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Dragons of the Valley

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The Advocate



Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"...a great read with a few surprises, and the appearance of The Grawl begins to widen the appeal of her books to a broader audience with a more mainstream taste in the Fantasy genre."

Tipper Schope, a young emerlindian princess, and Bealomondore, a tumanhofer artist, are awakened in the middle of the night and instructed to steal two of the three pieces of Tipper's father's masterpiece statue. A foreign army is about to invade, and the statue, which is made of one of the foundation stones of the world, is a primary target.

Separating the stones is the best way to prevent the statue's power from being abused, but there is a problem. When the stones are separated from each other, the entire world begins to unravel. An even more pressing problem for Tipper is that separating the stones also causes her father to disappear and rematerialize on a piece of wood taken from her mother's closet. This proves inconvenient.

The stones must be reassembled, but they must also be protected from those who seek to use them for their own ends. This feat is difficult enough, but there is a new danger on their trail--the Grawl. He's vicious, cruel, and dangerous. Even worse, he's far more intelligent than the average villain.

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul is the sequel to The Vanishing Sculptor, both of which are set in the world of her DragonKeeper Chronicles, but placed in an earlier time. A few of our favorite characters have been around long enough to be in both series, such as Wizard Fenworth and Librettowit, while others, such as Beccaroon, a grand parrot, show up only in The Vanishing Sculptor and Dragons of the Valley. We also get to spend more time getting to know kimens. Hollee is a particularly energetic kimen who is excessively fond of "her wizard", as she likes to refer to Wizard Fenworth.

Paul's story telling skills seem to grow with each book, and while I found the story of The Vanishing Sculptor to be more entertaining, Dragons of the Valley seemed to take a stronger interest in character development. And while certain endings seemed most likely in The Vanishing Sculptor, things seemed a little less certain and therefore more interesting in Dragons of the Valley. Is Tipper destined to wed Paladin, or could there be another intended for her?

Dragons of the Valley is a great read with a few surprises, and the appearance of The Grawl begins to widen the appeal of her books to a broader audience with a more mainstream taste in the Fantasy genre. Her style is still uniquely her own, however, and while you can just pick up this book and start reading without getting too lost, I still recommend reading the whole series in chronilogical order before picking up your new copy of Dragons of the Valley.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.