The Vanishing Sculptor

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Overview

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly-crafted novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will ...

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Overview

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly-crafted novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400073399
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (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

Sir Beccaroon cocked his head, ruffled his neck feathers, and stretched, allowing his crimson wings to spread. The branch beneath him sank and rose again, responding to his weight. Moist, hot air penetrated his finery, and he held his wings away from his brilliant blue sides.

“Too hot for company,” hemuttered, rocking back and forth from one scaly four-toed foot to the other on a limb of a sacktrass tree.The leaves shimmered as the motion rippled along the branch. “Where is that girl?”

His yellow head swiveled almost completely around. He peered with one eye down the overgrown path and then scoped out every inch within his range of vision, twisting his neck slowly. A brief morning shower had penetrated the canopy above and rinsed the waxy leaves. A few remaining drops glistened where thin shafts of tropical sun touched the dark green foliage. On the broot vine, flowers the size of plates lifted their fiery red petals, begging the thumb-sized bees to come drink before the weight of nectar broke off the blooms.

Beccaroon flew to a perch on a gnarly branch. He sipped from a broot blossom and ran his black tongue over the edges of his beak. A sudden breeze shook loose a sprinkle of leftover raindrops. Beccaroon shook his tail feathers and blinked.When the disturbance settled, he cocked his head and listened.

“Ah! She’s coming.” He preened his soft green breast and waited, giving a show of patience he didn’t feel. His head jerked up as he detected someone walking with the girl.

“Awk!”The sound exploded from his throat.He flew into a roost far above the forest floor, where he couldn’t be seen from the ground, and watched the approach of the girl placed under his guardianship.

Tipper strolled along the path below, wearing a flowing golden gown over her tall, lean body. She’d put her long blond hair in a fancy braid that started at the crown of her head. A golden chain hung from each of her pointed ears. And she’d decorated her pointed facial features with subdued colors—blue for her eyelids, rose for her lips, and a shimmering yellow on her cheeks. Beccaroon sighed. His girl was lovely.

The bushes along the path behind her rustled. Beccaroon’s tongue clucked against his beak in disapproval. Hanner trudged after Tipper, leading a donkey hitched to a cart. The man’s shaggy hair, tied with a string at the back of his neck, hung oily and limp. Food and drink stained the front of his leather jerkin, and his boots woremud instead of a shine. The parrot caught a whiff of the o’rant from where he perched. The young man should have carried the fragrance of citrus, but his overstrong odor reminded Beccaroon of rotten fruit.

A tree full ofmonkeys broke out in outraged chatter.Tipper, when alone, walked amid the animals’ habitat without causing alarm.

“Smart monkeys,” said Beccaroon. “You recognize a ninny-nap-conder when you see one.” He used the cover of the monkeys’ rabble-rousing to glide to another tree, where he could hide at a lower level. He had an idea where Tipper would lead Hanner.

“Here it is,” said the pretty emerlindian. She pulled vines from a clump, revealing a gray statue beneath. “My father named this one Vegetable Garden.

Hanner pulled off more vines as he made his way slowly around the four-foot statue. “Vegetable Garden? Mistress Tipper, are you sure you have the right one? This is a statue of a boy reading a book. He’s not even chewing a carrot while he sits here.”

“Father used to say reading a good book was nourishment.”

Hanner scratched his head, shrugged his shoulders, and went to fetch the donkey and cart.Tipper’s head tilted back, and her blue eyes looked up into the trees. Her gaze roamed over the exact spot Beccaroon used as a hidden roost. Not by the blink of an eyelash did she betray whether she had seen him. Hanner returned.

Tipper spread out a blanket in the cart after Hanner maneuvered it next to the statue, then helped him lift the stone boy into the back. Hanner grunted a lot, and Tipper scolded.

“Careful… Don’t break his arm…Too many vines still around the base.”

They got the statue loaded, and Tipper tucked the blanket overand around it. She then gave Hanner a pouch of coins.

“This is for your usual delivery fee. I couldn’t put in any extra for traveling expenses. I’m sure you’ll be reimbursed by our buyer.”

He grunted and slipped the money inside his jerkin.

Tipper clasped her hands together. “Be careful. And give Master Dodderbanoster my regards.”
He tipped his hat and climbed aboard the cart. “I always am. And I always do.”

She stood in the path until the creak of the cart wheels could no longer be heard.

Beccaroon swooped down and sat on a thick branch wrapped with a leafless green creeper. The vine looked too much like a snake, so he hopped to another limb.

