The Dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen
Finished: May 18, 2009
First Published: April 14, 2009
Genre: children, fantasy
Calen tried not to look down.
Reason for Reading: YA fantasy about dragons? Need I say more! I received a review copy from Random House Canada.
Comments: Calen is the apprentice to the rather surly palace mage, Serek. One day while loitering about instead of gathering herbs he meets the Princess Meglynne out for her daily jaunt in peasant clothing. They become friends and she shares her darkest secret with him. She has a young dragon hidden nearby! But as the dragon is reaching adolescence Meg is having strange experiences, she can feel what the dragon feels when she is away from him and she seeks Calen's help in gathering knowledge about dragons from the mage's library. Together they explore this strange phenomenon but meanwhile the kingdom is under a secret attack from the inside that Meg and Calen accidentally discover on their own. Will they be able to out the traitor before all is lost?
I have to admit this started slowly and I wasn't immediately taken with it. I kept having feelings of deja vu which leads me to say the plot is rather cliched and I knew what was going happen before it happened throughout the entire book. But, that said, I'm not saying this was not worth the read. The story does pick up eventually and Calen and Meg are two very likable characters. I enjoyed them both and found their relationship with each other to be on an equal footing, neither was the smart one, which is always refreshing to see. In fact, this is probably one of the best male/female relationships I've read in a children's book lately. They are very natural with one another, the boy/girl issue is never raised, they are equal people and there is no romance. Very enjoyable dynamics between the two.
As I said, the plot didn't really grab me, it was just ok. But then it was enough to keep me reading the full 400+ pages! The last two chapters are full of foreshadowing that there is no doubt that there will be a sequel. The plot does end nicely and a sequel is not called for to finish the plot but as the foreshadowing reminds us there are plenty of loose strings that could do with tying up. I'm recommending this one for ages 8-12 as I don't think it will hold the interest of teens. (But that doesn't include adult readers of children's books!) While not quite living up to my expectations, a good enough book, and I'll certainly be waiting for the next book to read more about Calen and Meg.