Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley
Fiction, YA Comics/Fantasy
DESCRIPTION: Orphans Alanna and Hamel do their best to scrape a living from their late father's forge and the bounty of the forest. While foraging for food, the young girl stumbles across a strange little lizard with wings - a dragon, straight out of legend! It leads her to a cave full of eggs, and an adventure she never dreamed of... but, even as she revels in her discovery, the dragon slayer Sir Cedric pays a visit to Hamel, offering promises of knighthood and glory.
REVIEW: I read this when it was released online for free, but the full book includes additional material, notably an appendix of dragons and the flying machine Dragonfly that figures into the story. The images are detailed and delightful, and the story's a nice adventure with some real peril, even if the edges are slightly blunted (this is aimed at kids, after all.) Alanna's a decent protagonist, not above the odd mistake, but brave and good-hearted. Her brother isn't always on her side, but what he does, he does out of love and concern for their future. Cedric's fairly one-dimensional, though that's to be expected, I suppose. The dragons range from scaly puppies to threatening brutes of legend, though only when properly provoked. It's fun and well illustrated, and has every hint of future adventures beyond the horizon. Definitely worth a look if you like light, dragon-flavored adventure.
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