages; Nort, a skinny guardsman who has never given much thought to crows; and Lex, a young wizard with bad taste in horses, magic carpets, and sorceresses. Of course, Meg’s quest goes topsy-turvy once she enters the enchanted forest—and her adventure is just beginning. What’s more, meeting up with the dashing bandit Bain again isn’t at all what she expected. Will this princess be able to rescue herself, let alone anybody else? In The Runaway Princess, Meg and her friends defeated a pack of princes. Now they’re going to need swordplay, magic, and a whole lot of courage to find Laddy and get back home!

Bit's Thoughts
I like how this story is cute, funny and full of surprises.  There are giants in this story and that surprised me.  Meg is still my favorite princess.  I like that Laddy gets a  new name.   I really hope there is another one.  If Kate Coombs doesn't write a third one, then I will.  (Note:   Who knew I would have to explain copyright and the concept of fanfic to my 6 year old?)

My Thoughts
Again, Kate Coombs takes old fantasy tropes and has a great deal of fun with them while spinning a witty and delightful tale at the same time.  Princess Meg has learned a lot since her previous adventures and is a little less heedlessly headstrong though no less stubborn.  The things she has been taught and the patience she has learned serve her well.  The foes faced by the characters on this quest are a little more daunting and the tasks they must complete more dangerous.  I like how the book focuses on the friendships between Meg and her companions.  They are growing and changing but the loyalty they have for each other has not faded in the least.   A little romance is introduced in this book to liven things up even more.  This does not overwhelm the story and there are no demonstrations of affections between the characters.  It was a nice addition though.  Bit was grinning like crazy when we got to those parts.  The book is just as funny as its predecessor, although I think I liked the first one a little more (but not by much).

This was originally published on my livejournal in September 2010.

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