Review Detail

Kids Fiction 195
More Dragons!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Change is coming to Kidahara, a magical forest in the Joson, a kingdom in a diverse realm where there is magic. The trees are going to be pulled down for train tracks and mining. Jiho, whose family have been rangers for generations, gets pulled in by an offer of well paying work, even though he wants nothing to do with the forest after his father, also a ranger, left when he was young. Not surprisingly, the project is a very dangerous one, since the Namushin (tree spirits) are not in favor of "progress", especially since the men of Orion (one of the five kingdoms in the realm, the others being Urcia, Cloverly, and Bellprix) plan on industrializing the entire area. Jiho is an anomaly; he is not affected by magic, and in fact, causes magic to malfunction, which can be a problem when vehicles are run by magic. On the outskirts of Kidahara, there is a clan of witches and wizards called the Botan. Michah is the matriarchal leader, even though she is young, and she and her people are committed to keeping the forest safe and are fighting Prince Roku. They possess a moonstone, which has untold magical properties. When Jiho and his team come across the long lost princess Koko ("Holy octopus balls!", which would be my new go-to phrase if it weren't so inappropriate for a teacher!), Jiho realizes that there is more at stake than the well being of the forest. Micah knows where Koko's parents are imprisoned, and aided by a variety of creatures, Jiho must figure out how to keep Koko safe, rescue Koko's parents, and keep the realm safe from the evil Luzee, who plans on using Micah's moonstones and Jiho's ancestral staff to plan an evil takeover.
Good Points
This was an action-packed, well-plotted fantasy tale with a decent twist on the "evil is uprising and only tweens can save the day" formula. It has a medieval feel, but modern technology. The inclusion of Korean elements (in Joson) is a nice touch. Jiho is a well-meaning character who is trying to do the right thing, even if isn't what he wants to do. The villains are nicely drawn, and this could stand on its own, although also could have a sequel.

Readers who are big fans of Tui Sutherland (and who can tell me what Harry Potter is wearing in the fifth chapter of the fourth book) will love all of the different characters and their various magical powers or implements, as well as all of the places that are visited. This is a great choice to go along with Pasternack's Anya and the Dragon, Halbrook's Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races, Zhao's The Dragon Warrior and Durst's Spark.
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