The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim

E K Johnston, Author
E.K. Johnston. Carolrhoda Lab, $17.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-4677-1066-4
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Ebook - 316 pages - 978-1-4677-2406-7
Open Ebook - 316 pages - 978-1-306-28184-3
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Debut novelist Johnston envisions an Earth nearly identical to our own, with one key difference: dragons, whose attraction to carbon emissions—whether from campfires or cars—makes them a persistent threat. Everything from pop music to industry, literature, and the historical record has been influenced. The Sahara desert has its roots in a botched dragon slaying after Rome conquered Carthage; centuries later, the logo for the Detroit Red Wings symbolizes the loss of an entire state: “the wheel, for the car that had brought Michigan up, and the wing, for the dragons that had brought it down.” After 16-year-old Siobhan McQuaid agrees to become the bard for dragon-slayer-in-training Owen Thorskard, who has moved with his famous dragon-slaying family to her small Ontario town, she winds up at the center of a grassroots effort to understand an odd spike in dragon numbers. Siobhan’s narration sings thanks to her dry wit, intelligence, and ability to see the inherent musicality of life, while also commenting on the unreliability of history (and storytelling) and the power of a community to rally to save itself. Ages 11–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Mar.)
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