Sunday, May 1, 2011

The dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen

Calen, the mage's apprentice is not the best student in the world, and he always seems to be fumbling his way through his studies and failing to meet his masters expectations.  Meg is a princess from a family of girls who hides a rapidly growing baby dragon in the nearby forest.  They live very different lives, but in the lead up to a royal wedding, Calen and Meg meet and shortly afterwards find themselves facing a dangerous enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy the kingdom of Trelian - starting with Meg, her sister, and the rest of the royal family.  The only way to stop this enemy is for Meg and Calen to work together, and for Calen to master the skills of magic that seem to have elluded him until now.

This is the first book in a new series from Michelle Knudsen, who is best known for her picture books like The library lion.  As soon as I finished it I was online trying to find out when the next book in the series is due to be published.  The world of Trelian is well thought out and contains all the elements you want in a good fantasy, without the cliches that normally choke a novel like this.  Calen is not a terribly enthusiastic student, yet he develops his skills and abilities in a logical way.  Meg is a feisty princess who is not afraid to do what she wants, but she also balances that with the needs of her family and the rest of Trelian.  Her dragon friend is also well thought out, with the fact that he is still a baby realised fully, and he too has to grow into his skills. 

If you enjoy a good solid fantasy series that feels like it could be real world somewhere then try The dragon of Trelian.  It is a fantastic debut novel, and with high quality writing, and a thoroughly enjoyable world filled with likeable heroes, I can only hope that Michelle Knudsen keeps writing in this genre for many years to come.

If you like this book then try:
  • Wolf brother by Michelle Paver
  • Warriors: Into the wild by Erin Hunter
  • Alanna the first adventure by Tamora Pierce
  • Into the land of the unicorn by Bruce Coville

Reviewed by Brilla

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