DragonSpell (DragonKeeper Chronicles #1)by Donita K. Paul
One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.
Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.
A Desperate Search Begins…
A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her… See more details below
One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.
Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.
A Desperate Search Begins…
A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…
Weaving together memorable characters, daring adventure, and a core of eternal truth, Dragonspell is a finely crafted and welcome addition to the corpus of fantasy fiction.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
–Christopher P. N. Maselli, children’s author of Reality Shift and founder of TruthPop.com
“A reluctant heroine, her fainting dragon, and an assortment of colorful companions make for a delightful read in Donita K. Paul’s Dragonspell. This is adventure and fantasy at its finest–a must read for the imaginative soul.”
–Linda Windsor, award-winning author of Along Came Jones and the Fires of Gleannmara trilogy
“Dragonspell is a fine, well-written tale guaranteed to entertain both old and young alike. This was proven in our household when our eleven-year-old son snatched up the book and devoured it. Upon returning it, he exclaimed, ‘It’s good!’ –high praise from a rabid fan of Tolkein, Lewis, Jacques and company. I can only nod my head in agreement.”
–Christopher A. Lane, Gold Medallion and C.S. Lewis award-winning author of children’s and adult fiction
“Inventive, engaging, witty, insightful, touching, and profound–Dragonspell is all this and more. If Donita K. Paul’s only intention was to create a world where readers encounter novelties and wonders at every turn, then she has succeeded admirably. But she actually does much more than this: she enables us to see our relationship with God and His world through new eyes. A delight for all true fans of fantasy literature.”
–Jim Ware, author of God of the Fairy Tale and co-author of Finding God in the Lord of the Rings
“Enchanting! A perilous quest, a timeless battle, an unlikely heroine, and a rousing adventure in a world of magic and mystery–Donita K. Paul has concocted a tale brimming with eternal truth and seasoned with delightful and amazing characters that linger in the senses long after the last page. Dragonspell is destined to become a classic for a new generation of adventurers!”
–Susan May Warren, award-winning author of Happily Ever After
“The greatest thing any author can do is to catch you up and transport you right into the very scene, the very action, the story . . . in such a way that you live the book, not merely read it. That is exactly what Donita K. Paul does with Dragonspell. For a few hours, you will take a journey to a place you have never been, with a story you will never forget. Enjoy the trip!”
–Stephen Bly, author of Paperback Writer and Christy-award-winning The Long Trail Home
“Dragonspell is a tightly written fantasy quest set in an extraordinarily rendered storyworld. With seven intelligent races, seven evil races, several delightful dragons, one weird wizard, and an endless supply of exotic plants and animals, you will NOT be bored.”
–Randy Ingermanson, Christy award-winning author of Oxygen and Premonition
“No one will ever be able to read this and doubt that Christian fantasy is a viable genre for spreading God’s word.”
–Christine Lynxwiler, president of American Christian Romance Writers
“Charming, well-drawn characters, a story chock full of adventures and misadventures, a land populated with dragons, doneels, emerlindians, grawligs, and all sorts of other fascinating inhabitants–I ask you, what more could any reader want? With Dragonspell, Donita K. Paul has nailed a complex and engaging fantasy world. Whether nine or ninety, you won’t be disappointed.”
–Kathleen Morgan, author of Consuming Fire and All Good Gifts
“Dragonspell has a heart-thumping, page-turning plot that is sure to captivate and enthrall even the most reluctant reader!”
–Peggy Wilber, author of Reading Rescue 1-2-3
Read an Excerpt
“Are ye sure ye won’t ride all the way into the city?”
Kale hardly heard the farmer’s question as she stood beside his wagonload of barley grain. Her eyes looked over the crude cart she’d traveled in and then turned to the dazzling metropolis across the wide valley. The sun sparkled on Vendela, a city of sheer white walls, shining blue roofs, and golden domes. Many spires and steeples and turrets towered above the city, but in a vast variety of shapes and colors. More than a dozen castles clustered outside the capital, and more palaces were scattered over the landscape
across a wide river.
Seeing Vendela reminded Kale her life had changed forever. Her hand
rose to her chest and rested on the small pouch hidden under her clothes.
I have a destiny. The thought scared her and pleased her too. After
being a village slave all fourteen years of her life, she’d been freed.
Well, sort of free.
One week ago she’d left River Away, her village of two dozen homes,
a shop, a tavern, and a meetinghouse. In maybe another week, she’d go
through the tall gates of the most beautiful walled city in all of Amara,
quite possibly in the entire civilized world. It would take a week to get used
to the clamor. She could feel it from here.
I’d go mad in my head if I stepped into Vendela tonight.
