How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale: How to Train Your Dragon #5 by Cressida Cowell

Back on the blog today the 5th title in the series from Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon -again narrated by David Tennant.  Please read on for my review of

How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale

It has been such a treat to dive into this series, I love discovering all about Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, and his early life as he navigates the learning curve on his way to becoming the foremost authority on all things Dragon.   Hiccup is so unlike other ‘heroes’ that are common in children’s stories: he is a very ordinary boy with an extraordinary thirst for knowledge, a near-encyclopaedic recall of naturist and dragon facts and information, and a decided lack of athletic skills.  With his best friend Fishlegs and his asthmatic, eczema and allergen prone skin, knock-knees and glasses, a more uncharacteristic Viking could only be Hiccup’s best buddy.

In this story, the young trainees (still in their training with Gobber the Belch) are learning how to herd reindeer from the back of riding dragons.  Again, Toothless is predominant in this story – his constant nattering and complaining are perfectly inset into the story to provide comic relief at the worst time possible: always.

When the trainees are set upon by some Exterminator dragons, and a huge fire is the result, the boys must run from the flames, sure to take their lives. Fortunately they are saved at the last minute by a ‘hero’ who just may not be all he seems.  Again it is up to Hiccup, Fishlegs, his best ‘girl’ friend Camicazi to save the day.

There is a comfortable balance in these stories: you know the characters, you understand just what motivates Hiccup, and you find something new in the character of Horrendously Hotshot and Hiccup’s mother Valhallarama.  A series sure to bring giggles, it is fast becoming a favorite listen because of the stellar narration performance provided by David Tennant.

You can’t go wrong with an actor who has voiced the characters with distinct tones and delivery, a stuttering slightly lisping Toothless, the sing-song from Wales in Camicazi, the simpering north-of-England tone of the villains, the brash heavy brogue from Gobber the Belch, Snotlout, and others.  Tennant never ceases to provide that little ‘extra’ that hold a reader’s attention.

This story is the turning point, we know that these books are Hiccup’s memoirs written when he is older, as he recounts his life: this book is the one that starts to mark the line between childhood adventures and growing into the man he becomes (a tiny spoiler as I’ve already heard the next few books in the series!).

 Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 5

How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale: How to Train Your Dragon #5 by Cressida Cowell

Title: How to Twist a Dragon's Tail
ISBN: 9781478954095
Pages: 246
Audio Length: 3 Hours: 51 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound Audible
See this Title on Goodreads

The heat is on for Hiccup as he is called to save the day once again. Someone has stolen the Fire-Stone. Now that the volcano on Volcano Island has become active, the tremors are hatching the eggs of the Exterminator dragons! Can Hiccup return the Fire-Stone to the Volcano, stop it from erupting, and save the Tribes from being wiped out by the terrible sword-claws of the Exterminators?

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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