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How to Twist a Dragon's Tale (How to Train Your Dragon Series #5)

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for

    The summer has been unnaturally warm at the Isle of Berk, but despite persistent Omens of Doom, the worst of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's worries is to not make a complete fool of himself during the Pirate Training Program. Throw in Toothless, Hiccup's disobedient dragon who has a knack for trouble, and his evil cousin, Snotface Snoutlout, and you have a recipe for almost certain disaster.

    However, things change from embarrassingly to deadly in a snap. During a Reindeer Herding Lesson, the entire class nearly perishes in a freak forest fire. It turns out that the volcano is becoming active and thousands of vicious dragons called Exterminators are hatching from the heat.

    Hiccup and his best friend, Fishlegs, don't look like hero material. They are both eleven years old and the scrawniest boys in their Viking class. But through some luck and clever sleuthing, they uncover why the volcano is erupting and how to stop it.

    Once again, it all boils down to Hiccup to throw together a quest and save the day.

    Cressida Cowell's fifth story in THE HEROIC MISADVENTURES OF HICCUP HORRENDOUS HADDOCK III, HOW TO TWIST A DRAGON'S TALE, is a hilarious and fun read. Her Vikings, while unhygienic and violent, sing in perfect harmony. Almost every page is illustrated with black and white drawings or pithy song lyrics.

    This book is an odd combination of the strange and the familiar. Readers will encounter dragons of all kinds, a bit of magic, a few bullies, and the seriously weird but typical antics of parents.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Be sure to catch the whole series

    These books are very cute. My daughter began reading them last year when she was 8 and she was very excited to see another episode in the heroic adventures of Hiccup. He is seemingly an unlikely hero, he is lanky and small compared to the other vikings. However, as you learn more about Hiccup he believes in himself, his friends and in the better nature of others- making him a true hero for young people. Start with the first one in the series as some story lines are continued from book to book. However if you do go out of order the author does a nice job recapping without risking loosing her audience. We would compare the reading level to the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Barbara Karp for Readers' Favorite As How to Twist

    Reviewed by Barbara Karp for Readers' Favorite

    As How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale opens, the entire Viking world is in the grip of a heat wave. Young Hiccup and his fellow Vikings-in-training are about to begin a Herding Reindeer on Dragonback lesson. As the boys mount their riding dragons and work to herd the reindeer, they see a rapidly-growing line of fire racing along the hillside. The Vikings find themselves trapped on the hilltop by the flames, as most of the riding and hunting dragons flee; only Windwalker and Toothless, Hiccup’s dragons, remain. Instructor Gobber orders an evacuation on his dragon, Goliath. After all the other boys have left, Hiccup notices dark shapes moving through the flames and, to his horror, one emerges and kills Goliath. When all seems hopeless, an enormous white dragon appears and its rider attacks the sinister creatures until they run away. With his help, Gobber, Hiccup, and the dragons reach safety. 

    Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe and Hiccup’s father, shows his gratitude by hiring the rescuer as the boy’s bodyguard. Discovering that he is none other than Humungously Hotshot, a renowned hero, the tribe members are overawed. However, life-threatening “accidents” begin happening to Hiccup—and they seem to involve the newcomer… Hiccup also learns that a Firestone, which has the capability to prevent eruptions, was stolen from a volcano by his father. And if the volcano erupts, hundreds of thousands of deadly Exterminator dragons (like the ones who attacked the Vikings on the burning mountaintop) will hatch from their eggs. To prevent this disaster, the Firestone must be returned. 

    Cressida Cowell’s relating of Hiccup’s experiences has a darker undercurrent than the previous tales. We feel the ominous aura surrounding the Viking lands. The humor present in the first four stories is more subdued, although the edge-of-your-seat action is sure to keep young readers and listeners riveted. David Tennant’s spot-on narration is a delight. He perfectly captures every character’s personality and makes Hiccup's come alive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 24, 2011

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    Posted August 7, 2010

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    Posted March 21, 2010

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