The city pulsated with thoughts and feelings of more people than she
could count. On market day in River Away, she endured thirty or forty
people close enough for her to feel their lives bumping against the walls of
her inner person. But Vendela…
I might smother. I’ll go slowly into that city. Nobody knows I’m coming. I
don’t have to hurry. A mile or so a day. Slow, till it feels comfortable.
A lot of things worried her. It was easy to say you were glad not to be
a slave any longer. It was hard to walk alone into a place you’d never been
before. Nobody knew or cared about her in Vendela. In River Away, most
everybody cared, even if the caring revolved around whether or not she
“Girl!” The old man’s bark jerked Kale from her thoughts. He scowled
at her. “I’m going right into the city. Ye might as well ride with me.”
“Thank you, Farmer Brigg, but I’d just as soon walk the rest of the
way. I can look at how pretty Vendela is.”
She smiled up at him, feeling some affection for the gruff old man.
She’d ridden the last leg of her journey beside him on the wide wooden
seat. He’d been kind to her, sharing his bread and cheese and stories of all
the wonders in the great city. Nevertheless, Kale would not be rushed into
entering Vendela. She’d do it in her own time.
“Ye’re headed for The Hall, aren’t ye?” His pale blue eyes twinkled
under bushy gray eyebrows.
Kale didn’t answer. To say yes would give away more about herself
than she intended. Not such a good idea, trusting someone outside your
own village, even a grandfatherly, talkative old farmer.
“Well, I see ye’re not going to tell me.” He winked at her and then
looked off at the city, his expression growing grim. “Should ye get in
trouble, go to The Goose and The Gander Tavern, North City. Ask for
Maye. Tell her ye’re a friend of mine, and she’ll help ye if she can.”
“I will,” said Kale, and waved good-bye to the old man before trudging
up the hill, away from the road. She listened to the squeak of the axle
and creak of the wheels but didn’t turn to watch the farmer’s wagon lumber
down the sloping road. Among an hour’s worth of advice, Mistress
Meiger had said to keep her focus on what’s ahead.
Kale sighed. Mistress Meiger knows best.
Lush gorse bushes covered the grassy slope. The hill nestled right
against one of the mountains. Farmer Brigg had known the names of all
the peaks in the Morchain Range. His stories of how these names came to
be fascinated Kale, but it was tales of Vendela that caught her attention.
After all, Vendela would be her home.
Just over the rise, she found a place to settle. She sat with her back to
a gum tree, her bare feet propped up on a stone outcropping. She rested
her arms on knees pulled up to her chin and her chin on her folded arms.
Then Kale took a long peaceful breath of the hot summer air and allowed
herself the luxury of gazing at beautiful Vendela. The twisting spires and
floating spheres were beyond anything she had imagined. The whole scene
looked like a magical picture, clean and bright and full of promise.
Pulling the thong at her neck, Kale drew out a soft scarlet pouch.
She placed it between her hands, gently rubbing the material, enjoying
the satin finish, elated by the secret of the stonelike egg within. The egg
warmed, responding to her excitement. It thrummed. The gentle vibration
communicated joy and anticipation through Kale’s sensitive fingers.
With her eyes back on the city, Kale talked aloud. “In a week we’ll be
going to The Hall. I’ll be a servant of the people then, not a slave. That’s
higher class than I ever dreamed of being. Fancy food, fancy clothes, fancy
She smoothed the silky cloth at her throat with one rough hand. Mistress
Meiger had given her the long blue scarf the night her husband, Chief
Councilman Meiger, told Kale to go to Vendela. The rest of Kale’s homespun
attire reflected her social status. Her trousers had two patches, one at
the knee and one at her seat. She wore a shirt, a tunic, and the blue scarf.
Travel dust covered every inch of her. She’d find a stream and clean up
before entering Vendela.
A new life awaited her in that beautiful city. Not one person in all of
River Away remembered a time when a local had been sent to The Hall.
Master Meiger said to hold the honor tight. Kale held it tight all right, if
only to convince herself she wasn’t scared like a squawking peeper fallen
out of the nest.
Focus on what’s ahead.
“We’ll travel and do Paladin’s bidding.” She grinned at that. “Sounds
pretty high and mighty for the likes of me.”
For a few moments, she stared at the fairy-tale castles surrounding the
walled city. Seven bridges in jewel colors crossed the Pomandando River
on the eastern side. Each bridge led to a towering entrance to the inner city.
“People from each of the seven high races cross those bridges at one
time or another,” she whispered.
The wall in the River Away Tavern had a mural of a brotherhood
marching across a mountain pass. Each of the races was represented.
