Villain Keeper ( The Last Dragon Charmer #1)

 
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Villain Keeper ( The Last Dragon Charmer #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 03, 2015
ISBN
9780062308436
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The first book in an epic new series for fans of The School for Good and Evil and The Land of Stories. All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of slaying a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Great Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. Or so he thinks. The longer Caden spends in Asheville, the more he comes to realize that there is unexpected and dangerous magic in this strange land. There just may be dragons here, too. But what if Caden's destiny isn't to slay a dragon, after all?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Fresh twist on a dragon slaying adventure
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Caden, whose elder brothers have all gone on quests, is sent abruptly on one by his father, King Axel of Razzon. When he finds a dragon terrorizing a village, he is prepared to slay it, but is caught up with Brynne, a spellcaster whom he knows slightly, and is catapulted into Asheville, North Carolina! So much for achieving the status of Elite Paladin! Luckily, his gift is the gift of languages, so he is able to communicate, and Brynne's magic is helpful as well. After several days camping in the park with Caden's snow stallion, Sir Horace, the group is found by policemen. Caden tells them the truth about what he is doing in the park, and almost ends up under psychiatric care. Instead, he is sent to foster care with Rosa, and Brynne and Sir Horace escape. It's hard to transition from being a prince to being in foster care, but befriending Tito helps. What doesn't help is the fact that another foster child, Jane Chan, has gone missing, and the teachers at Caden's new school seem suspicious. The worst of the group is his math teacher, Mr. Rathis, who looks alarmingly like Rath Dunn, tyrant of the Greater Realm. He reveals himself to Caden, and Caden suspects he had something to do with Jane's disappearance. Ms. Primrose is also very odd, and Caden learns that she is really the one in charge of all of the teachers, all of whom have very dangerous ties to Razzon. Caden's quest was to slay a dragon, and he manages to find dragons to fight right in Asheville!
Good Points


This was not quite the book I expected it to be, which was a very good thing. I was expecting something like Thomson's Dark Lord: The Early Years, and thought that Caden would bumble along in Asheville, make some friends, solve a mystery, and then go back to Razzon. Instead, I liked how Asheville was the "Land of Shadows" and Caden's school was housing villains from his kingdom! This gave the book a Harry Potter feeling without having any other elements of that book. The idea of a magical kingdom seeping into our world, instead of characters from our world going right into a magical kingdom, is a fresh one.

Caden manages to hold true to who he is while combating forces beyond his comprehension, but he isn't inflexible. He makes friends with Tito, and accepts that he has to be in a special education class because while he can speak many languages, he can't necessarily read them. His growing friendship with Brynne has a nice mixture of annoyance, especially when she blends in to their new setting better than he does. My favorite line was this one from Brynne (page 196) "The tech is the magic of Asheville, and I'm good at magic."

This book will appeal to a wide range of fantasy readers who enjoy everything from Cornelia Funke to Rick Riordan to Jane Yolen. There's a touch of the medieval world mixed with the realities of foster care, so Caden has to wrestle with jeans that are too long as well as savage Elderdragons! And since he is not sent back to Razzon at the end of the book, we can only hope that there will be a sequel!
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