Those who follow along will have noticed that I am not reviewing a ton of books for younger readers. It was purely a matter of scaling back, and the opportunities are there – I’m just far more selective in the choices. Today I bring you the end of an epic series that was certainly on my favorites list for story and narration, the How to Train Your Dragon series from Cressida Cowell and narrated by David Tennant. The final book in the series is up today – so read on to discover all about
How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury
It always is wonderful to come to the end of a series and discover the author has managed to exceed hopes and wishes, without losing sight of the wonderful characters you have come to love and admire. Cressida Cowell brings the How to Train Your Dragon series to an end, and a more perfect conclusion couldn’t be found.
Hiccup has grown into his own talents throughout the series, and never lost sight of his own friends and values. Sure there are dangerous moments and quick thinking and new approaches are needed, but his ability to be the most ‘un-Viking-Like’ hero and still get the job done is unwavering. With the never-ending challenges that seem to have Hiccup always choosing the path less taken, and thus the most difficult, there is a consistent message of never give up.
In this final book, the older Hiccup is recounting his days as a young Viking and telling of the final showdown for supremacy or coexistence between humans and dragons. Oh there are tears as we lose a favored friend, see Hiccup’s ability to explain and have others see things his way, and get moments of brilliance from Toothless. With Camicazi and Fishlegs, a mystery around the crowning of Hiccup or Alvin, and the ending that was just as one would expect, the story was intriguing, and did bring its fair share of tears.
Narration is by David Tennant, and whether you are a child or an adult, his performance is personified by easily recognized characters, smooth and precise delivery and an ability to evoke the subtle emotional context that just enhances but never overwhelms the words. From Scots to Welsh, the sibilant S from Toothless, the nasal tones of Alvin or even the befuddlement of Hiccup and his friends at several moments, you feel them all, and know just why they feel that way. A wonderful performance that elevates the stories, adding interest for adults and children.
Perhaps Cowell could have made some different editorial decisions early in the book, and the oft-repeated messages do have a tendency to feel overly emphasized. But, in the grand scheme, a children’s book that manages to deliver messages that are felt and incorporated by action and deeds of the characters speaks louder and longer, and Cowell did deliver that in spades.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 4
Title: How to Fight a Dragon's Fury
Author: Cressida Cowell
Series: How to Train Your Dragon #12
Also in this series: How to Train Your Dragon, How to Be a Pirate, How to Speak Dragonese, How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse, How to Twist a Dragon's Tail, A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons
Genre: Children's Literature
Narrator: David Tennant
Published by: Hachette Audio, Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on: 28 June, 2016
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 5 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
Book 12 is the epic finale to the New York Times bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series!
Winner of the 2017 APA Audie Award for Middle Grade Fiction
The Doomsday of Yule has arrived, and the future of dragonkind lies in the hands of one boy with nothing to show, but everything to fight for. Hiccup's quest is clear... But can he end the rebellion? Can he prove himself to be king? Can he save the dragons?
The stakes have never been higher, as the very fate of the Viking world hangs in the balance!
See the How to Train Your Dragon Series on GoodReads
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.