Monday, April 4, 2011

Dragons of Starlight: Warrior

Warrior, the second book in Bryan Davis' series, Dragons of Starlight follows several story lines centered around the conflict between humans and the dragons who enslave them. Years ago, humans traveled through a portal from their own planet, Major Four, to Starlight, home of the dragons. Now, humans are desperate to return to Major Four, but the dragons are just as desperate to keep them enslaved.

As Jason and Koren travel to the Northlands to enlist the help of a (hopefully) benevolent white dragon and find Jason's family, Elyssa and Wallace are charged with rescuing the "cattle children" from their prison camp. Meanwhile, Randall and Tibalt are trying to return to Major Four, in order to assist with transporting humans through the portal. This is impossible, however, without the help of Arxad, the dragon high priest, who is sympathetic to the humans.

However, as each story unfolds, we face more and more obstacles. Koren, a powerful starlighter (a storyteller, similar to a seer or prophetess) allows herself to be captured and pressed into service of the newly-hatched dragon prince, hoping she can convince him to free humans. Jason must make his way through the white dragon's castle with the help of the spirit of Cassabrie, a deceased starlighter who longs for her spirit to be reunited with her body.

After Wallace and Elyssa free the cattle children, they must keep them alive in the forest, while evading dragons. Finally, Randall and Tibalt must decide who to trust, when Arxad unexpectedly arrives through the portal with his twin brother, the evil dragon king, Magnar.

As each character is tested almost beyond the limits of their endurance, we learn the planet Starlight is on the brink of destruction. The book leaves us wondering whether Koren can save the planet, or whether the Dragon Prince has something more sinister in mind.

What I Like: Davis employs an engaging balance between action and description. Warrior uses vivid word pictures to describe the wastelands of the North, the lair of the dragon prince, and the squalor of the cattle camps. The book is dark, fast-paced science fiction. It reminds me of an action-packed video game, where you move quickly between various settings and try to stay alive.

Although the books are published by Zondervan, the spiritual element is unclear. Neither allegorical nor moralistic, Warrior is more like Lord of the Rings--a good story promoting values such as courage, loyalty and honesty.

What I Dislike: As a reader new to the series,it was hard for me to keep up with all the story lines. Even when books are part of a series, they should be able to stand alone, but Warrior was too detailed and confusing to read without more background information.

Also, I couldn't figure out who I was supposed to like and be sympathetic towards. Davis' characters are all complex and wrestle with difficult decisions, but I didn't find myself caring what happened to them. Again, I may have felt differently had I started with the first book of the series.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: Young Adult

Publisher Info: Zondervan, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-310-71837-6; Paperback, 421 pages, $9.99

Buy it Now at for $7.99

OR Buy it at for $9.99.

Special Info: Zena, an evil enchantress, uses Cassabrie's severed finger to gain power, and characters regularly speak with Cassabrie's spirit and other "ghosts" who inhabit the white dragon's castle.

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous said...

My name is Chad and I am 14 and I read a lot. I do not like this author's books because I read one called Reflections Edge and the plot might have been okay but the whole book felt like a sermon on purity with Nathan saying stuff like his dad told him to wait until marriage and he was old fashioned not dead and stuff like that which wasn't necessary because we are bright enough to figure out the values without being beat over the head with them. It ruined the book for me so I haven't read another one by the author.

Erin said...

Hey Chad,
Thanks for your comment. You may actually like this book better, because it isn't preachy at all. The characters have to make tough decisions, and there isn't always a clear right and wrong.

I would recommend starting with Book 1, "Starlighter" first though. Also, be sure to check out our other reviews of fantasy books for teens.

Thanks for reading CCBR! Erin