In the first installment of Sandra Kelly’s middle-grade series, a large group of dragons with magical skills must rescue a queen dragon and juvenile dragons before an ogre devours them.
On a large, ten-sided mountain called Decagon, nine sides hold lovely forests, lakes, and valleys. But living on the tenth side is Weld, a power-hungry ogre who wants to extort magical powers from dragons. To this end, he has kidnapped a dragon named Pearl, along with a clutch of eggs that have hatched while in captivity.
Rainbow, the dragons’ leader, is desperate, as are his fellow dragons, to save his partner Pearl and the juvenile dragons. But on their way to Weld’s castle, the dragons encounter bloodthirsty creatures: wolfcrabs with strong claws and huge jaws, and goblins with pointy teeth who ride upon ferocious “grawks.” With each challenge faced, Rainbow orders his multi-talented crew to use their special powers, such as invisibility and telepathy, to gain an advantage.
The battle scenes are well choreographed, and readers will love some of the comical scenes: A young dragon outsmarts a group of goblins; two mischievous ghosts create havoc at the castle; and while gathering intel, a young, invisible dragon plays tricks on the castle’s staff.
Unfortunately, every time the dragons meet danger, the author includes an excessive amount of dialogue concerning their strategies, what tasks each should accomplish and so on. Additionally, the cast includes 25 characters, some more fully developed than others. Readers might find themselves frequently referring to Kelly’s (partial) listing of characters.
Finally, the book needs significant editing. The grammar and punctuation are consistently incorrect, making for fitful reading. Periods and commas are missing and incorrectly used (“Ah Misty is back good!”), and run-on sentences abound.
In sum, although the story offers imaginative characters and creatures and some fast, action-packed scenes, it requires revision to gain a wide readership.
Also available as an ebook.