Crudely drawn, the figures nonetheless looked excited to be adventuring.
Kale imagined a similar procession crossing one of the great bridges.
“Bantam doneels, giant urohms, the elegant emerlindians, fighting mariones,
tumanhofers, swift kimens, and o’rants.” Kale sighed. “O’rants, like
me. Chief Councilman Meiger said he thought I was an o’rant though he’d
never seen one. Another reason for me to go to The Hall, he said.”
She squinted as a large, dark shape swooped over the far mountains
and headed for Vendela. She jumped to her feet and could not keep from
bouncing on her toes as she recognized a Greater Dragon. It circled the
city, a dark silhouette passing in front of the iridescent white towers.
Kale tucked the pouch safely back into her shirt and scrambled up the
steep hillside, hoping for a better view. She stopped and gave a whoop as
she saw two more of the majestic creatures crest the mountains and make
a downward approach to Vendela.
Climbing the sharp incline on her hands and knees now, Kale grabbed
branches and jagged rocks to hoist herself up. She topped the embankment
and rolled over the edge.
Guttural shouts greeted her arrival. Rough, hairy hands grabbed her
arms and legs. A putrid smell filled her nose, and her mouth watered in
revulsion. Her stomach lurched. Grawligs?
Kale had heard tales told in the tavern. Nothing smelled as bad as the
mountain ogres. She saw dark hairy legs, a leather loincloth, tattered cloth
hanging over a barrel chest, fat lips, yellowed teeth, a grossly flabby nose,
and tiny eyes, solidly black. Grawligs!
Two of the mountain ogres flipped her through the air. Her muscles
tightened as she expected to come crashing down among the rocks. Instead,
another grawlig snatched her before she hit the ground, and a screech
ripped from her mouth. A burst of raucous laughter greeted her alarm.
Her captors joyfully sped up their game of toss.
One grawlig claimed her as his prize. He slung her over his shoulder,
his hard muscles smashing into her middle, forcing the air from her lungs.
He gave a hoot of triumph and ran around the crude camp with the others
chasing him. Kale hung upside down with her arms dangling. Her face
bounced into the oily, matted hair on his back.
They’ll kill me! They’ll play with me, then kill me.
The grawlig’s beefy hands tightened on her thighs, and she felt herself
swung in an arc over his head. He jumped and twisted, performing some
kind of ritual dance with the others howling and gyrating around them.
Kale desperately tried to pull in one cleansing breath of air.
“Stupid o’rant. Stupid o’rant.” The ogre’s taunt filled her ears. “We
heard you coming.”
He released Kale and launched her frail body across the clearing toward
the ridge she had climbed. Just before she sailed over the thirty-foot drop,
another grawlig caught her by an arm and the back of her tunic. He swung
her over his head, chanting.
“Stupid o’rant. Stupid o’rant. We heard you coming.”
He changed the angle of the swing. Now her head came within inches
of the ground and then high above the grawlig’s massive skull. Pain roared
within her head with every sweep. On the next swing downward, she
fought darkness closing in around her. She lost.
Into the Mountain
Old leaves, moldy and partially decomposed, softened the ground beneath
Kale. Her nose wrinkled against the musty smell. Her head felt like a
cracked melon, and her eyes refused to open. Her stomach wanted to
heave. The putrid smell of rotting garbage tormented her.
She shifted. A hard lump pressed against her rib cage. The egg! The
rock-hard egg was still intact. Kale tried to sit. Bindings around her wrists
and ankles stopped her. Grawligs!
She remembered the huge hairy grawligs and their rowdy game. She
felt again the helplessness of being tossed from one rough ogre to another.
Terror sickened her. They hadn’t killed her, but she felt that every muscle
in her body had been stomped on.
She slitted her eyes open and peered at her surroundings. Grawligs lay
sprawled around a campfire. Beyond the light cast by burning logs, night
shadows hid the forest. Two females turned spits, roasting what looked like
large deer. A group lounged almost in a pile under trees across the clearing.
They made loud rhythmic noises Kale assumed must be a song.
No one seemed to be interested in the captive trussed up and lying
under a bush. Two grawligs sat just a few feet away as if they’d been set to
guard her. Even they ignored her. They picked over a knee-high pile of
dirty mushrooms, popping them into their drooling mouths, smacking
their lips as they chomped on the treats.
Kale closed her eyes against the sight, hoping to protect her stomach.
The repulsive smell of the grawligs could not be shut out so easily. To distract
herself, she searched her memory for tales of the mountain ogres.
What’s true and what’s fable?
