Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Dragon Castle - Joseph Bruchac

Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac
Genre: Middle Grade
Published on June 9, 2011
Published by Dial Books
Pages: 352
Read From: 4.27.12 - 5.5.12

Prince Rashko has long known that his parents, the king and queen, aren't the smartest rulers. In fact (as far as Rashko can tell), most of the time, the kingdom and castle seem to be in the hands of fools. So when Rashko's parents mysteriously disappear and the evil Baron Temny parks his army outside the castle walls, it is up to the young prince to save the day. Rashko is a skilled sword fighter and has a knack for magic, but twill that be enough to stop the baron and save the kingdom? 
There's something powerful hidden deep within the castle, and it will take more than a sharp sword and a little magic to harness it.


Perhaps this is not the Author's best work, though I certainly enjoyed many aspects of it. I'll get the negative things out of the way first: This was not suited to present-tense. There are a very few books in which present-tense works, and this is definitely not one of them. While I enjoyed the use of a different language in dialogue, after a while I got really tired of always translating it with the index. There is such a thing as using too many foreign words. Rashko was a good hero, even if he didn't think so himself, but I desperately hoping that the Author would explain why it was that everyone else in his family were so brainless, and of course he didn't. This just made the lack of intelligence in Rashko's brother and parents completely random. And finally, there was the ending battle, which was drawn out way longer than it needed to be; after a while, it got tedious.

Putting these aspects aside, the storyline itself was a good idea, and as I said earlier, Rashko is a good hero. I enjoyed how the Author switched from Rashko's story to the legend of Pavol every other chapter, though I kind of felt that maybe Pavol's story would have made just a tad bit more of an interesting book. The villains were properly evil, though certainly not the most evil I have ever read about. But they suited the story, and that's what really matters.

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