By Robin McKinley
342 pages, 2007
I've been a fan of Robin McKinley since I read "Sunshine", which I will have to post about soon. Sunshine turns out to have been one of my favorite books, maybe not of all time, but that I read in 2007. I read a lot of books in 2007.
Since reading "Sunshine", I read "Deerskin"... twice. I re-read Sunshine earlier this year, just for fun (actually it's a great book to read in the middle of a dreary sunless winter), and was reminded how great it was, so I put Deerskin on hold, and when it arrived and voraciously started reading... and it was eerily familiar. I opened it randomly later on down the book... oh yes! I've definitely read this. I didn't actually re-read it all the way through, but it is now fresh in my mind again. I'll have to post about that too.
But anyway, back to Dragonhaven, after my disappointment in having already read Deerskin, I was very eager to start this book. This is a young adult novel. It's written in a boy's first person point of view. He lives in an animal preserve in the middle of nowhere with his dad and some other naturalists, but it's a pretty lonely life. He's still depressed from his mother's untimely death a couple years ago. Just to make things worst, his dog died too.
As a kind of coming of age ceremony, he gets to go on his first solo overnight hike into the depths of the animal preserve. Not to worry, the animals that live in this preserve are secretive and have never been reported to attack humans. They also happen to be wild dragons. Something happens on his solo hike that changes his life forever.
So yeah, this is another coming of age story, but with a wild premise. I didn't particularly care for the style it was written in, since a huge amount of the head and end of the story are exposition and denouement. It really took a lot of movement away from the telling. I got kind of bored, even though he was talking about dragons and other exciting things. I really liked this middle parts though, where he's telling the action as it happens, and I could get really wrapped up in it.
I read this while I was quite sick, and it really distracted me from my suffering. I would recommend this book if you like a little fantasy mixed with a little realism.