In the stories, they eat anything they catch. Lucky for me, it looks like they
prefer roasted venison to roasted o’rant.
Dumb and vicious. I think I can testify to that much.
Afraid of tight places? Maybe.
Clumsy with their fingers.
Moving her head just enough to look down, Kale examined the cloth
binding her hands together. She wiggled her wrists, and the loose knot
Well, they don’t tie knots very well.
She glanced up at her guards to see if they’d noticed her movements.
They were still bent on stuffing the forest fungi past their flabby lips.
Carefully, she moved her ankles apart an inch, and then back and
forth until she could slip her bare feet out of the binding.
Can I escape?
She watched the two grawligs push dirt-encrusted mushrooms into
their mouths. Their pile dwindled with every minute. Soon they would
have nothing to distract them. Could she crawl away? Would they turn
and catch her? Should she wait until the females declared the roasting deer
done and passed the meat around?
If I wait too long, I’ll probably be dessert.
Kale made her decision. Rolling onto her stomach, she crawled deeper
into the bushes surrounding the camp. The grawligs’ caterwauling covered
the crunch of leaves and twigs under her as she slithered away from the
light. On the other side of low bushes she found herself against boulders,
part of the mountain looming over the smaller hills.
She rose to her hands and knees and crept another ten yards. Then on
her feet, but still nearly doubled over, she followed the jumble of rocks.
Her muscles protested, but she pushed on.
Distance muffled the noisy voices of her captors. Kale breathed more
deeply, begging her body to relax. Surely tension caused as much of her
pain as the injuries inflicted by the grawligs.
A shout went up from the camp, followed by a clamor of voices and
howls from the angry brutes.
Kale quickened her pace, looking over her shoulder, expecting to see
dark, hairy shapes rising out of the forest to chase her. One misplaced foot
slipped into a hole, and she found herself sliding, not away from the rocks
and down the mountainside, but into a narrow opening under a huge
boulder. She grabbed for roots to try and break her fall. Loose dirt rained
down around her as she continued to scrabble, sliding ten feet farther
before landing on a hard rock floor.
The impact jarred her aching body. She clenched her teeth and
squeezed her eyes shut against the pain. Debris still showered on her head.
Instinctively, she lifted her arms to cover her hair.
The last trickle of dirt slowed and then settled. Kale relaxed her jaw
and opened her eyes. Pitch dark surrounded her. She listened and heard
the plink of dripping water somewhere behind her. She shivered. Goosebumps
rose on her arms.
Cold and frightened, she looked around for a means to escape. Peering
upward, she could make out the opening and the starry sky beyond.
A cave. This may be good. Aren’t grawligs afraid of closed-in places? I sure
A scuffling warned her that the grawligs were tramping around in the
forest above her.
Maybe they’ll just pass on by.
She heard branches snap, grunts and low voices, and an excited exclamation.
She’d been found. The heads of three ugly grawligs blocked out
the dim light from above.
They chanted, “Stupid o’rant. Stupid o’rant. We smelled you.”
Kale slumped in a heap, clutching her knees, and leaned against the
cold rock wall. Too tired to think, too tired to fight despair, she allowed
the tears to come.
“Stupid o’rant. Stupid o’rant. We smelled you.”
The chant grew louder as more tormenters joined the first three
grawligs kneeling by the hole. A hairy arm reached down and groped along
the sides of the rock. More dirt, leaves, and twigs fell on Kale’s head.
The young o’rant girl curled tighter, shrinking from the voices above.
Her hand searched for her treasure, pulling it out by the leather cord. She
grasped the smooth cloth of the drawstring pouch. At first the egg inside
lay cold and unresponsive. Gradually, it grew warm. Kale concentrated on
the soft thrum in her hand, blocking out the “stupid o’rant” chant of the
Pain and fatigue, fear and panic drained away. She shifted around to
find a fairly comfortable position on the stony floor. With the pouch
gripped in her hand and pressed against her cheek, she fell asleep.
When she opened her eyes once more, streams of light shone into the
cave at three spots. The first was directly above her. A head covered with
matted brown hair lay partially inside the hole. Kale could see a large hairless
ear and part of the loose lips of the beast. Rough snores rumbled
A beam no more than a hand’s width descended from a second hole
in the ceiling. The third opening on the opposite side of the dismal cave
showed more promise. Not only was the hole big enough for Kale to
wiggle through, but also large boulders like uneven stairsteps made climbing
She stood and stumbled across the uneven cave floor. She looked up
and studied the hole she hoped to use for her escape. Since the ceiling of
the cave sloped upward, it would be a long climb compared to the slide
“I’m thankful that’s not the hole I fell through,” she whispered.
