cover image Dragon War

Dragon War

Laurence Yep. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (313pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020302-3

Monkey opens this narration--part of the saga of the dragons' efforts to reclaim their home--where the events of Dragon Cauldron left off: he and his companions are captives of the Boneless King and the traitorous dragon Pomfret. After several escapes and skirmishes, they gather an army of dragons, defeat the King and reclaim the lost prince, their friend Thorn. Like its predecessors, this fantasy contains numerous inventive touches: the protagonists' changes of form--into horses and even fleas--enable them to elude the evil King; creatures such as the King's animate stone statues, and the fire-rats that scamper among them and heat the stone to breaking-point. The final battle, once joined, combines heart-stopping valor and fiendishly clever contests of wit. But the action to that point is overly drawn out, with a surfeit of near-climactic encounters and a few too many reversals of fortune. Further, readers new to the series may be confused by the characters' sketchy introductions and the complexity of past events alluded to but never clarified. Ages 12-up. (May)