DragonSpell

( 176 )

Overview

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, ...

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DragonSpell

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In Dragonspell, Donita K. Paul has created an amazing world of fantasy adventure. From riding on dragons to jumping off cliffs to moving mountains, this story is sure to spark a reader’s imagination–young and old. And with a message of identity transformed from slavery to servanthood, it’s a book families will love reading and discussing together.”
–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

Children's Literature
Kale is an o'rant/slave with a gift for finding highly prized dragon eggs in the fantasy world of Amara. This gift takes the insecure young girl out of bondage and into a Tolkien-esque adventure filled with odd creatures (her Dak is the spitting image of a Hobbit) and, of course, a quest. Since the book is a product of the burgeoning Christian fundamentalist market, the ultimate purpose of the quest is to find God (Wuldar) through the earthly Christ-figure, Paladin. This leads one to wonder how Kale's continual theft of eggs is morally condoned . . . . However, there's lots of adventure along the way in the bogs and caves of Amara, a peninsular kingdom which just happens to have a remarkable resemblance to Tamara Pierce's medieval Tortall—a fixture of the fantasy universe for some time. Through the assistance of her healing and singing minor dragons, as well as a timely cure-all cloak, Kale perseveres and is ultimately chosen to join the elect. 2004, WaterBrook/Random House, Ages 10 to 14.
—Kathleen Karr
Library Journal
This fantasy about dragons and wizards has a Christian worldview reminiscent of C.S. Lewis. Paul lives in Colorado Springs, CO. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-After 14 years as a slave girl in the village of River Away, Kale is free, because of a dragon's egg. Since she found it, the village elders have decided that she must present herself and the egg to the great wizards of the walled city of Vendela, where she expects to become a servant of Paladin, the earthly representative of Wulder, supreme being of Amara. Her journey is interrupted first by attacking ogres, then by a detour into a cave that hides seven more dragon eggs, and finally by a daring escape aided by dragon-riding rescuers who become Kale's guides, tutors, and closest cohorts on her travels. Two of her precious eggs hatch on the way and become her constant companions-first green Gymn, who heals, and then purple Metta, who sings. To them, Kale is much more than just a slave girl-she is the last of the great Allerion dragon-keepers. This is classic quest fantasy with echoes of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Houghton) and of Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003). As in C. S. Lewis's "Narnia" books (HarperCollins), Christian allegories and messages are clearly presented and easily found, but it is equally possible to read this as Kale's story as it happened in Amara, a world completely separate from our own. It would be a shame to limit readership by relegating this clever and inventive story to the genre of Christian fiction. There is plenty of room for sequels, and readers will want to know much more about Kale and the remainder of her quest.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578568239
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/22/2004
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 328,931
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Donita K. Paul is the author of the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles with over a quarter of a million books in print.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Almost There

“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 worked hard.

“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 education.”

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.

Chapter Two

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 unraveled.

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 hope so.

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 grawligs.

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 above.

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 possible.

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 last night.

“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 thoughts.

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 the opening.

What am I doing? I don’t want to go in there. I want to get away from the grawligs.

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 camp.

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.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 176 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I HIGHLY recomend these books for all ages!

    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.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Entertaining but does not balance story with message

    Let's start with the good. The book was entertaining, easy to read, and engaging enough that I was willing to let a some of the not-so-good qualities slide. The dragons I found original, and I think that's not easy to do when such a subject has been so well written about. However, while the other races of characters were often original, their personal characteristics often felt typed and stereotypical, especially Kale.

    The writing style was also disappointing, though I'm willing to let that slide a bit since I think this is an all-ages book (despite it being shelved in adult fantasy). Still, I think even younger readers could benefit from a slightly more complex style, even down to the line level. Clarity is to be valued, obviously, but writing shouldn't suffer for it.

