Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse

Rune washed ashore in a boat as a baby with only a sword and a pendant in the boat with him.  The warriors want to send him back out in the boat or kill him, but the King tells them no.  Who is he and why did he end up on this shore?

Random House Books for Young Readers sent a hardcover of this book to me for review (thank you).  The author wrote this story based on the legend of Beowolf.  I found this book much more "user-friendly" than the old classic tale.

Rune is named after the runes on the pendant that arrived with him.  He's given to a lone woman in the village who lives on a farm with a farmer and his sons.  She does the housework and cooks, Rune works for the farmer to help pay for their stay.

Amma won't let him train to be a warrior.  She only lets him visit the palace in the winter (when farm duties are less) and that's minimal training.  She does educate him at home with her knowledge from the past and her vision of the future.  She doesn't share her vision of the future with him, but he's content with that.  Amma has always been a bit different...

Then everyone's worst nightmare comes to pass.  Someone awakens a dragon, who has no love for humans.  Rune sees the dragon and tries to warn the king - but he's too late.  And when he goes back to the farm, he finds he's too late there, too.

The death of the only mother he's ever known inspires him to pick up the sword that accompanied him in the boat and to begin his quest to kill the ravaging dragon...

This is a much better read than Beowolf.  Rune is a young untried warrior and he has no home or family to care about him.  His quest does not start out well.  Ms. Barnhouse's characters are solid and they all show hidden secrets as time goes on.

I really enjoyed reading this one even if I wasn't sure I would when I started the book.  Ms. Barnhouse also has written The Book of the Maidservant.

Visit your local bookstore and check out The Coming of the Dragon.  It's a good read about medieval times and it has lots of action to keep you reading.

Happy reading!


Charlotte said...

I am anxiously waiting for this one to come from the library!

fourth musketeer said...

I'm looking forward to this too--I really enjoyed her first book!