“Was that wise?” he asked.
“I don’t think so either, Bec, butwhat else can I do? I sell the artwork only as a last resort when we need quite a bit of cash. The well needs re-digging.” Tipper pulled a tight face, looking like she’d swallowed nasty medicine. “We’ve sold almost everything in the house. Mother sees our things in the market and buys them back. Sometimes I get a better price for a piece the second time I sell it, and sometimes not.”

Beccaroon swayed back and forth on his feet, shaking his head. “She never catches on?”

“Never.” Tipper giggled. “She shows remarkably consistent taste. When she spots something that was once ours, she buys it, brings it home, shows it off to me, and tells me she has always wanted something just like it. And she never notices pictures gone from the walls, rugs missing in rooms, chairs, tables, vases, candlesticks gone. I used to rearrange things to disguise a hole in the décor, but there’s no need.”

The sigh that followed her explanation held no joy.Tipper looked around. “There never is a place to sit in this forest when one wants to plop down and have a good cry.”

“You’re not the type to cry. I’ll walk you home.” Beccaroon hopped down to the path. His head came up to her waist. She immediately put her dainty hand on his topknot and smoothed the creamy plumes back.

“You’re the best of friends. Keeping this secret would be unbearable if I didn’t have you to confide in.”

Beccaroon clicked his tongue. “No flattery, or I shall fly away.”

They moseyed back the direction Tipper had come, opposite the way Hanner had departed.

Beccaroon tsked. “I don’t like that greasy fellow.”

“I know.”Tipper gently twisted the longest feather from the center of Bec’s crest around her forefinger.
The grand parrot jerked his head away and gave her his sternest glare. She was his girl, but he still wouldn’t let her take liberties. She didn’t seem to notice he was disgruntled, and that further blackened his mood.

“Hanner is all right, Bec. He takes the statues to Dodderbanoster. Dodderbanoster takes them to cities beyond my reach and gets a fair price for them. Sometimes I think the pouch Hanner brings back is way too full.”

Beccaroon clicked his tongue. “Your father is a master artist. His work is worth a mighty price.”

“Hanner says sometimes Dodderbanoster sells them to a dealer who takes them even farther away, to thriving districts.Wealthy patrons bid to own a Verrin Schope work of art.” She held back a leafy branch so Beccaroon could strut by with ease. “Late at night when I sit inmy window and think, I hope that Papa will see one of his sculptures or paintings in a market in some far away metropolis. I imagine the scene. He exclaims with shock. He turns red and sputters and shakes his fists. In fact, he’s so angry he comes straight home and yells loud and long at his daughter who dares to sell his masterpieces.”

Beccaroon rolled his shoulders, causing his wings to tilt out, then settle against his sides. “What of your mother? Does she ever mention your father’s absence?”

“No, why should she? He’s been gone for years, but she still sees him. She talks to him every night after his workday is done. Promenades through the garden with him. Pours his tea, and just the other evening I heard her fussing at himfor not giving enoughmoney to the parish.”

“I suppose she dipped in the household funds to make up for his neglect.”

Tipper sighed. “Yes, she did.”

They went on a ways in silence. Tipper picked a bloom, savored its spicy odor, then placed it behind one pointed ear. “Mother has an idea in her head.”

“For anyone else, the head is a splendid place to keep an idea. For your mother, she should just let them go.”

“She’s determined to visit her sister.” Tipper raised her eyebrows so that the upside-downV was even more pronounced. “She’ll go if she manages to pack her long list of necessities. Some of the items are quite unreasonable.”

Beccaroon snatched a nut from an open shell on the ground. He played the small nugget over his tongue, enjoying its sweetness, then swallowed. “And you? Is she taking you?”

“No, I’m to stay here and make sure Papa is comfortable and remembers to go to bed at night instead of working till all hours in his studio.”

“I don’t like you being alone in that house.”

“I don’t either.”

“Of course, there are the servants.”

“Only two now.”

Beccaroon ruffled his feathers, starting at the tuft on top of his head, fluffing the ruff of his neck,proceeding down his back, and ending with a great shake of his magnificent tail.

“It seems I will have to move into the house.”

“Oh, Bec. I was hoping you’d say that.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    wow!

    i love this book! her books tells of troubled people that find anwsersto their problems. all of them point to Christ. her christian walk is lovely!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2010

    The Vanishing Sculptor-Donita K. Paul

    The Vanishing Sculptor did not surprise me in too many ways. The author's style did, but the book as a whole follows the inevitable pattern that every book ultimately does. The problem is how much the author differentiates their book from the rest. Ms. Paul did quite a good job in this book, however in the end, didn't fulfill the book's potential.