    Finally, this book is incredibly heavy on Christian mythology and the Christian message. Now, I'm all for melding religion (or political view or whatever) to work. I understand that when something is important to you it's going to come out in the writing, but this book often felt like I was being hit over the head with it and it often got in the way of the story (which I'd have enjoyed more had the religious ideas been incorporated subtly). And I hate to use the word but there were times when the book felt more like propaganda than story to me, like the author was writing more for the message than for the story, and that's not a positive thing.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    M

    They need to make a movie out of this
    Press yes if u agree

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    DRAGONSPELL by Donita K. Paul - A Review

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    Dragonspell by Donita Paul

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Engaging, character-driven fantasy novel. (& there be dragons here!)

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    A tale to be told around the fireplace

    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. :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    An honest review

    This book was great! Entertaining christian fiction is tough to find. This book is an exception. The story is very gripping and has plenty of battles. (No blood or gore) Now the allegory is great. I know there are bad reviews about that but the whole moral is trusting God in the good times and bad. Overall I think the author earned her five stars. But thats not quite true, is it? Solie deo gloria! (To God alone be the glory)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I found these books very entertaining. Donita K Paul did a fant

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    It's an okay book.

    The entire book revolved around the main character, Kale and her journey to find the Meech dragon egg, and along the way trying to find herself and her place in the world. The book tells a great story that children and young adults would enjoy. However, I doubt it'll be a great number that would love this for it's obvious religious undertones. The story is mostly teaching Kale the way of Wulder while developing herself into her own person with the guidance of Wulder. Basically the allegories were pretty obvious that when Paladin and Wulder were introduced they represented Jesus and God. It would have better if the allegory was remove in the beginning and appear in the end, that way readers reactions would be in awe and surprise when they make the connection. So to me it felt a little dull every time someone mention or talk about them. Even though there were things about the book that were boring and obvious I just loved Gymn and Metta, the two little minor dragons. The characters were all very different creating an interesting group to follow but some were a little flat then others. But this is only the first of the series so I wouldn't be surprise if the characters and the story gets better. It's an okay book. Not terribly bad but also not amazingly good, just decent. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Great Fantasy Fiction!

    When I picked up the book Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul, I knew I was in for a treat. This book, although most likely geared toward the 10-14 age group, I believe is a book for all ages. It has fantasy and fun and a great character building story line. In much the same way many Christian authors have in the past (C.S. Lewis being infamous for) she builds a fairy tale around God's love and provision for us.

    This story takes place in a fictional world filled with 7 races of people and creatures. In just the first few chapters you come across half the races that include half animal/half human like creatures, giants, dwarfs, dragons and soon there after, a creature called a "kimen" who is almost a spirit like being that reminds me of a traditional "fairy".

    The tale weaves Kale, Dar, Leetu and others into a quest to search for a missing dragons egg that has been stolen by the "black magic" wizard of the country. It takes a simple girl who thought her only life was that of a slave, to a point of being chosen by the creator and placed on a mission that could save lives of many and change their world.

    I love the simple way Ms. Paul creates each of the characters and gives them personalities that suit their physical descriptions. The tale is fast paced and an easy read and I am definitely looking forward to purchasing more of her works in the future.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy or fairy tale stories and to those who love reading about magical kingdoms and strange beautiful creatures.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2011

    Great read with wonderful book cover!

    I absolutely loved this book- I immediately called my nearest bookstore to find the second one! It has a lot of (obvious) Christian elements, but you can overlook the 'Christian' part and think of it as moral elements (didn't bother me but if you aren't into that kind of thing it's still a great read). I would recommend this to readers of most ages- there's no adult content. It does have some parts that would be kind of scary for a little kid. One of the parts that immediately drew me to the book is that it is a part of a series, which I love. Also, the book cover is beautiful and all of the books look like that! Definitely a wonderful book/series to put on your shelf and show off.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    wonderful! simply wonderful!

    This book is wonderful! It'a perfect for dragon lovers!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Amazing and imaginitive

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful story

    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."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    Great Series!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A quest for a missing dragon egg

    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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    An amazing quest!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Great story

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2008

    Read it!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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