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Dragonborn (The Flaxfield Quartet #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  675 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
When Flaxfield the great wizard dies, his apprentice Sam is left without a master. As the wizards gather for his Finishing, Sam does not know whom to trust and whom he should fear. He sets off alone with only his dragon Starback for company, little realising the perils that lie in wait.
Paperback, 461 pages
Published 2011 by Walker Books Ltd
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 23, 2013 Lucy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I promised Megan I would write more wordy reviews! Anyway.

This book was sort of confusing. The way it was written, the flow - it all felt a bit more like a fanfic than an actual book, although there were parts that interested me. It was sort of disjointed throughout, and didn't really explore the characters as much as it could have. The plot twists were pretty predictable - and that kind of added to the "fanfic" feel, and I really am not sure how else to describe that - and people's conversation
Rebecca L. Snowe
I will now sum this book up in four words; boring, boring, boring, boring.
Mar 08, 2012 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, fantasy, dragons
This is a tough one to review. For at least the 1st half of the book I was confused. Characters asked questions, but other characters evaded answering or gave cryptic replies. The whole plot felt like that, too. Cryptic, confusing. . .I found it annoying for a while, but something compelled me to keep reading rather than give up. At some point, I realized that this was likely intentional. The world/culture created here seems to need people to seek and choose for themselves, and even though the m ...more
May 05, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dragonborn begins with these words: Flaxfield died on a Friday… Flaxfield had been teaching Sam to become a wizard. Sam is halfway through his apprenticeship – he knows some magic but not enough. He is completely alone but for his dragon and best friend, Starback. Everything that is familiar disappears in an instant. Flaxfield’s past apprentices come back to the cottage to honor their master as the rules dictate – while there they question Sam and don’t believe he is an actual apprentice. They b ...more
First I was very exited about the book because: Dragons! but, it didn't hold up. Way too little about the dragon, too confusing (time jumps and changes of POVs without warning, talking about things that haven't been explained before and so on), too difficult to follow and so on. :(
I suppose Sam had nowhere else to go after the wizard died, but it's a pity he had to go to school. I'm glad he got out of it at the end.
Jan 22, 2012 Jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
my rating 2.8 stars

i will start off with an explanation of my rating. This book is aimed at junior primary children. I’m in senior school and the book confused the shiz out of me so much that... well... I got confused. The age rating on this book was stupid and so was the layout of events. That’s why it only got 2.8 stars.

get really comfy because after a while this book get quite interesting. unfortunatly my revew isn't lol

(view spoiler)
Aug 11, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is marketed to children, and I'm not saying children wouldn't love it, but it's no more a book for children just because the main character is 12 years old than it is a book for dragons because it has a dragon in it. This is a book for anyone who appreciates depth over width in their reading. I call this an iceberg book because so much of it dwells beneath the surface. The author trusts you to be smart enough and creative enough and clever enough to fill in the blanks he so thoughtfull ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chi-fantasy
I am kind of scratching my head on this one. It has a good cover and a good quest tale. However, it is at times almost a little esoteric. I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be a little too out there or slow to keep kids attention. In the end it is a good story, classic fantasy themes of good and evil, power corrupts, orphan turned hero etc. Good for strong fantasy readers 4-6th grade. Note the evil forces are really evil, AND pretty scary AND sometimes gruesome. They made my skin crawl which ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Gail rated it it was amazing
By the end of the first chapter I was captivated by this book. The way it is written draws the reader in and paints a wonderful picture of the characters and settings around which the story is skilfully woven.

I don't want to say anything about the story because I don't wish to spoil it for those who are yet to read it. Suffice to say, this book will not disappoint and by the end you will be ordering the next book in the series.

Jim Kay's illustrations are fabulous!
Stacy Mozer
Oct 30, 2011 Stacy Mozer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fantasy
Shelves: middle-grade
Fantastic new middle grade series for lovers of The Magic Thief and Septimus Heap. When the wizard Sam is apprenticed to dies, "Sam was annoyed because the old man hadn't told him he was going to die, and Sam missed him." With his dragon Starbuck, Sam sets out to find a new wizard to finish his training. He has no idea that he isn't the only one who wants his magic.
I'm not saying the book was bad, I'm really not. It just was not for me. I couldn't get past page 120. Truly, I didn't want to give up on the book; I even tried twice to read it. But I just couldn't get invested in the character.
Apr 20, 2013 Terri rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, something in it spoke to me and made me feel like a child again discovering fantasy fiction for the first time. I didn't want to put it down and can't wait till I can read the next one in the series.
Brandy Painter
I don't know how I missed this when it first came out, but I'm glad to have discovered a new book that I can recommend to the kids I know who loves stories with dragons and magic.
I really liked the plot and how you got different points of view.
Jul 03, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Wow! what an adventure...In this book the author portrays exactly how you would imagine Sam to feel. I think I would like a pet Dragon!
Jacob Wittman
Oct 11, 2016 Jacob Wittman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dragonborn, by Toby Forward, is a fictional book that is full of fantasy and magic. The book begins with a curious boy named Sam who has just witnessed his master’s death. His master, Flaxfield, was a smart wizard with great power. Sam, his apprentice, is now left alone and seeking a new master. His only friend is a dragon called Starback. While running away from wizards that may be good or bad, he meets Megatorine, a roffle. A roffle is a very small person who lives below the earth. Megatorine ...more
Feb 27, 2017 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a reread for me in preparation for finally getting to reading the rest of the series. I enjoyed it the first time round and did enjoy it this time round too. There was a problem for me that there was so many characters because for quite a few of them I didn't connect. One of the characters I most wanted to see was Starbuck. I didn't think there was quite enough of him.

