Thursday, 8 January 2015


NOTE: I didn't participate in yesterdays top 5 Wednesday because I have already covered the topic in another blog post. You can see my most anticipated books of 2015 here!

TITLE: The gift of charms
AUTHOR: Julia Suzuki
SERIES: The land of Dragor (book one)
RELEASE DATE: September 4th 2014

In a secret land, far away from the habitation of man, dwell the world's remaining dragons -- hoping the dragsaur beasts have vanished forever. In their mystical valley, they live their daily lives, but all is not well and their talents are fading. 

Things change, however, when, from a strange egg, Yoshiko is born - a dragon with a unique destiny. Great adventure lies ahead as many challenges must be overcome, leading to a dangerous mission to the human world in attempt to return to the clans their missing magic! 

Will the Land of Dragor have a new hero? 

Can Yoshiko make it in time?

The gift of charms is a middle grade fantasy with DRAGONS (!!!!!) in it, what could go wrong? The truth is, not much did. I really enjoyed this book! 

The plot was very fast paced and interesting, there were definitely no boring parts in this book. I loved seeing Yoshiko's journey to fulfill his destiny mixed in with things that normal children would go through (bullies and trying to fit in at school, for example). It made the book feel a lot more believable and made me like Yoshiko a hell of a lot more than I would if he'd somehow been amazing at everything without even trying. 

Speaking of Yoshiko, I thought he was a really good protagonist! He was really determined and never gave up even when everyone around him told him it was impossible, which i think was a really good example to set for any young children reading this book. Unfortunately I thought most of the other characters didn't have much development and, although they were all unique and fit the story well, I couldn't really get attached to any of them apart from Yoshiko.

Another thing I loved about this book was how unique the world and the dragons were. Julia Suzuki provided a new take on dragons that I hadn't read about before and made creatures that have been used so many times before seem fun and original. Furthermore, the world these dragons lived in was well developed and had an interesting history that was well explained throughout the story. I was very impressed by the world building, especially in such a short book.

As always, there were a couple of things that I didn't like about this novel.
 Firstly, the dragons just seemed too...human. They went to school, they ate pie, they could write. It's not really a big problem at all, but sometimes i just completely forgot that I was reading about dragons and not humans. In addition I felt like the quest that Yoshiko finally went on was too short and could have done with a little bit more description. The whole book was building up to it but when the time finally came I was kind of disappointed. Again, it didn't exactly ruin my enjoy of the book, but I did feel that the ending was rather anticlimactic. 

Overall, I thought this book was very fun and entertaining. It's not exactly my kind of thing (I don't generally read middle grade), and I was definitely older that the target audience, but I'm still excited to read more in this series and I would totally recommend it to anyone looking for a cute and enjoyable fantasy intended for a younger audience.


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