Tucking her treasure inside the neck of her blouse, she started climbing.
She placed each foot carefully and tested each ledge before shifting her
whole weight. She didn’t want to cause a landslide for two reasons: I don’t
want to wake those grawligs, and I don’t want to be buried under a ton of
boulders. I want out of here alive. I want to get to Vendela in one piece.
Warm air touched her hand as she placed it on the next rock. Contrasted
with the chill air surrounding her, it felt like a breath from the
mouth of a huge animal. She pulled her hand back and listened. Faintly
she heard the coarse snores of grawligs and the morning chatter of birds in
the trees outside, an odd combination. Within the cave, only the drip of
water from a far corner reached her ears.
Cautiously, she eased up to peer over the rock. A narrow passage
stretched back into the darkness. Moist air flowed steadily from the opening.
I wonder what’s back there.
Again she tilted her head and listened intently. No sound came
through the tunnel opening, no sound at all. Curiosity niggled at her
What’s in that tunnel? How far back does it go? Why warm air?
She found herself crouched next to the hole and leaning in. She’d have
to crawl on hands and knees. If she had a light of some sort, she could go
in. She put a hand on the floor of the tunnel and placed her head within
What am I doing? I don’t want to go in there. I want to get away from
She drew back as if she’d nearly stepped off a high cliff. Her breathing
came in quick, panicked puffs. Clenching her fists, fighting the urge to
plunge into the tunnel, she remembered Mistress Meiger’s stern face.
Focus on what’s ahead.
Kale stretched a hand up and grabbed a rock ledge. In a minute she’d
be out of the cave.
Still she wanted to turn back and explore the tunnel. The powerful
urge to go through that underground passage scared her. It made no sense.
She climbed the last few feet to the top of the cave with firm determination.
Kale cautiously poked her head and then her shoulders above
the ground. Squinting in the bright morning sun, she considered the
bushes around the rocks where she had fallen into the cave. Her present
outlook was higher and a good twenty feet west of the sprawled grawligs.
Not all of them had fallen asleep around the hole. That meant some were
out of sight.
Awake or asleep? And how many?
As near as she could count, eleven uncouth ogres lay in piles in and
around the bushes. Last night dozens of grawligs had gathered in the
Where are the others?
She surveyed the surrounding area, first the low ground ahead. Then
she turned and peered above her. The best route of escape lay over the
rocks going west.
At least that looks like the best way.
She looked again at the beasts below. The grawligs might sleep for
some time. They had feasted late and probably guzzled brillum, a brewed
ale that none of the seven high races would consume.
Five, maybe ten minutes, and I’ll be in and out of that tunnel.
She slipped back into the cave and into the stone burrow before she
could think twice about what she planned to do.
Thick, moist air settled on her skin as she groped her way in the dark.
A sweet fragrance grew heavier as she moved farther and farther away from
the cave. The dark, the smell, the damp, all screamed danger in her mind.
Her arms and legs kept moving. She argued with herself, trying to force
her body to back up and leave both the tunnel and the cave. None of her
words, muttered softly in the cloying atmosphere, reached her ears.
Enchantment! she realized with a groan. She could not resist whatever
pulled her into depths of darkness.
Trembling, she hoped fear would cause her to collapse.
Then I’d stop. Then I couldn’t go one bit farther.
But I probably couldn’t scoot backward either.
I’d be stuck. Stuck until I die.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Meet the Author
Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and award-winning author. She is also engaged in mentoring writers of all ages. Her teen writing club has e-published four juvenile novels, and she conducts two writing workshops each week.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If you love adventure, love, battles, Dragons and just pure excitement with every page, then you MUST read these books. The Dragon Keeper Series. I saw them in the store the cover grabbed me. I didn't even read what it was about. I was glad I bought all 5 books together because I can't put them down. When you read the first book, I have to admit I wasn't used to the style of writing so I had to re-read the first and second chapters and some paragraphs but once you get going WOW!!! It is right up there with the Inhertiance Cycles by Christopher Paolini. I will read these books over and over again and enjoy every minute of my quest. Donita K Paul also gives you a glossary at the back of the book that you can refer to as you read. I only hope that Donita writes more for the Dragon Keeper Series.