It is quite a complex story that we really only know some of. It seems like there was a beginning somewhere that involv
Lisle Library Youth Services
A multilayered story makes this book pleasingly complex. But though more than one story is being weaved together, it is never jumbled nor does it feel haphazard. I would call this "high fantasy lite"--it's not as dense or ponderous as Tolkien, but the world is well built, intricate, and interesting. It's an easy read for those who like fantasy.
Sam is the apprentice to an elderly wizard whose unexpected death is followed by the descent of all his former apprentices on the cottage. Finding that the wizards are skeptical of his claim to be Fairfield's last apprentice, Sam runs away with his dragon to avoid being set to work in the mines. He meets strange creatures, stays at a wizard's academy, tangles with a witch who tries to kill him, and begins to find out that he is chosen for some purpose he does not yet understand.

This book was bi
From May 2012 SLJ:
Gr 46Sam is a wizard's apprentice whose master dies halfway through his education. When former students of the great man quickly arrive on the scene with their own agendas, they are not impressed with the 12-year-old's abilities, and he cannot imagine becoming an apprentice to one of them. His closest companion has been Starback, a small dragon that has followed him loyally, but when he makes his escape from Flaxfield's little home and the wizards who now occupy it, even Starba
K.M. Carroll
I'm still trying to decide what I thought of this book. It's written in that sparse, minimalist style that's so popular right now, and there's no backstory given, EVER. It's like Valve storytelling in Half-life--you're just left to figure stuff out on your own.

The story itself is like if Lyra from The Dark Materials trilogy and Conn of the Magic Thief trilogy somehow got mixed into a crossover and had an adventure together. Complete with Lyra's magic church-school thingy. Those aspects of it wer
Tesa Fiona
Jul 08, 2013 Tesa Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book is confusing, more like frustrating somehow (SOME WISDOM: thou who art impatient, thou shall not read this book). But the good thing is, in some parts, I found delicate flowing narration; simple and subtle. As for me, the apprentice notes are my favorite; they are effortless yet mind-tickling.

I like how the author explored the emotion of a 12 years old boy. It feels so.. so 12 years old. However, it's bizarre that a 12 years old boy could make such a long journey (on foot) for a couple
May 30, 2012 Peg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
12-year-old Sam is halfway through his apprenticeship with the wizard Flaxfield when Flaxfield dies, leaving Sam adrift. Flaxfield’s previous apprentices distrust Sam and his claims, so Sam takes off with his dragon Starbuck, hoping to finish his apprenticeship with someone else. His travels lead him into a treacherous world, where some are trying to lead him astray or even kill him and take over his special power (of which he is unaware) for their own dark purposes. Seemingly abandoned by Starb ...more
Full review here:

The story idea is charming, the world and worldbuilding are charming. But the execution of the plot was poorly done, I think. The tension and conflict didn't seem to rise like it should, and when it should have been at its peak, it fizzled out and the point that should have had tension was flat. There wasn't very much conflict, either. A lot of travel and some tension as to whether or not a character would live. It was disappointing. I ne
Jan 03, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like books about wizards and dragons and unusual magical people then you will like this book. A young boy is an apprentice to a great wizard. He is the only family he has known and feels a great loss when he comes home to find he has died. He takes care of the body and then several grown wizards show up- the other apprentices the wizard has trained over his lifetime. The boy has a dragon as a companion and he also has a great enemy because he holds the key to letting her escape her prison ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Jen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
“Everyone knows that dragons bring luck; the trouble is, you never know whether it is going to be bad luck or good luck. And, the worst thing is, dragons have a way of bring people the luck they deserve” (pg 9).
Unfortunately for 12-year-old Sam, it seems like his luck from his dragon Starback is all bad. After all, the wizard he was apprenticing, Flaxfield, has died after only mentoring Sam for six years, leaving Sam half-trained. Now all the other wizards that apprenticed Flaxfield have come b
May 18, 2016 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book, and in some ways I did. The actual story is entertaining, if not original, but the presentation is quite abstruse. Most of the dialog felt more like two monologues being spoken at the same time, so little did the two sides have to do with each other. Narrative and description were rather thin; not in an open or artistic way but more full of holes. The protagonists seemed complex and well rounded. No knights in shining armor, but flawed people trying to make goo ...more
Jennifer Heise
Sep 05, 2013 Jennifer Heise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, kids
The book begins with almost exactly the setup of The Ring of Allaire, but the apprentice wizard whose master has passed away is immediately swamped by suspicious visitors, ones with a sort of magical familylike connection-- and some who don't have his best interests at heart.
Escaping, he passes through a number of scenarios a sharp reader of this type of fiction will recognize, but Forward handles them in a very different way-- more like Patricia McKillip than anything else. If you've wondered w
Sara Bennett
Apr 06, 2013 Sara Bennett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I picked up this book because I love dragon stories and all that, so this book looked interesting because it has a dragon on the cover. Judging a book by it's cover, I know, I know. However I was sadly disappointed as dragons weren't a major part at all! There was one dragon in the book and he wasn't in it a lot. And while a lot of the plot involved a dragon it barely showed the dragon and went into dragon-y stuff. Made me sad :( Also the writing was confusing, the author would tell or show us s ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Flaxfield Quartet (4 books)
  • Fireborn (The Flaxfield Quartet, #2)
  • Doubleborn (Dragonborn #3)
  • Starborn (Dragonborn #4)

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“Flaxfield died on a Friday which was a shame, because he always ate a trout for dinner on Friday, and it was his favourite.” 3 likes
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