Adventure (Teen), Fantasy (Teen), YA Fiction

Dreamwalker by James Oswald – Ballad of Sir Benfro #1

To me, fantasy novels are akin to comfort food. It is the genre I turn to when I need a break, and when I want something that will make me feel happy and safe. Fantasy allows my imagination to roam free and gives me free reign over what I think this world looks like; even though the author may be super descriptive, I find that my own reading of the novel tweaks it to make it my own world. That is something that I don’t think I’ve experienced in any other genre, and it is one of the reasons why I love fantasy novels so much. This novel reminded me of all of my favorite classic fantasy novels so I was very excited to get a chance to read it.

Dragons were once proud creatures, the stuff of myths, but now the dragons of Gwlad are slowly dying, hiding away in their village. They shuffle about, using their subtle arts to hide from men who have been persecuting them for over two millenia. But things are about to change for them all. Benfro is the first male kitling that the dragons have seen in a thousand years. He hatched at the confluence, a time when the great moon Rasalene covers Arhelion, the sun. This is the sign that they have been waiting for, a sign that things are going to change for the dragons. But will this change bring fortune to them or spell their disaster instead?

This novel is exactly what it makes itself out to be and it is a pleasant and enjoyable read for that very reason. It is about a community of dragons, who are no longer as strong or as powerful as they used to be, and they hide away from humans who wish to use them for evil. If you are looking for cunning or mighty dragons, then you have come to the wrong place. These dragons are more docile, more cautious… but that just makes them more interesting, especially when you compare them to the more stereotyped vision of dragons. The story itself is quite interesting, with different viewpoints from the different races. The main protagonists are two young boys, one human and one dragon, who are learning to grow up and take on responsibility that they never knew they had, all while forging a strong friendship with each other. You’ve also got some brilliantly created evil characters who are cold and scary and everything you want to see in villains. While the novel had its slow moments, it was an enjoyable experience overall. If you are looking for a classic fantasy novel that has just the right mix of simplicity and complexity, then give this one a go!

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