They need to make a movie out of this Press yes if u agree
DragonSpell is the first novel in a 5 book series by Donita K. Paul called the "Dragonkeeper Chronicles". It is a Christian allegorical fantasy in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and introduces you to a world rich with characters that will soon feel like old-friends. In a timeless tale of good vs. evil, adventure, self-discovery and eternal truths DragonSpell is destined to be a classic read and beloved by the whole family. DragonSpell is the story of Kale, a young o'rant slave girl, who orphaned at an early age has lived among a village of marione's where the only things expected of her are obedience and hard work. Her life is changed drastically when she is drawn by forces beyond her control to a dragon egg. Kale is sent to deliver the egg to The Hall in Vendela and there she is also to be trained for service to Paladin. "Are ye sure ye won't ride all the way into the city?" That one question is the pivot point upon which Kale's new life in Vendela is diverted into a quest to rescue a precious meech dragon egg from the evil Wizard Risto. Afraid and with feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness Kale embarks on a journey to self-discovery, faith, and acceptance. A journey filled with untold danger, fainting dragons, teasing doneels, and an absentminded old wizard, Kale discovers she is not just a slave and that being in service to Paladin is more than being a servant. I was surprised and delighted by DragonSpell. The story is rich in detail, full of subtle humor, adversity to overcome, lessons to learn and characters I didn't want to leave behind when the book was finished. I will definitely be putting DragonSpell on my "to keep" list and will be adding the rest of the series to my library as soon as I can. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group does not require a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul is a Chronicals of Narnia-type allegory about a young girl named Kale. The book opens as Kale, who was just released from slavery, is about to enter the capital city of Vendela. But before she gets there she is attacked by ogre-like creatures then rescued by servants of Wulder (God). It is learned that Kale has a talent for finding dragon eggs and that talent is needed to defeat an evil wizard named Risto. The book is about 300 pages long but very easy to read so it is perfect for a younger reader who likes fantasy books. And although the book did have some weak spots, it easily makes up for them in other areas. The dragons, for instance, are protrade far different by Ms. Paul than by any other author I have read. In short this book is great for kids who like books filled with adventure, dragons, and evil wizards. Also, parents should encourge their childern to read this book because of the clean/Christian content. In most cases I would say I would recommend this book to others, but since it was recommended to me that doesn't seen quite right. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Donita K. Paul's 2004 novel Dragonspell is a finely woven, character-driven tale that introduces us to a unique new world while paying distinct homage to classic fantasy. Kale is a 14-year-old o'rant girl who is uprooted from the only life she's ever known - that of slavery in a remote village - after the town council realizes she has a special talent that will need to be honed at a religious training facility called "The Hall." Naive to life outside her small town, she is quickly abducted by creatures she thought were only from fairy tales, and just as rapidly rescued by a party sent out from The Hall to find her. As Kale discovers the depths and dangers of her newly discovered talent, she begins the transition from 'slave' to 'servant', in the service of the Creator of the seven high races, Wulder. She also becomes familiar with evil Pretender and his seven low races, as she works on learning the difference between the Truth, and lies crafted to sound like truth. This engaging coming-of-age story is a smooth read populated with characters and situations that are both new and familiar to devotees of fantasy fiction. As Kale and her new friends of various races quest together to find a meech egg deep within the stronghold of the powerful and evil Risto, we meet a young dragon who faints every time he's startled, a delightful but all-too-familiar flighty wizard, and a preening doneel who has furry ears and an outfit (and musical instrument) for every occasion. Dragon-lovers will also find no shortage of dragons here, each with his or her own individual quirks, talents and personalities. As in other fantasy novels, the Dragonspell world divides rather neatly into Good versus Evil, and if you've played Dungeons and Dragons, you'll recognize this as a book that revolves around clerics and other character classes in service to a common deity. Rather than utilizing the more mythical deities of many of the classic fantasy and gaming worlds, however, Wulder and Paladin and their moral code have been modeled after the Christian religion, with the moralizing present in the book (and there is some, a little heavy in spots) reflecting some traditional Christian values. I was aware of this before reading the book, thanks to comments in front of the book; I would love to know how far into the book I would have gotten before recognizing that for myself. But you certainly don't have to be Christian or looking to convert in order to enjoy this well-woven story, and enjoy spending a few hours inhabiting this delightful fantasy world along with Kale and her companions. Dragonspell is the first book in a series, and I'm already looking forward to reading the second installment. Readers from middle school on up will enjoy it.
