Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Last Dragon, by Jane Yolen, artist Rebecca Guay--A Review

The Last Dragon, Dark Horse Comics/Dark Horse Books, ISBN 9781595827982, September 2011

Ebook isn't the best format for reading a graphic novel, so right up front let's be clear that I didn't get the best of this book. Despite that, the artwork is intricate and lovely, and well worth taking some extra time to enjoy. In print and in color, I'm sure it's immensely better.

The story itself is simple and engaging, with moments of humor. Tansy, one of the three daughters of the local Healer, is clearly the one who got her father's interest and talent--and annoys her sisters and mother by having little interest in chores beyond herbalism.  It's not that she won't work, and willingly, if asked; it just doesn't occur to her. When Tansy finds some dragon's bane, she and her father are puzzled as to what it means--and the Healer goes off to investigate.

Unfortunately, it means that there is a dragon in the neighborhood, and the Healer is the first to be killed. As the deaths mount up, the village grows more and more panicked, and comes to the conclusion that they need a Hero. After the dragon eats a bull, and Tansy finds in her father's book on dragons that after consuming a bull a dragon will not eat again for fourteen days, they send off three young men to find a Hero and return within that time. The boys' journey has plenty of humor in itself, and then, at the point where they will have to turn back, they find, at last, a Hero, the brave and noble Lancot.

Or at least, the imaginative and clever Lancot. He's a storyteller and kite-maker, and has no idea what he's going to do when  he finds out that he's really expected to fight a dragon. The rest of the story is a heart-stopping romp as Tansy and Lancot figure out what they're going to do about that dragon.

All in all, this is a lovely and enjoyable book, and probably even significantly better in print and in color. Recommended.

To purchase a copy of this book from Amazon, click on the cover image.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

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