Sunday, 23 March 2014

Review - The Gift of Charms, Land of Dragor Book One by Julia Suzuki


This epic novel, first in the Land of Dragor series, transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where seven dragon clans live hidden from man.

Their great wars with humans and evil dragsaurs are over and the dragons live peacefully among the smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out, but the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans have left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world.

There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest.

The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?

I was very excited recently to be given the opportunity to review Julia Suzuki's debut novel, Book One in The Land of Dragor series - The Gift of Charms.

A grand fantasy story aimed at the 8+ market but as a 35 year old reading it, I loved it - It is a story that can be enjoyed as a parent reading with their child, a child reading alone or a parent sneaking a read of their child's book!

The story concentrates on a young dragon called Yoshiko who lives with his elders in the magical Land of Dragor hidden from humans, born from a strange egg Yoshiko has been treated with suspicion from the other dragons since his birth as the last dragon to be born from such a strange egg was Surion, the legendary warrior who went to war with the humans.

Yoshiko attends fire school, he meets with young dragons from the other clans, each clan has a special skill as well as its own unique colour. The one thing that struck about this book was Julia's use of colour it almost reminded of precious gems and their gorgeous colours and as you can see from the picture above I am on the right road!

Now I don't want to give away any spoilers, but as is so common these days whilst at fire school Yoshiko has to unfortunately deal with a bully in the form of Igorr who thinks himself better than anybody else and does not like Yoshiko at all. But Yoshiko rises above it (literally!) and with his friends and family as well as determination he becomes adept at many things. What this story also does is show you that you cannot instantly expect things you have to work at them.

The story is a great start to this fantasy series, the most unique part is that the story is being told by the dragons and not humans, I was a little nervous I would find it a bit strange but I shouldn't have worried, the story reads really well!

Like all good fantasy novels I am so glad to see there is a beautiful map provided, as a fan of Tolkien and Martin with their fantastic maps, I know if I see one I will love the book!

A great debut and I look forward to seeing more from Julia in the future! 

Awarded 5 out of 5

It will be published in paperback under the Dino imprint on September 4th 2014 (www.johnblakepublishing.co.uk).

AMAZON READERS MAY NOW PRE-ORDER THE PAPERBACK RELEASE OF ‘THE GIFT OF CHARMS’ AT AMAZON




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