After reading the likes of Salvatore, Weis & Hickman and Brooks for several decades, Donita Paul has touched my imagination in this book. The vivid details given of scenes brought alive a world that I had yet visited until I read Dragonspell. The amount of information that could be delivered about a world so rich could fill volumes but Paul has limited it to deliver and carry forth the plot for our main character Kale. To some it may be disappointing but if the reader takes it in stride and revels in the details given the experience is all the more for it. The characters in the book are easily identifiable to us who are older but can have relevance even to the youngest reader. We get to watch a slow transformation of a girl having been raised as a slave being immersed into a world with frightful adventures and creatures to boot. Kale is a character I empathized with in all aspects but Fenworth is my favorite of the book. His discombobulated way of thought and action was a refreshing interjection into the characters and plot line. Crazy doesn't always mean crazy and when you read of Fenworth this will ring true. I didn't want to put this book down and read through it in a 8 hour long period taking the time to go back and read over passages to both understand the plot and characters but also to regenerate the scenery that was described. I well intend to read the rest of the series and will be looking into Ms. Paul's other works. :)
I found these books very entertaining. Donita K Paul did a fantastic job throughout the entire series! I highly recommend these books for anyone looking for a good, clean story with a little Christianity included.
A very wonderful book. The characters are so loveable, and the world around them is rich and imaginitive! This is a great read for people of any age. It is hopeful and inspiring!
Kale is a lowly servant girl from River Away who has found a dragon egg. She is immediately sent to the City of Vendela to see the rulers there. Kale is excited to enter the city as she has never seen anything like this before, but during an attack is drawn into a cave and to more dragon eggs. She soon discovers that she is expected to go on a quest with Leetu and Dar to find a meech egg. She is the mighty "Dragon Keeper," although she doesn't believe it. Through their travels they meet good dragons, the kimens, some Urohms, and Wizard Fenworth, as well as a three-headed monster and other evil beings. She also discovers that the evil Risto is out to defeat her and her companions. Will the strength of Wulder and Paladin be enough to help her? Will she discover the meech egg? What other dragons will hatch and share their powers with the company? This fantasy is interesting, colorful, and drew me in immediately. I enjoyed reading about the different races and peoples, with characters realist and life-like. Donita K. Paul has a wonderful way with words. It was especially neat to read about the birth of each dragon and find out what their special gift was. My favorite quote is found on pg. 237. "Frightened," Leetu continued. "Well, it is a lie to face scary things and pretend you are not frightened. Just as it is deceitful to look at the beauty of that scene" --she nodded toward the mountain range-- "and pretend the grandeur does not stir your soul. Perhaps not false, but folly, to take in with the eyes and deny with the heart."
I was looking for a change from the usual Stephen King/Dean Koontz books that I usually read to something with more of a Fantasy edge to it and I definitely found it with this series. She brings the characters to life and makes you feel like a part of their adventure. I would recommend this series and any of her books to anyone that needs a little adventure.
After a lifetime of slavery, fourteen-year-old Kale is set free. She travels to The Hall in Vendela where she will receive her training as a servant. Before she can reach her destination, ogres attack her. She escapes into a cave where she finds seven small dragon eggs. When she comes back outside, she is rescued by Paladin servants. They inform her that Paladin has given her a gift, the ability to find dragon eggs, and persuade her to leave her journey to The Hall for another quest: find a missing meech dragon egg and fulfill her destiny as a dragonkeeper.
Donita K. Paul crafts a wonderful adventure into an amazing fantasy world. It¿s no wonder why this book won a Christy award. I found the characters marvelous, my favorites being Gymn and Metta, two dragons so tiny they often ride on Kale¿s shoulders. I highly recommend his novel for boys and girls of all ages. Looking forward to book two.
This book, I was able to identify with. It was funny and intriguing I couldn't put it down. Dragonspell is a great start to an even better series. Telling the story of a freed 'slave' girl going to serve a man named Paladin, ruler of Amara. She discovers an interesting gift within herself to speak with her mind, and find dragon eggs. Will she learn to use these gifts correctly and well? and will she succed in her quest? That's for me to know...and you to hopefully find out.
DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul hooked me from the very beginning. I love Kale and all of the amazing characters! When Kale find a dragon egg and her masters turn her over to go to The Hall, where she is to be trained, her life is changed by Dar, a doneel, and Leetu, an emerlindian save her from a murderous band of grawligs 'creepy trolls' she find that her course and life are changed. She learns that she has special powers, but is still afraid and wary of questing. Along with her comrades, she goes of to rescue a dragon egg from the evil Wizard Risto. This is a book I highly recommend to readers of all ages! It has a great Christian message, with colorful creatures, and a wonderful quest.
This is a great book with lots of adventure, mystery, and love. Join a thirteen year old on a quest for a race that is near death, known as Dragons. Laugh, sigh, exclaim, enjoy, and Love all the characters. Donita K. Paul has created a fantastic story for children and adults.
This book series was very enjoyable, I could not put it down. It kept my interest and had a lot of truth within it that answered some of my inner questions about life and God. This captivated me and I hope there will be lots more books in this series to keep my love for this series going on many more adventures through the Dragon Keeper Chronicals. It is a must read!
