How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse: How to Train Your Dragon #4 by Cressida Cowell

The fourth book in the How to Train Your Dragon series is on the blog today, written by Cressida Cowell and narrated by David Tennant – this series is fun and funny – a great family listen. Please read on for my review of

How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse

It is really hard to NOT like this series – it works on two levels: kids will love the action and the humor, and David Tennant’s vocal manipulations fit the character’s personalities, slimy, menacing, goofy and even spoiled.  Adults will appreciate the erstwhile hero Hiccup and his ability to out-think, out-reason and when all else fails, out-manoeuver the competition. Hiccup is smart and clever, and thinks fast on his feet and never loses sight of the ‘right’ thing to do. Of course the story is fun and fantastical, with plenty of humor of the juvenile and not so variety, but it is a true testament to Hiccup’s determination in that he never gives up, even under incredibly uneven odds.

In this story, as a result of a chance encounter Fishlegs has with a poisonous Vorpent, he is dying and it is up to Hiccup to find the cure in time to save his friend.  Of course, the cure is the common potato, but as you will see, it was not so common in Hiccup’s day.

Again luck and the support of friends and the developing relationship with Toothless have Hiccup managing to defeat the odds and save the day.  What is most telling about Hiccup is not his near encyclopaedic recall for all things Dragon, but his continued patience and honest affection for one very difficult, spoiled and often whiny Toothless.  From making him a little fur coat, to cajoling and coaxing his help and assistance, listeners and readers are treated to the ever-developing relationship between the two, even as it seems Toothless is untouched.

Narration for this series is provided by David Tennant. For those of you who adored him as Dr. Who (me me ME) you will be impressed with his facility with accents, voices and presenting the action and drama to hold your interest without overreach.  His ability to seamlessly switch accents from deep, nearly unintelligible Scottish brogue to northern-English twang and even a bit of the sing-song lilting delivery common to Wales, each character is unique, distinct and easy to recognize.  It’s the perfect series to take on a long car journey, or to share quiet times before bedtime.

Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 5 Story: 4

How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse: How to Train Your Dragon #4 by Cressida Cowell

Title: How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse
Author: Cressida Cowell
Series: How to Train Your Dragon #4
Also in this series: How to Train Your Dragon, How to Be a Pirate, How to Speak Dragonese, How to Twist a Dragon's Tail, A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons, How to Ride a Dragon's Storm
Genre: Children's Literature
Narrator: David Tennant
Published by: Hachette Audio, Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 9781478981008
Published on: 10 January 2014
Format:Audiobook
Source: Hachette Audio
Pages: 256
Audio Length: 3 Hours: 19 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound GoogleAudible
See this Title on Goodreads

In his 4th sidesplitting adventure, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III must rescue his best friend, Fishlegs, from the deadly disease Vorpentitis. The only cure is rare and almost impossible to find...a potato. But where will Hiccup find such a thing? He'll have to dodge the terrible Sharkworms, battle Doomfangs, and outwit crazy Hooligans if he's going to be a Hero...again.

A fast paced plot, slapstick humor, witty dialogue and imaginative black and white illustrations enhance this exciting tale. 

A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She was convinced that there were dragons living on this island, and has been fascinated by dragons ever since.

She has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, a BA in Graphic Design from St Martin's and an MA in Narrative Illustration from Brighton.

Cressida loves illustrating her own work, but also loves writing books for other people to illustrate as the end result can be so unexpected and inspiring. Cressida has written and illustrated eight books in the popular Hiccup series. The unique blend of child centred humour and sublime prose made Hiccup an instant hit.

How to Train Your Dragon is now published in over 30 languages. A DreamWorks Animation feature film is out in March 2010. Also the author of picture books, Cressida has won the Nestle Children's Book Prize 2006 and has been shortlisted for many others.

Cressida lives in Hammersmith with her husband and three children.

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