Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen

Before the legendary Arthur became king, he took lessons from a dragon . . .

Artos is a lonely child, teased or ignored by the other boys in the castle of Sir Ector. One day, he follows Sir Ector’s runaway hound into a mysterious, dark cave, where he encounters a dragon who offers him the gift of wisdom.

Both frightened and intrigued, Artos becomes the dragon’s student and gains what he’s always longed for: the friendship and respect of other boys. Under the guidance of the dragon, Artos’s life begins to take shape in a way he could never have imagined. But has Artos really learned everything the dragon has to teach? And what does the dragon mean when he refers to him as “Artos Pendragon,” or “Arthur son of dragon”?

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved Jane Yolen's books. When I was about thirteen years old, I picked up Sword of the Rightful King. It's the first King Arthur retelling that I remember reading. I remember loving it so much that I read it in about two days because I couldn't put it down. Recently, I came across a book by her called The Dragon's Boy and wanted to give it a try to see if I still love her books as an adult. I thought it was just okay.

I have to admit, if I would have been the intended audience about twenty years ago, I think I would have loved The Dragon's Boy. As is, I thought it was just an okay book. I liked it, and found it fun to read. However, it didn't blow me away. I've read books that are a lot better about King Arthur over the years. I also found all of the characters to be unlikable. The main character, Artos, was a brat for most of the book. He was very selfish, and a jerk to those around him. The only side character that I really liked was Lady Marion, and she wasn't in the book very much. 

Even though I didn't find The Dragon's Boy mind-blowing spectacular, I did enjoy it. Once it ended, I wanted to know more about the author's interpretation of the relationship between Linn and Artos. I might have to read/re-read some of Jane Yolen's other King Arthur books and refresh my mind on her take on the tale. I think this would be a good book for children that are interested in the King Arthur legend, but have never read anything about it before. It's a great beginning stepping stone to other King Arthur retellings.

I give The Dragon's Boy: 3/5. 

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I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

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