4 out of 4 stars
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As an epic story line, The Legend of the Dragon Child by Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait did not disappoint. The planet Urthe is largely inhabited by dragons. Each dragon colony, or "Hail," vies for top position on the planet. The world is in constant chaos. Only one Hail, the Mursei, seeks to be peaceful, but even that peace is tenuously held. The Mursei Hail rarely fights, preferring to hide deep in the earth and protect their queen. The Mursei are keepers of a great legend which prophesies of a child raised by dragons who will one day bring peace on Urthe between people and beasts.
In the midst of great wars and earthquakes, a young woman about to give birth stumbles into the caves where the Mursei hide, gives birth, and dies. Believing this baby to be that child which was foretold, the dragon Queen of Mursei insists that the young child be cared for among the dragon hatchlings. The dragons give the child the name of Kaida.
The ongoing battles in the sky continue to rage. A portal has been re-opened between Urthe and Verlaunde, a planet inhabited solely by dragons. This portal allows dragons to pass freely between the worlds. However, the dragons coming from Verlaunde are only eager to dominate Urthe. With ever more warring dragons pouring in, the Queen of Mursei decides that her Hail must seal the portal and drive out all enemy dragon Hails.
Meanwhile, Kaida grows. One of the dragon hatchlings, Zlemtec, and Kaida soon become nearly inseparable. They share a special bond. Kaida is no ordinary child. She develops abilities unheard of by either people or dragon. What neither Kaida or Zlemtec know is that when Kaida turns 5-years old, she will be returned to the Urthe people.
When I read this book, I did not know quite what to expect. The beginning was quite compelling, and I was quickly hooked. However, shortly into the book, it seemed as though the entire book was going to be describing dragon battles. For a while I thought I was going to have a difficult time finishing the book, but the battles did come to an end, and the story line picked up again. The deeper into the book, the more I realized what an epic tale this was. The main dragons all have distinct personalities and histories. I loved how the author developed all the main characters. Backstories are meted out nicely as to not be overwhelming. Plot twists aid in keeping general interest. At one point, it was difficult to tell who was "bad" and who was "good."
I did find a curious connection between this story and other legends involving immortals. Similarities include a great and good immortal who created all things and an evil immortal bent on destruction of all things created by the good immortal. Other immortal characters that are not quite as common in the legends and myths also play a part. For a portion of the book, a unique view of past, present, and future is portrayed. As someone intrigued by history, this was of particular interest to me.
Overall, the editing is fairly clean; I found only one error throughout the entire book. Although the dragon battles were not my favorite section in the book, I could not think of a way to shorten them adequately without leaving out crucial information. Other than the many battles at the front end of the book, I felt that the pace moved along very nicely. I am glad to give this 4 out of 4 stars.
The Legend of the Dragon Child
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