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Title: Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde
Alys is accused of witchcraft and tied to a stake as an appeasement sacrifice for a dragon. The dragon is intrigued by Alys’ pluckiness even in the face of death, and transforms into a young man so that they can talk. He learns about why she is there and that she wants revenge on those who falsely accused her. Selendrile (the dragon) agrees to help her.
The rest of the book follows the pair as they try to keep their identities secret, plan their revenge, and execute it against Alys’ former neighbors. However, Alys learns that revenge tastes bitter and it leaves her feeling worse than before. There is also a little love interest thrown in there, but it’s pretty subtle.
My son brought this book home from the library and I picked it up to read one night after he’d gone to bed. I didn’t know what to expect, and let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by this short novel.
I’m not sure what it is exactly that makes this story so charming. The heroine is admirable and the dragon interesting. The two of them really make the story special. I also like that the characters aren’t flat–they’re allowed to experience significant change when they learn important life lessons.
After finishing the book, I went on a search to see if the author had written any sequels, but sadly she had not. So the reader is left to imagine what happened in the long run to these beloved characters.
I recommend Dragon Bait to preteens through adults. It’s an impressive little story that most people would enjoy.
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…