Top critical review
Diverse, Dragon-Filled Adventure
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2021
I received a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
The Dragon Thief is a diverse adventure into magic, finding your place, and learning to do what is right, even if it’s hard.
I admit that this one lost me a bit compared to the first book. I really enjoyed the magic and the adventure, but the whole plot was driven by miscommunication and adults not acting like adults, which is my least favorite trope. I don’t think children will be as put off by this as I am, though!
- There are some great themes in this about family and finding your place! I think this was my favorite part of the book, because it’s deep enough for older readers to really be able to sink their teeth into, but easily digestible for the young target audience. I think my favorite theme, though, was family! There was so much to dig into here, from the fact that family doesn’t always mean blood, to the fact that sometimes family messes up and may need to be forgiven. Or that despite everything, in the thick of things, family should be there for each other. I just really loved seeing all the different, complicated facets of family life brought up in this book!
- There’s a cast of very diverse characters, and I was surprised that I actually learned some things I didn’t know while reading this! That’s my favorite sort of book: the type that seamlessly tricks you into learning things when you’re not even paying attention. There were a few things brought up that I knew that I don’t think kids necessarily will, and I liked the way it was introduced. I particularly enjoyed the information about India, though, and the different origins of parts of the population. The book doesn’t delve so deep into this that it might start to feel like a history lesson, but it introduces just enough to pique one’s curiosity and interest, which I especially enjoy!
- I enjoyed the magic in the first book, but the magic was so much more exciting in this, and I loved the extra look at the magical world! I’m not even sure how much I can or should say about this part, because you really just need to read it and discover the magic yourself. It just felt like the magic was built up so much more in this book, and I had fun with it.
- This entire plot never would’ve happened if adults acted like adults or any amount of communication happened in the first couple of chapters. This frustrated me so much right from the get-go that I found it hard to get into the plot after that. I think this probably won’t be a problem for the target audience, who are much less likely to notice or care about this. For me, though, this was a big sticking point, because I just couldn’t see the point of the rest of the book when it could’ve been solved so easily in the first place.
- The adults really pile on Jaxon in this, and I was not a fan. This is another one that, again, I doubt children will recognize or even care about, but from my adult perspective, I did not love this. Mental health is important to me. Oh my gosh, I was so frustrated by how much these adults piled on Jaxon about how much he had failed them and everything was his fault. He’s a kid, dude.