Kim's Reviews > Dragonborn

Dragonborn by Toby Forward
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's review
May 06, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy, children-s-literature, fiction, reviewed-for-slj, young-adult-fiction
Read in January, 2012

From May 2012 SLJ:
Gr 4–6—Sam 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 Starback deserts him. Sam has no way of knowing that the dragon has left him to divert the magicians who are on the boy's trail. Suddenly, Sam does not know whom to trust. A dwarfish being called a roffle convinces him that if he wants to continue his magical education, he can do no better than the College. On arrival, Sam finds that the dean is more interested in parlor tricks than in the deep magic that Flaxfield taught him to respect. Moving on, he becomes caught up in a wizards' war that leaves him near death. There are flashes where the boy and Starback are able to enter each other's consciousness, but the reason for their connection is not fully developed. It is apparent early on that Ash, a creepy beetle-munching figure who adds just the right amount of ghoulishness to the story, has ties to the College and is directing the evil forces, but readers will need to wait for the next installment to learn more about her. Forward has created a complex high-fantasy world in which nothing is quite as it seems. The story line can meander, but persistent readers will enjoy getting to know Sam and entering his world.—

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