The Dragon and the Scholar – What Are the Moral Values Represented? Should We Question The Values In Novels? This post will review Dragon’s Curse, Dragon’s Debt, Dragon’s Rival and Dragon’s Bride

Book Review : Dragon’s Curse
The Dragon and the Scholar #1

By H. L. Burke

Spoiler Alert!

34379812

Summary

On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous.

Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family? (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

Dragon’s Curse is a charming tale written for a younger audience. Shannon is more focused on scholarship than relationships. She is disheveled, intelligent and doesn’t realize she is beautiful. Her friend and fellow scholar, Martin, sends her to Regone to help real the King from injuries he sustained battling dragons.

She befriends Gnaw, a dragon who has decided to live in a cave near the castle of Regone. It turns out Gnaw has a sense of humor and enjoys having Shannon read to him. Sir Roderick, a knight, of a lazy nature has decided he must marry Shannon. He has convinced himself that she will want to be his wife if he has vanquished the local dragon.

Overall the book is very innocent and fun. There is a reference to a knight being allowed to have his way with Shannon, which I thought was inappropriate for the audience. Other than this sexual reference children as young as 10 could easily read this book.

 

3 out of 5 stars
3 star
– Michelle

Book Review : Dragon’s Debt
The Dragon and the Scholar #2

By H. L. Burke

Spoiler Alert!

34379814

Summary

Scholar Shannon Macaulay and the Dragon-Prince Ewan have been traveling together for a year when their blissful companionship is interrupted by a cryptic message from their friend Martin.
“Come to Westshire. Edmond needs you.”
Drawn to his brother’s aid, Ewan finds himself hunting an elusive monster: a winged beast kidnapping young women and stealing their memories. Its latest victim is the Princess Brighid of Westshire, the very girl Edmond has recently fallen for, to the disapproval of her temperamental father, King Riley, and stoic brother, Prince Ryan.
Ewan is determined to rescue his brother’s beloved, no matter what the cost. But when Ryan’s eyes fall upon Shannon, the dragon realizes the cost might be greater than he is willing to pay. (Courtesy of 
goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

Shannon and Ewan are off on adventures, and flying has definite advantages for traveling takes place in a neighboring kingdom, and ally country Westshire. King Riley is evil and in raising his son he has tried to impart the family legacy, but Ryan has turned onto a different path than his father. They are at odds over King Edmond being in love with Princess Brighid. Ewan has taken on the responsibility to find the kidnapped princess, and will work with Ryan to fulfill this goal to pay his perceived debt to hid brother.

Much as the first in the series, there are a few off comments about the dalliances of King Riley that would make me hesitate in giving this book to a tween audience. The cliche comments, light writing style and shallow characters would have me believe it has been written for a young audience.

3 out of 5 stars
3 star
– Michelle

 

Book Review : Dragon’s Rival
The Dragon and the Scholar #3

By H. L. Burke

Spoiler Alert!

34379825

Summary

Having abandoned his friends and family and taken to the skies, Ewan hides himself in the Wilderlands, away from humans. However, an unexpected attempt on his life and a warning from another dragon lead him to suspect that not all is right in Regone.

Ewan returns to his homeland to attend his brother’s wedding and discover the source of the bounty on his head. Once there the dragon prince finds that Ryan of Westshire has been using his absence to court the Lady Shannon.

With unknown forces working to undermine his brother’s throne and his own heart torn between his love for Shannon and the desire to see her happy, Ewan must choose once and for all. Is he a dragon or a man? (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

Ryan has been diligently courting Shannon while Ewan has studiously ignored her, to the point of exhibiting his disregard for her. The bigger problem lies in the attacks on the kingdom of Regone. Shannon is taxed with the problem of figuring out if Prince Ryan is involved.

There continue to be references to men who should have/or have taken a woman to their bed (while not married), rape and other caddish behavior by even honorable men. Yikes! Why does the rest of the story feel like a tween book, when this is obviously not material I would want my child reading. It must be for a slightly older audience, but I don’t know if they will be interested in such a simplistic tale.

I believe the discrepancy of audience to written material lies, in part, to the whimsical covers. The illustrations look like the book will be geared to a younger audience. The books are also short, really more of a novella length, found in tween books.

In the series a positive point is that each book is self-contained. For example, in Dragon’s Rival, Shannon resolves her relationship with the man she loves rather than being caught in a continual love triangle. Another problem solved is Will’s feelings about his father and half-brother. Each book as a clear problem remaining that needs to be solved. In this book it is apparent that Ewan needs to solve the problem of his form – man or dragon. There are additional problems to solve, such as, finding Rowan and resolving King Riley, who is a persistent problem.

3 out of 5 stars
3 star
– Michelle

 

Book Review : Dragon’s Bride
The Dragon and the Scholar #4

By H. L. Burke

Spoiler Alert!

34379830

Summary

Dragon Prince Ewan has promised his beloved, Shannon, that he will become a man again or die in the attempt. Now he will do anything to make good on that promise.

With the aid of his scholarly friend, Martin, Ewan consults the great Dragon Queen Harviss, who offers him a unique solution: return to the past to find Ewan’s Fey ancestor and beg for her help. Leaving Shannon behind, Ewan and Martin travel to a dangerous past and fall into the clutches of a powerful Fey queen.

Meanwhile, Shannon finds herself alone and with child. Unable to sit still with her husband absent, she joins with Ryan of Westshire in the prince’s desperate search for his young son. King Riley, however, will see Ryan dead before allowing him to find the lost child.

Can Shannon find a way to unite Ryan with his son? Or will the attempt cost her not only her life but the life of her unborn baby?

Will Martin and Ewan ever find the cure they seek or will they remain trapped in the past and Ewan separated from his bride forever? (Courtesy of goodreads.com)

Adult Point of View

The Dragon and the Scholar was described as a saga. I feel like Shannon is seen less and less as a scholar as the series progressed, but it has been a yo-yo saga romance. In Dragon’s Bride I had expected it to focus on the problems of Shannon and Ewan with Ryan finding his son as a sub-plot. I was partly correct, in that these are the two main plots. However, I did not anticipate time travel would be involved. I do like surprises in books.

One of the new characters introduced was the fairy queen. I liked her because she was devoid of human compassion, was completely selfish and hedonistic. All of these characteristics made her decidedly fairy instead of human. Shannon and Ewan, as characters, don’t see much growth or change, but all of the characters are one dimensional. King Riley is evil, Prince Ryan is kind, Ewan is loyal, ect. The one character that does change is Martin. He has previously been solely focused on his career and an incorrigible flirt. After spending time with the fairy he realizes he wants something different in his life.

Dragon’s Bride

3 out of 5 stars
3 star
– Michelle

As the whole series goes, I didn’t just gobble it up and love it, but I didn’t absolutely hate it either. My biggest problem has been feeling like the intended audience and the content do not match. The covers look like the books are for a young audience.

I think it is very important for families to talk about their values and check in with what kids are reading. Sometimes a book can be a great conversation starter to help define family morals.

Outside of the sexuality, I found The Dragon and the Scholar series to be charming and a light read. Another problem was the magic system had a few holes in it that I would have liked to have explained, such as, why Adonna’s death would make Ewan’s transformation more permanent. I like magic systems to have  logical, plausible rules and parameters. The final constraint in my review is that I was to see multi-dimensional characters.

Other books that are light, fun and with female protagonists that I recommend are:

The Raven Ring by Patricia Wrede

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

 

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About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow cooked in a tagine. Weekly I get together with friends and go to yoga for a bit of mommy time. Some may find me quirky, I prefer to think I am one of a kind.
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