The Amulet of Komondor

The Amulet of Komondor

by Adam Osterweil, Peter Thorpe

Like most middle-school kids, Joe and Katie are obsessed with their favorite fantasy card game, DragonSteel: The Amulet of Komondor -- a cross between Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering. When they find a computer game version of DragonSteel at a mysterious shop in the local mall, they jump at the chance to play it. But it turns out to be more than your


Like most middle-school kids, Joe and Katie are obsessed with their favorite fantasy card game, DragonSteel: The Amulet of Komondor -- a cross between Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering. When they find a computer game version of DragonSteel at a mysterious shop in the local mall, they jump at the chance to play it. But it turns out to be more than your average video game. Joe and Katie become the actual cartoonish characters of the game, journeying through the world of Komondor on a quest to find the five pieces of the DragonSteel amulet, which they need to save Komondor and Earth from three evil emperors. Using their skill with video games and the help of a colorful cast of new friends -- including an English Golem with a penchant for grammar and a doll-collecting baby prophet -- they take an exciting trip through Komondor and even deal with real-world problems concerning anxious parents, romance, and the FBI.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Middle-school friends Joe and Katie are avid players of DragonSteel, a fantasy card game that strongly resembles Yu-Gi-Oh! They purchase a computer version of the game at a mysterious store (the store conveniently vanishes once they step outside), and playing it literally sweeps them into the DragonSteel realm. There they are the "chosen ones" who must find five pieces of an amulet before an evil force beats them to it. Dialogue runs thin, from the wormy game-master ("No take-backs or do-overs-that's what the Great Prophecy says") to Joe's clueless, allegedly brilliant parents ("What about that island?... Isn't there some island where you can temporarily put boys his age?" says Joe's exasperated father, misremembering Lord of the Flies). The plotting itself feels arbitrary; one deus ex machina after another moves things along, from magic spells to "power-up bonuses," transplants from the video game world. Osterweil (The Comic Book Kid), a junior high teacher like the "Mr. O" who figures here, understands his topic, and he brings an appropriate level of energy to it. But if given the choice between reading this book and playing one of the games that inspired it, it's hard to imagine many kids choosing the former. The line drawings, while plentiful, have a retro feel that is at odds with the high-tech premise. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Joe and his friend Katie, avid players of the fantasy role-playing card game DragonSteel, literally become ensnared by the computer game version when it opens a dimensional portal from Earth to the cartoon-like world of Komondor, the world of the DragonSteel game. Just like the role-playing game, Joe and Katie assume the names, persona and abilities of specific characters. As Princess Ignatia and JuJu, the two travel between Earth and the realms of Komondor searching for special jewels to complete a magical amulet which would fulfill an ancient prophecy, and grant the bearer divine powers—though in an entirely unexpected manner. Along the way they meet friends in unlikely places who help them on their journey to complete the amulet and save both Earth and Komondor from the traitorous guide, Aidan. A timely book that fans of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! will relate to and enjoy. While the characters are a bit flat, for every strong male in this book there is an equal female counter-part. This well-paced, simply-written, action-filled story, will ring authentic to young readers' ears. 2002, Front Street, Ages 7 to 12.
— Sonia Ana Miller
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Joe and Katie play a popular fantasy card game, DragonSteel, whenever and wherever they can. When Joe finds a computer game based on their favorite pastime, the two friends can't wait to try it out. They soon discover that it's not really a computer game, but instead a gateway into the world of Komondor, an alternate universe full of characters who look like "Japanimations" (Japanese-style cartoons with big hair, giant eyes, etc.). The youngsters must find all five pieces of the DragonSteel Amulet before an evil emperor uses them to take over Komondor and Earth. Written in a lighthearted tone and packed with amusing puns, this fast-paced adventure is filled with action that is over the top and enjoyable. The characters are shallow, but believable. DragonSteel closely resembles Pok mon or Yu-Gi-Oh, and will seem familiar to many readers. The black-and-white illustrations, which look like cookie-cutter Japanese anime, fit well with the narrative. Don't think too much while reading or you'll lose the moment. If you need fun fantasy books, and you already have the top-of-the-line authors (Douglas Adams, Roald Dahl, Dav Pilkey, Lemony Snicket, and Terry Pratchett), this is a good choice for second string.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this facile, thin fantasy, 12-year-olds Joe and Katie are drawn into a video game in which they must put together the five pieces of a dragon amulet in order to save a kingdom. DragonSteel, a card-collecting game, morphs into a real land in which Joe and Katie become Japanese animé cartoons, huge-eyed and unable to feel physical pain, but able to cast spells and win Power-Up Bonuses. Their trials as they travel through Komondor are dealt with too easily and quickly (instantly, most of the time) to inspire any suspense or satisfaction, and their intermittent visits back to earth are populated by self-centered, hard-to-believe parents and FBI agents. Joe and Katie are blandly generic, as is the writing; and with the plot's adventures and threats consistently slick and shallow, there's nowhere to look for fulfillment. Don't bother-go play a good video game instead. (Fantasy. 7-9)

Product Details

Highlights Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Adam Osterweil grew up in Plainview, NY. He attended college at Cornell University, where he majored in Classics, studying Greek and Roman literature, history, and language. Adam earned a Master of Arts from Stony Brook University, and is now a Junior High English teacher at Springs School in Springs, New York. His hobbies include treasure hunting, video games, and collecting comic books. This is his first book.

Peter Thorpe began drawing and painting at an early age. He studied commercial art at The California College of Arts & Crafts and from there moved to New York City, where he worked in the fields of editorial and advertising illustration. Upon discovering that he had a penchant for type design and layout, as well as for illustration, he began to specialize in book covers. Most notably, he has created book covers for over 40 editions of Tony Hillerman's mysteries and he created the cover for Garrison Keillor's best-selling Lake Wobegon Days. DragonSteel: The Amulet of Komondor is the first book for which Peter has created both the cover art and the interior illustrations. It is also the first book for children that he has worked on. Peter now lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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