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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

When Flaxfield the great wizard dies, his apprentice, Sam, is left alone. With only his dragon at his side, Sam sets out on his quest to find a new master. But there are dangerous forces who want Sam's powers for themselves. When Sam is tricked into making a mortal error, the only one who can save him is his dragon.…


by Toby Forward

Overall Book Review:

Dragonborn, by Toby Forward, is a fresh and engaging tale that dabbles in magic, mystery, loss, self-discovery, friendship, and family.  It has all the elements of good fantasy: magic (of course), a young and somewhat naive hero, a dark, creepy, and mysterious villain, substantial supporting characters, and dragons.  The story is refreshing and interesting with a new take on the world of magic–not an easy task in a genre dominated by Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling, and many others. 

Be warned that throughout this book, one feels as though they have been plunged into an epic fantasy that is missing the first few chapters.  Each character has their own backstory that is merely hinted at, leaving the reader somewhat confused but also insanely curious.  Forward’s writing is poetic and erratic, flowing and disjointed, addicting and infuriating all at the same time.  The book ends with more questions than it begins with, but as the next book is a prequel or “companion novel” that will (hopefully) address these mysterious backstories, Dragonborn seems to be an intentional and ingenious hook for the books to come.  Well played, Forward, well played.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury USA

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:Vague description of prepping bodies for burial; two instances of classroom bullying by teacher and classmates; threats to break a fantastical character’s legs off; threats to kill; a character is stabbed in the shoulder; a character’s limbs break off and grow back; torture by fire with no lasting effect; a character eats and uses beetles; eyes bleed; description of a burn victim’s scars; a character is almost smothered by beetles; a character’s neck is broken and dies. 

Sex/Nudity: None

Mature Subject Matter:

Bullying, Death

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adult characters drink beer, wine.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite activity is cuddling up in a blanket with a good book, especially in the wintertime in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate!