I enjoyed reading this book by RJ the Story Guy. It is a Young Adult story, but can be equally enjoyed by ‘fully grown’ adults. It fits the clientele it’s aimed at very well.
Jaiden, a 15-year-old farm boy, lives near Hilltop, a Medieval-type village and has never been more than a few miles beyond his home. He lives with his widower father who works the boy hard and treats Jaiden rather abusively. In this world, people have enslaved dragons as beasts of burden and as something like guard dogs and soldiers.
There are three kinds of dragons characterized by their various colors: gold (dog-sized) dragons trained to hunt and serve as guards; silver (about the size of a cow) trained to carry gold dragons on their backs and to serve as soldiers and hunters; and blue dragons (somewhat larger than an elephant) who are trained to tow Dragon Trains (powered by a low-flying dragon rather than a steam engine). The gold and silver dragons aren’t very intelligent, but obedient to humans and easily trained. The blues however, are very intelligent and can communicate with each other telepathically although most humans are not aware of their ability to communicate. For many centuries dragons and humans were enemies, but in the last couple of generations, humans have become clever enough to overwhelm and enslave the dragons. But the blues long for freedom and escape from human control. Jaiden and Skye, an escaped blue dragon, encounter each other and a close, friendly relationship develops as the blue dragon, with the young man’s help, escapes servitude towing a Dragon Train. The pair avoid capture while they are pursued through the forests and caves of the Emerald Forest. Eventually, they travel to Portville, a large city where the Dragon Train camps and training grounds are located.
But can the pair free her family and escape to a far northern land where dragons may live free?
The story follows Jaiden and Skye through their adventures, where they meet problem after problem. It is a tale that makes you root for Jaiden and the blue dragons.
The humans are not, on the whole, shown in a very good light. Most that we meet seem cruel, rather stupid and selfish.
Jaiden begins the tale as a rather innocent 15 year old. He has been no farther than his village and consequently is rather innocent. However, his adventures with Skye improve his self-confidence and he develops well in the book.
The writing is good. The descriptions place us in the world without it being over descriptive, which I think would be a bit off-putting for YA readers who want to get on with the story.
The only thing I would quibble with is that RJ uses the word ‘lay’ wrongly when it should be ‘lie’. Otherwise, grammar and spelling are excellent, with no typos.
An excellent read, and a book I would recommend if you want an idea for a Christmas present (or any other time present) for those difficult teens.
I have given it 5*.