Author: A.A. Bukhatir
Summary: In a tiny village nestled between a haunted forest and a magic mountain, lives an old woodcutter named Aijou. Shunned by the other villagers, he mourns the death of his cherished wife and spends his lonely days going about his work in nearly total isolation. He never dreams that in a flash his life will change completely, and that his courage and strength will be profoundly tested.
It all begins innocently enough when Aijou loses his way in the enchanted forest. Desperately seeking the path back home, he suddenly encounters two tiny fairies engaged in battle with fire-breathing she-dragon. Against all odds, the fairies prevail and with its last breath, the dying dragon assumes her human form. She begs Aijou to adopt her baby boy. Aijou agrees not knowing that the infant is actually a dragon. From that moment on, Aijou¹s life will never be the same. Filled with determination, he tries to escape the haunted forest.
But in order to return home, Aijou must obtain permission from the evil Witches of Galza. With two fairy guides, Aijou and the dragon baby set off to find the wicked sisters. When they finally meet, the Witches offer Aijou a terrible bargain and he must decide whether he will accept.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)
My Review: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“A chill passed through them as they looked at the horizon where the sun was about to set and darkness slowly invited itself in, without waiting for permission.” pg. 270 of Dragon Boy
Maybe it’s just me, but anybody who can write something as beautiful as that phrase, has got to be worth reading. It’s pure poetry! Sorry, my inner geek just had to come out. That phrase stopped me in my tracks.
ANYway, about the book… The opening was brilliantly done, as was the ending. One of the things I found most fascinating about this book is how… original it is. It’s so wildly different from any other YA Fantasy you’ll read, but in a good way. The main character, for instance, is an old man. At first I wasn’t sure how that was gonna be, but I loved it. The 2 side-kick characters were… interesting. You’re kinda’ve thrown into them, but over time, as you get to know them, they’re really great. One of the best things? The world. I love love LOVE worlds that have a lot of detail and thought put into them, and this was definitely one of those! It was fascinating, complex, and well-thought out. You go on this huge adventure traveling mountain ranges, fairylands, dragon cities, and deadly forests, meeting all sorts of magical creatures along the way. It’s fantastic.
The only thing that did bug me throughout the course of the book were the names; Rasaia, and Shiawa. I have this thing about names. I HAVE to know how to pronounce them, or else I will never stop thinking about it. Rasaia & Shiawa? I have no idea. Other than that, though, I did get lost every so often, and I would have to go back and read a sentence or paragraph a few times over to actually understand what happened. That was confusing, and some of the concepts weren’t introduced in the best ways. Also, there is an overuse of the word “really” (e.i. really tightly, really hard). Honestly, though? I loved this book. Not like I love Harry Potter or anything, but I loved this book. The character development was PHENOMENAL. And I loved the ending! Everything comes together so perfectly! I cannot wait for the 2nd book! I’m sure it’ll be just as (if not more) fantastic as the first.
Content Advisory: Umm… two dragons fight. A woman dies. Nothing scary or graphic or anything.
To Sum it Up: Strangely enough, it almost reminded me of Pilgrim’s Progress, or some such novel. Fun, fast-paced adventure, mixed with life lessons and fantasy creatures? Yes, please! Sound like your type of book? I would definitely recommend it to readers 9+.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?
I recently finished The Fall of Five – By Pittacus Lore