Rachel Thomson's Reviews > Starlighter

Starlighter by Bryan Davis
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's review
Sep 01, 2010

really liked it

Jason Masters is trained to be a hero, a peasant whose skill takes him to the top of warrior training. With his brother Adrian, he grows up fighting homemade dragons and “rescuing” his best friend, Elyssa, from all manner of peril. But growing up brings unwelcome realities with it. His oldest brother, Frederick, disappears, and Adrian’s involvement with an underground movement that believes in real dragons places him in constant danger. Elyssa’s unusual gifts bring her under the scrutiny of witch hunters, who are foiled only when she’s dragged away in the night by a man-eating mountain bear. And Jason’s dreams of glory are brought down a few pegs when he’s appointed bodyguard to the corrupt, selfish Governor Prescott.

Life is not looking up.

But then Adrian tells Jason where he’s going — to find the gateway to the dragon world, another planet where, rumour has it, humans are kept as slaves to the fire-breathing beasts. Adrian gives Jason a message — from Frederick — and a mission. Murder, political hijinks, and the rescue of Elyssa from the dungeon (not from a mountain bear’s cave) turns life around again, and suddenly Jason finds himself on a dangerous journey to rescue the slaves from the dragon world and prove himself a true hero after all.

Meanwhile, on the dragon world, a slave girl named Koren memorizes the Creator’s Code, dreams of freedom, tells stories to dramatic and mysterious effect, and hopes that rumours of a home world to which escape might be possible are true. Events — and her own storytelling gift — soon promise to reveal the truth. But they also threaten Koren’s life, and more, her heart, as she’s drawn into the service of a dragon prince whose power is seductive and deadly.

Starlighter is an engaging story, made especially so by its cast of characters. It’s a clean read, appropriate for any reader who can handle a little (non-gory) violence and scariness. Davis writes with good humour and plenty of heart. The story is at times thought-provoking, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the characters’ journey takes them.

- Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy, www.worldsunseen.com

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