    I felt that the book was altogether, too un-suspenseful. Sure, the book had a small cliffhanger at the end of each chapter, but they sometimes seemed quite forced. Their were times in the book I really had to force myself through.

    The characters were hit spot on, however. Each were realistic and believable even though they wouldn't seem so at first glance. Especially a particularly troubled wizard. The Point-of-View was difficult to make out at times, but almost always worked itself out before the third page of said POV.

    The biggest hurt to the book was perhaps it's ending. It was far too happy and didn't leave a cliffhanger of any kind to get the reader wanting the next book.

    All-in-all, it was more of a book you would bring the book the beach to relax rather than a book you would be staying up all night to finish. One thing the author did amazingly, which sets it above many books, was it's all-present message of God, or in this case, Wulder.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Concept

    I enjoyed the book. I loved having Wizard Fenworth back. This one is full of more wit and humor and was really fun to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    Looking Forward to this....

    I'm sure it will be a good read just like her other books. I like how she weaves her faith into her stories.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

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    "The Vanishing Sculptor" by Donita K. Paul :: Chiril Chronicles

    I waited long for this book, let me tell you. Let me also tell you: It was well worth the wait. *** Fifteen years ago, Tipper's father, Verrin Schope, disappeared from Chiril, leaving behind nothing but his artwork, his estate, and the echo of a lullaby. Now, Tipper manages the household, guided by her father's old friend, Beccaroon the Grand Parrot. Her mother Lady Peg, the shunned daughter of the King and Queen, lost her wits along with her husband. When Tipper's incapable hands take over the gardening and farming father once excelled at, there stock soon dwindles to nothing. And so, one by one, she begins selling the artwork. Statues, mainly. Pictures, the sofa, the big clock in the corner; all gone, and the money is soon gone also. And then, Verrin returns. Well, mostly, anyway. He has come across a certain ailment, an ailment which causes his body to continually dwindle away, and then replenish himself. The details of the ailment are confusing, but this much is clear: To regain his health, he must rejoin three of his the statues that were previously his, Morning Glory, Day's Deed, and Evening Yearns. Now, along with his daughter and other new friends, he must quest to regain his lost wealth... before he disappears entirely. *** How is that for cool, huh?! A truly amazing read, and I have also chatted with the author of the book over the internet, which made it all the more interesting. I loved being able to chat with her, read her book, cheer, and chat again. To be honest, the book started off slowly, but it picked up quickly, and left me wanting more. The next book is coming in the mail any day now. :)

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    light-hearted, imaginative fantasy

    "Tipper's heart skipped a beat . . . 'I have a feeling,' she said, 'that we are going to have a glorious quest. This day is the beginning of a great adventure.'"

    So declares Tipper Schope, who gladly gives up the responsibility of caring for her family's estate when her disappearing father reappears after fifteen years - well, mostly. He keeps flickering in and out, and his crotchety foreign companions declare a quest necessary: a search for three missing statues, sold off by Tipper to provide money for essentials, that must be joined to each other before Tipper's father can stop coming apart and reassembling on a floorboard. Despite the heavy stakes - not only the life of Tipper's father, but possibly the fate of the world, rests on the quest's success - the journey begins with optimism, and it largely continues that way.

    In The Vanishing Sculptor, billed as "a fantastic journey of discovery for all ages," Donita K. Paul has created a lighthearted story in which not even tragedies can be too tragic. The world in which Tipper lives is simplistic (the villains look like villains; beautiful people always turn out to be good, even if they're annoying at first), but imaginative and joyously visual. Paul's dragons are delightful, her "grand birds" are endearingly grand, and the ramblings of confused or otherwise disconnected characters like Lady Peg and Wizard Fenworth are a constant source of locutionary entertainment. Thrown into it all is a missionary story, as Tipper's father tries to share his newfound faith in Wulder with his skeptical daughter and their closest friend, the grand parrot Sir Beccaroon.

    In short, The Vanishing Sculptor is a good tonic for stressful days and heavy hearts. It reminded me of some of Lloyd Alexander's more upbeat adventures (think Vesper Holly, not Taran the Pigkeeper), with warm family ties and friendships, fights that aren't too frightening, and lessons that go down easily. Though at times I found the prose choppy, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish. In a genre which often relies on heavy themes and gathering darkness, that can't be said about every book. It's entirely true of this one.

    - Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy, www.worldsunseen.com

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Donita Paul does it again!

    I have read all of her Dragon series and thought I would not find another as entertaining. The Characters lend so well to the story and I found it hard to put the book down. You can recommend this to a non-believer and they would get caught up in the story and want to know more! I hope there is more to come from Donita!

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!

    Fun adventure novel with spiritual content, quirky characters, and unexpected twists and turns up until the very last page. Will definitely be reading the Dragon Kepper series by this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    The Vanising Sculptor

    I love this Author's book's, they are inspirational wonderful reading, she has a unique way of showing what faith is by using Dragons and Wizards and people. This is a good book for young and old.
    I would recommend all of her books.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Old characters take part in a new story

    Tipper, a young emerlindian woman, has been scrounging to take care of her family estate since her father went missing. Since he father was a renowned sculptor, Tipper had no choice but to sell off his work to pay the bills. But her father returns suddenly, then vanishes again. Then he reappears, then vanishes, then reappears. It seems that Tipper's father is being affected by a portal between two sides of the world. Long ago, he had crafted three sculptures out of a special chunk of stone that happened to be the portal that held their world together. Now he must put the sculptures back to restore balance to the land and his own body. The only problem is that Tipper sold all three pieces. Tipper and her father set off with an unlikely group of friends to find the missing sculptures and restore balance.

    This story inhabits the same world as Donita's DragonKeeper Chronicles and includes a few characters from the original series that we've all come to love. Donita K. Paul writes beautifully. I love her storyworld and the personalities she creates. She is truly gifted. I thought this story had an interesting premise. It was a fun read with a long quest (which I always love) and interesting obstacles that crop up to waylay our heroes. I didn't get as hooked into the tale as I'd hoped. I think that was because there were a lot of characters to follow. They were interesting, wonderful characters, but they often took the spotlight away from Tipper. Fans of Donita's work will love to see some old characters take part in the story. I'm not sure if this is meant to be the first book in a series or not. A few doors were left open to a sequel, so I'm interested to see what might happen in a second book. Recommended.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Doubt Vanishes in the Superb Sculptor

    Something original. Does not happen often in the genre of fantasy fiction. However, The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul manages to take the idea of something old, something new to a whole new level. From the tip of a tumanhofer's tongue to the feet of an aged emerlindian's throne, this epic adventure of self-discovery simply challenges the reader to do what makes reading the best form of entertainment: use the imagination. Not since the days of my youth has a novel moved and inspired me in such a mysterious manner. At thirty-four, I became fifteen again, rediscovering emotions and excitement I had not felt since first reading books like Tolkien's The Hobbit, Richard A. Knaak's The Legend of Huma, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

    Since those early days, many books have come and gone as I chased that ever-elusive wonder of experience. Thanks to Donita K. Paul, that wonder has returned, bottled neatly in a potion tucked somewhere in a hollow within the Wizard Fenworth's robes. Truly a book for all ages, this grand design of an epic designed by Paul manages to totally captivate, encapsulating the very essence of creative story telling.

    With so many imitators of the classics, as well as followers of Harry Potter and Twilight, this fresh take on a tired genre invigorates. There are so few books that I feel compelled to pass onto my students. They dwell in the Rowling and Meyer universes, and nothing current seems to be able to break them from these authors' spells. That was until Paul's The Vanishing Sculptor. This breathtakingly brilliant novel will undoubtedly set the 8th grade imagination afire, and in a manner that is productive, positive, and full of purity. This will be the year of the Sculptor.

    With such an important edition, not just to the genre of fantasy fiction but also to the whole of fiction, this tale astonishingly leaves the reader yearning for more. I can only count the days until the release of its sequel.

    -J.R. Seus, author and 8th grade English teacher

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

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    Beautiful descriptions and a few funny characters

    Hmmm... what to say about this one. I didn't like it, but I didn't hate it. It lied somewhere in the hazy middle. First off I'm not a huge fan of mystical books, but that's not really what I didn't like about it. It seemed to take forever for me to read it. I started it on a Friday and didn't finish it till the next Thursday, and for a 400 page YA book, that was just too long.

    The story deals with quite a few things, but one of the main ideas is that of faith. The idea of Wulder and what he is capable of weaves itself throughout the entire story.

