From my review at Amazon.com:
Welcome to the world of DragonSpell, where seven high races and seven low ones share the lovely kingdom of Amara, and the young village slave Kale is about to discover that adventure is not all it’s cracked up to be. Her talent for finding dragon eggs and her eventual destiny as the Dragonkeeper catapult her into a quest for the egg of the fabled meech dragon, now held captive by the evil wizard Risto. Kale journeys through hope and doubt, joy and seeming failure, until she comes to recognize and accept that despite her humble beginnings and internal uncertainty, she can indeed share a part in greatness.
This book is billed as for all ages, from 9 to 90, and it certainly had enough sparkle to keep this cynical, weary reader engaged. I found it sweet, thought-provoking, and entertaining—in short, a very winsome read. The story and characters stayed with me long after I turned the last page. (Dar, in particular, is not to be missed!)
DragonSpell works nicely to fill the dearth of clean, modern fantasy works for teens and younger readers. My 12- and 14-year-old sons were riveted by the book and its sequel DragonQuest. As a homeschooling mother, I had a few questions about the premise when I first picked it up, given the symbolism of dragons in Scripture, but I found this story to be a spiritually “clean” read and very uplifting.
And welcome to the second Christian fantasy blog tour. This month we highlight Donita K. Paul, whose DragonKeeper series has found a very faithful following among young readers, and those not so young. My introduction to DragonSpell came while I was on bedrest after the birth of my last child. To quote Veggie Tales, “I laughed; I cried; it moved me, Bob.”
The best surprise, however, lay in wait for me a few weeks later. I applied to join an ACFW critique group and to my delight, was assigned to none other than Donita’s. She proved to be a wonderful mentor—though she gives me the freedom to write in my own “voice,” she isn’t afraid to confront true problem spots when she sees them. And even better—she’s become a dear friend. She’s held my hand through the fears and doubts and rejections of the past almost-two years, and allowed me a long look at what’s on the other side of that magical door of publication (and frankly, it’s a bit terrifying). In turn, it’s an honor to pray for her through deadlines and reviews, and I only hope I’ve been half the encouragement to her that she has to me.
Being her critique partner on the last two books, and reading them as they were written, was just icing on the cake. 🙂
Rebecca LuElla Miller says
Don’t think I didn’t notice your name in the acknowledgements, Shannon. 🙂 And was that a couple of your kids, too?
Great beginning for our tour. I’m glad you’re able to be a part of it.
Ohhhh. You lucky duck, you!
Shannon McNear says
LOL, Rebecca! And yes, Becky, those are my two oldest sons. They are some of Donita’s most ardent fans.
What was really kewl this time was getting to see my husband’s name in the acknowledgements alongside mine! He was pretty impressed, too–which is hard to do, since he’s so Bardon-esque himself.
I can’t wait to re-read DragonKnight in print and see what changed and what didn’t. 🙂
Beth Goddard says
Great story, Shannon!!.
Donita K. Paul says
I actually commented earlier today on this blog, but it didn’t make it throught the cyber maze.
Let me see if I can remember what I said. Hmm? I said Shannon is a great friend, prayer warrior, astute critiquer, Inspiring mom and all round super woman. Ask her about canning!
Ah, and I said I won’t be surprised when we have a future fantasy blog featuring Shannon, because this lady can certainly spin a tale worth reading.
Tiffany Amber Stockton says
Fantastic story, Shannon. While I don’t have the benefit of Donita’s wisdom and input on my writing, I can say she’s a great friend and offers solid Biblical wisdom. Congrats on the acknowledgement. Guess I’ll have to grab that book off the shelf and check out those pages. 🙂