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|Handbook for dragon slayers|
Author: Haskell, Merrie
Yearning for life in a cloistered scriptorium, thirteen-year-old Princess Matilda, whose lame foot brings fear of the evil eye, escapes her scheming cousin Ivo and joins her servant Judith and an old friend, Parz, in hunting dragons and writing about them.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 165659
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 62495
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/13)
School Library Journal (12/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/13)
The Hornbook (00/07/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 Princess of Alder Brook, a small freeholding within a larger empire, Mathilda would prefer to write and copy texts alone than meet her subjects, who too often cast repulsed stares at her misshapen foot. After her friend, Lord Parzifal (Parz), and Tilda’s handmaiden, Judith, rescue Tilda from a kidnapping attempt, the three find a taste for adventure and decide to become dragon slayers, so that Parz can prove his mettle to a doubtful mentor, Judith can live a life of adventure rather than servitude, and Tilda can be the scribe who documents it all. Not surprisingly, things do not go as planned, and their encounters with the Wild Hunt, with a truly evil lord, and with multiple dragons give Tilda new perspective on what it means to be herself and to be a leader. Tilda is an extremely likable heroine, and her adventures are compelling enough (and Haskell’s writing strong enough) that readers will slide past touches of plot contrivance and eagerly plow ahead. Particularly interesting is Haskell’s treatment of the Wild Hunt, with a female Hunter leading the pack and the incorporation of a trio of horses, made of gold, silver, and copper, who are referred to as the “Elysian horses,” whom Tilda sets free from the Hunt. Kids with their own physical anomalies may particularly respond to Tilda’s adventures, as will fans of the movie Brave or the How to Train Your Dragon book or movie. JH - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2013 Gr 6–8—In this entertaining fantasy, 13-year-old Princess Matilda of Alder Brook yearns to abandon her royal responsibilities and run away to copy books in a cloister scriptorium or, even better, write a book of her own. Tilda never imagines how prophetic this is until she is taken hostage by her evil cousin Ivo, who is intent on wresting ownership of her castle away from her for himself. He believes it will be easy to take control of her principality because Tilda was born with a crippled foot and everyone believes she is cursed. He convinces her that no one in Alder Brook wants her as their princess. Secretly, Tilda is relieved because now she is free of her obligations and can make her own choices. With the help of Parzival, 14, a failed squire, and Judith, her loyal handmaiden, Tilda escapes, and they embark on a quest to slay dragons. During their adventures, the friends are captured and placed under a spell by a Bluebeard-like Lord who has buried seven wives and intends for Tilda to be his eighth. This fast-paced tale celebrates courage and perseverance. It refreshingly portrays Tilda as strong and intelligent yet flawed as she is forced to acknowledge her shortcomings and learn from her mistakes. Fans of Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale will be enchanted.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.