    There were definitely some good things about this book. The author was very creative. I liked the character of Beccaroon very much. There were quite a few times when I laughed at his remarks. The banter between the wizard and the librarian was also fairly entertaining. The descriptions were quite well written and I could see the places that were being described as well as a good image of the characters. I actually saw Drew Barrymore as Tipper (don't know why I don't normally associate book characters with real people). Donita Paul seems to have a great imagination and is able to portray her images quite well. I also really liked the glossary in the back. I referred to it quite often throughout the story and it did help me keep track of who was who and what part they played in the overall story.

    While I did like some of the characters I didn't really connect with any of them. Tipper seemed to jump between being very level-headed and quite flighty. The rest of the characters seemed to be very eccentric and hard for me to relate to.

    I guess my biggest problem would be that this was a slow read, but like I said I'm not really into this genre. Maybe for someone that likes this kind of story it would be a more enjoyable and quicker read.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    Thrilling fantasy novel perfect for all ages

    The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul is a continuation of her DragonKeeper Chronicles in the fantasy world of Chiril. Tipper is a young emerlindian who has been trying to keep her family afloat since her father's mysterious disappearance fifteen years ago. The family estate has fallen into disrepair, and her mother's mind is no longer sound. Tipper has been forced to start selling the sculptures of her father just to keep food on the table. When her father suddenly returns along with a eccentric wizard and unusual librarian, she discovers that her actions have imperiled their entire world! She must leave the safety of her home on a quest to recover the missing statues along with a mismatched cast of adventurers, and along the way, she just may learn something about Wulder, the Creator of their world. I fell in love with Paul's fantasy world in her wonderful DragonLight , and while this book takes place on the opposite side of that planet, a few characters return. Tipper's character matures throughout her journey from impetuous, sheltered young girl to confident and curious woman. The cast of characters bring plenty of chuckles and form a tightly bonded pseudo-family under the care of Wulder . This book is perfect for younger readers who enjoy dragons and fantasy, as well as us older readers who enjoy great writing and fascinating characters.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Christian message

    Donita K. Paul successfully creates a fascinating world replete with giant parrots, tumanhofer, and emerlindian. This fantasy novel has an undeniable Christian message and appeal. Nevertheless, to the non-believer the message will be subtle enough not to be obtrusive. The Vanishing Sculptor is suitable and will appeal to all ages. At a little less than 400 pages, the size might seem daunting to children under 10. I have two complaints. Let's get that over with so that I can go back to singing this novel's praises. 1. Why do authors feel that have to make up strange words and names? Keep it simple! 2. These are some inconsistencies between the text and the map. Since this book would be excellent for children, being consistent is important. I like this novel. The characters are entertaining, interesting, and well developed. I am always looking for books that will interest middle schooners. That is such an important age and it is difficult to find books that will catch their interest and hold it. The Vanishing Sculptor fits that bill nicely.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Same World, New Land and Characters

    Donita K. Paul has captured my heart and mind and lifted my spirit again. The Vanishing Sculptor takes place in the same world as The Dragon Keeper Chronicles, but in a new land with a new cast of characters. While the characters are new, there is enough familiarity with each of them that you become quickly attached to them. Soon you are lost in the adventure with them and loving every minute of it.
    Mrs. Paul's wholesome writing, that echoes biblical themes, makes The Vanishing Sculptor a true joy to read or to read to your child. I truly hope with all of my heart that we have not seen the last of the characters in this new world that Donita Paul has created.

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  • Posted May 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    THE VANISHING SCULPTOR is a super fantasy in a different land but the same world as that of the DragonKeeper Chronicles

    In Chiril, Emerlindian Tipper has been left in charge of their family estate while her father the sculptor is away to the fear and consternation of her mom, his wife. However, she learns some of her actions she thought innocent have had a nasty impact that could destroy her father and ultimately their world.

    With her dragon companion Zabeth who fears big snakes (and little ones too), Tipper tries to rectify her mistakes, but finds the endeavor to huge for her. She knows her mom cannot help her or her neighbors as they have nothing to assist her in fixing the errors. Desperate she gathers as allies Beccaroon the giant parrot and Prince Jayrus the dragon rider to help her. They work together to enable father and daughter to flourish under the love of the Creator.

    THE VANISHING SCULPTOR is a super fantasy in a different land but the same world as that of the DragonKeeper Chronicles. The story line is fast-paced once the heroine knows what she must undo or at least mend. In some ways a relationship drama that focuses on a daughter who is chip off the old block of her father, readers will enjoy Donita K. Paul's expansion of her realm to a place where the people are about to learn just who Wulder is and what he can do.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted May 20, 2011

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    Posted November 11, 2010

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    Posted June 13, 2011

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