Ileth is an orphan who is running from a domineering “Captain” with a dream of flying on dragons. She faces many dangers including hunger and danger from men who would take advantage of a vulnerable girl travelling alone. Armed only with sheer, unbreakable determination she arrives at the Serpentine, home of many of the dragons that work and fight for Ileth’s homeland. Through stubborn will she embarks on the path that will lead her to fulfilling her dream of becoming a dragoneer.
The world E.E. Knight has created in this book falls somewhere between the Dragonriders of Pern and A Song of Ice and Fire, which gives it a certain amount of intrigue that can be followed by even those readers who don’t enjoy having to take copious notes just to keep the plots and sub-plots sorted. While written for a Young Adult audience, adults will be able to enjoy it as well. The various characters are three-dimensional, none of whom are anything more than imperfect human beings, some more imperfect than others. The world in which it is set has its downfalls, its problems, but it’s also full of majestic beauty and thrives on human compassion. If you’re a fan of dragon fantasy and/or any of E.E. Knight’s previous work you absolutely must read Novice Dragoneer*. Jim Dodge
*This is the first book in a series so we all have much to look forward to.