Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Dragon's Tooth: By N.D. Wilson



For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.


When I was given The Dragon’s Tooth, I was more than a little skeptical of it. It looked much more juvenile than I usually like, what with its explorer like society, the magic that it describes, and the age of the characters. That coupled with the cover made me think this was not going to be something that was going to be for me.

I was thoroughly surprised.

Wilson does a superb job creating intelligent interesting characters (especially the protagonist Cyrus), that I really felt acted in a much more realistic (and enjoyable) manner. Of course it wasn’t just that Cy acts more grown up than you would expect for a middle grade reader, it’s that Wilson obviously treated the reader’s intelligence with respect when creating this character, in that he isn’t dumbed down, which I find quite a lot of middle grade books do to their characters. Of course not all the characters are quite as interesting as Cyrus, I was a little disappointed with Maxi (a black and white villain), and some of the other supporting characters, but overall I was still impressed with the lineup.

As for the plot itself, that too surprised me. There was much more action than I was expecting, and while some of it seemed to jump about a bit, overall I was very impressed. Wilson also throws in some interesting twists with the Smiths background that I hadn’t fully expected, but found quite enjoyable. Not only that but Wilson makes the smart move and doesn’t expect the readers to believe the Smiths just learned everything in a short period of time. Yes, it is still fast, but I felt the way Wilson handled it was very apt.

All in all don’t let this cover fool you. This is a great middle grade book that will entertain and captivate readers as they get to know the world of the Order and the Smiths. The protagonists are well written, the action fast paced, and the story interesting. Plus Wilson leaves some intriguing mysteries for the readers to wait on until the next installment of this interesting series, that I will certainly read.

8.5 out of 10


Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Published: August 23, 2011

Price: $16.99

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