I thought this book was AWESOME!!! I loved the characters and the plot. The characters really brought to life in this story. And what I also really liked was that the story let you make part of the characters how you wanted it. It didn't dictate what the characters should be like or what they should look like. One thing I didn't like was how Kale got into so many situations so suddenly. Parts of the story were very fast-paced. There were also a lot of emotions. Emotions are good when used in moderation, but I think they were a little over-done in this story. But despite that, this was an AWESOME book.
This book was awsome!I could hardly put it down.I would recommend this to every one who loves fiction and fantasy.I can't wait till I can read the second book DragonQuest.
This book is a mixture of magic and knights dragons and wizards. Dagonspell is the kind of book people who love to read dream of finding. It has the balance of kindness and deceit. Giving it a powerful feeling. It also has original thinging and writing. Read this book!
I am homeschooling my son, so we read this together. We loved it ----- couldn't put it down. Very good message in the book, with good morals.
Dragonspell is a delightful read for all ages. If you enjoy C.S. Lewis' 'Chronicles of Narnia' or John White's 'Archives of Anthropos', you will enjoy 'Dragonspell', as well. It follows young Kale Allerion and her companions on a quest, both corporeal and spiritual, to wrest a stolen dragon egg from the evil Wizard Risto, taking them through forest and marsh, under mountains, and even soaring through the air on a dragon's back, fighting bisonbecks and mordakleeps, while Kale struggles to understand the world around her. I highly recommend Kale's first adventure and look forward to her next. . . !
This books somehow achieves that elusive balance of light-hearted fantasy with a passionate message about the love of God in the midst of the hurts and confusions of life. A fun and entertaining read, the message is unobtrusive, but so integral to the story that you ache for a closer relationship with Palidan and his Father, Wulder. It is a very rare talent to stimulate that hunger for a closer relationship with virtually no churchy language or theological jargon. It is rarer still to do so with simple language showing gripping and imaginative characters involved in a desperate battle ¿ while keeping the tone upbeat and hopeful. The good dragons are a surprising and delightful twist against preconceived notions that all dragons must be evil. Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis¿ Chronicles of Narnia in the imaginative creatures and characters, this has a tone and flavor all its own. Readers who loved the Chronicles will love this also. Yet they should come to it expecting something new and fresh. They won¿t be disappointed. I am eagerly anticipating dipping into the sequel ¿ savoring it ¿ like a second helping of dessert that is just a bit too rich for one sitting. Altogether a wonderful book
I have one thing to say!!!, this was a well written book!!. I felt each experience as Kale felt, getting into the book with dangers and excitement. Each page held my interest!!! I especially loved the baby dragons Gymn and Metta and glad that ending outcome was good. I was never lost or board once. Each page in my opinion had just enough detail and dialog to keep the reader occupied. The detail I especially liked. It was just enough to get the idea across and the rest was up to the reader to experiment with. I enjoy that in a book. Too much detail loses me. Lets see...the only complaint I have with this book is maybe have the fight scene with Risto at the end of the book last a little longer, maybe have the outcome dwindle in the air a little bit more. But over all DragonSpell was well worth my time...! I might even read it again.
By the end of the first chapter you are completely sucked into the world of Amara. From there it only gets better. The more you read the more you think,'The only way I'll be seperated from this book before it ends is if someone gets the Jaws-of-Life from the Firehouse.' The characters are those you can easily relate to in some way. The adventure isn't simply about magic and superstition like so many Sci-Fi/Fantasy books these days. For example, the main idea of the book isn't just for the main character(s) to go on this unimaginable adventure to gain power at any cost and win. The idea behind this book is using one's faith not only in self and companions, but also in a higher power. The journey isn't just to gain power but to grow first in faith & understanding, and second in power & ability. So if your looking for a book that stands out from the rest, I strongly recommend you read this book, and since this book is part of a series the adventure doesn't stop here.
Ms Paul has written a wonderful allagory. I found this book impossible to put down...I have read it, donated it to our children's school library and given it as a gift to numerous friends! It's GREAT for all ages! At times it is full of suspense and at times it it is just intriguing but always it is spellbinding!
I've always looked for good fantasy books, and I've found some that are alright. While I was in Colorado Springs(My Birthplace), I visited a store called, 'Focus on the Family.' I was searching for a book and I would have bought anything, just as long as it was a book. I came across, 'Dragonspell,' and at first I was slightly hesitant to buying it. However, I just finished the book today (Nov. 18) and it is my favorite book. I absolutely loved taking on the role as Kale and undertaking quests. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly interested in fantasy or dragons.