Monday, June 20, 2011

Fantasy Pick: The Dragons of Chiril


The Dragons of Chiril
by Donita K. Paul
Waterbrook Press
2011 (first published in 2009 as The Vanishing Sculptor)
398 pages (with glossary)
Available June 21, 2011

Magical, charming, witty, whimsical, and soul-satisfying, The Dragons of Chiril is a masterpiece! Rich in fantasy, this novel adds new fantastical words to the English language much like J.K. Rowling did in Harry Potter's world. Donita K. Paul belongs in the pantheon of top fantasy writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and Cassandra Clare!

Tipper's mother, Lady Peg, is daffy, batty, and just plain over the edge. Her artist father has long vanished from the home, and Tipper longs for his return. Lady Peg acts as if she talks to him every day, yet Tipper knows that this is impossible, and chalks it up to her mother's "condition."

Left to care for her family's estate, young Tipper is forced to sell off works of art from her father's studio just to put food on the table. Verrin Shope has left Beccaroon, a giant parrot, in charge of looking after Tipper and Lady Peg. Being brought up by a pompous and arrogant, yet wonderfully regal, parrot is taxing! Beccaroon loves Tipper but can't stand PDA's (public displays of affection). They ruffle his feathers--yes, yes, pun intended.

When a weird wizard shows up with a prickly librarian, Tipper is forced to go on an odyssey that will turn up three statues carved by her father--sold years earlier hither and yon. The group of adventurers include Tipper, Wizard Fenworth--who loves to turn a phrase, the librarian Libretowit (love to say his name!)--who spars linguistically with the wizard--much to Tipper's dismay, an artist with an attitude--Bealomondore, and Beccarroon, the regal guardian, who leads the way.

Between the bickering over dangling participles--the wizard, the librarian, and Tipper, and the wizard's weird ways, Bealomodore's moodiness, and Verrin Shope's, (Tipper's father) strange comings and goings, Tipper gets an education along the way.

Tipper's father makes appearances on the journey! He is caught between this world and a gateway to another dimension and keeps disappearing. The gateway is affecting Tipper's world, too, and unless the band of misfits find the three sculptures and piece them together, this world may vanish!

Full of rich detail and whimsy, this novel delivers to lovers of fantasy and adventure. Dragons abound--minor house dragons keep Tipper out of trouble and fire-breathing dragons in the Sunset Mountains carry the band on their quest.

Highly, highly recommended for readers of fantasy and adventure grades 5-up. Language level is for advanced readers of fantasy--readers who loved the Harry Potter books will love this one! Slightly more difficult reading than Potter; more like The Lord of the Rings.

No sex; no profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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