*** I was given a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review ***
Dragor is an isolated valley, the only place on the planet inhabited by dragons and hidden from prying eyes. Here dragons have lived in peace since the great war against the humans and dragsaurs. Now, to stay safe and strong, they ensure their existence stays hidden, and go about their everyday lives. And yet something seems to be missing in their lives, preventing them from feeling completely happy and at ease.
Yoshiko is a dragon hatchling born under abnormal circumstances. Something about his birth raises alarm in the dragon community but, the truth is hidden and Yoshiko’s parents manage to keep their son from harm. Now, he’s a youngling like any other, about to attend the Fire School for the first time so he can also learn and grow to be a strong and skilful dragon. But, school isn’t as easy and exciting as he thought it would be and Yoshiko struggles to fit in.
Gradually he comes to find that he is different from all dragons of his age, in fact any dragon he’s ever met or heard about. And as he struggles to deal with things, he eventually finds out that there’s more to him and the dragon community than he thought. How will Yoshiko fare, and will he be able to face up to his destiny?
The Gift of Charms is a charming tale (no pun intended) of a young dragon who constantly feels out of place. One who is different not just figuratively but literally. The story follows his growth from a shy dragon to one who works hard on getting stronger, and learns to accept and understand his differences from others. This gives him the strength to take on an unimaginable task and do something no other dragon has ever done before.
I had not realised as I accepted this book to read and review that it is for middle grade children. So yes, I was a little put down (not to mention, lost for a while as to what to do). But I decided to continue with the story for two reasons. Firstly, because it seemed to be an interesting and cute story and secondly because it’s about dragon life! What do the dragons do, how do they live? What are their habits? How is their society and culture? This is the first book I’ve read which deals with these things and it was fun! Fun, to read about a young dragon as he goes to school, meets a bully, struggles with his abilities and is curious about his own world. Just imagining all of it was delightful, and so cute! I can totally imagine this as an animated movie.
While I liked reading this tale, I wish it had slightly more detailing and was a little slower. The information and history of the dragons and their past could’ve been better in narrative form rather than as dialogues. There are a few errors here and there, but otherwise this is a well written story about a unique world. The characters are also nicely developed. However, I sincerely hope there’s more to Yoshiko’s difference and the way that uniqueness manifests. Also, there was never a hint of something lacking in the dragon community which makes them whole. And since the ending was extremely rushed, the lack of explanation was more apparent, especially considering the title of the book. And lastly, Yoshiko’s venture and interaction with a certain someone was not lengthy enough. Everything was over and done with in a breath! It seemed too easy. Basically, everything comes down to the fact that the book was a bit too fast paced and was definitely rushed at the end.
Overall, a captivating story which is sure to be fun for young kids and an extra kudos from me for concept.