Monday, December 7, 2015

How to Fight a Dragon's Fury by Cressida Cowell, 2015

Warning: lots of spoilers ahead! This is a review of the twelfth book in a series, so please don't read it unless you're ready to ruin the first eleven books for yourself.

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Book 12 is the epic finale to the New York Times bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series! The Doomsday of Yule has arrived, and the future of dragonkind lies in the hands of one boy with nothing to show, but everything to fight for. Hiccup's quest is clear... But can he end the rebellion? Can he prove himself to be king? Can he save the dragons? The stakes have never been higher, as the very fate of the Viking world hangs in the balance!
(416 pages)

Oh, man. How can this series be over? When I started it, just a year or two ago, there seemed to be a million of these books. And even though they were geared at kids almost half my age, I still gobbled them up by the handful - they were fun and silly at first, full of naughty dragons and crazy escapades. Then somewhere along the line I realized that I actually did care about Hiccup and Toothless and Fishlegs and all the rest - not just because they provided an escape from my world, but because they were legitimately compelling characters. The next thing I knew things were escalating, falling into place and then back out as Hiccup discovered the random adventures he'd been on had all led him to the items he would need to claim a throne he'd never even realized he was the heir to. And then the villain snatched the items away, and a giant dragon with a bitter, burning desire for revenge against the humans enslaved everyone Hiccup knew, and Hiccup was left on the run. And now here he is one last time, starting in dead last one final time as he fights to gain the throne and negotiate a peace that would mean the survival of both the humans and the dragons, despite the terrible war raging between the two species. A seemingly impossible goal, true, but then Hiccup has been in many impossible places before.

I truly loved every minute of watching him navigate his way through this one. Through all twelve books, Cressida Cowell's writing has never once dropped in quality, and I believe (though I haven't read it in a while) that the first How to Train Your Dragon book was no huge leap greater than this twelfth installment. How does she do it? I have no idea - but I wish all authors could be as consistent as she is!

There isn't really anything for me to say, besides that the quality is as high as ever and it's a fulfilling (if rather tear-wrenching) ending to a wonderful series. If you have read the first eleven How to Train Your Dragon books, then you're really not going to wait for my encouragement to read the twelfth. And if you haven't read any of these books, then what on earth are you doing reading this review?! Leave this page right now and go check out the first book in the series, How to Train Your Dragon. I know you won't be disappointed.

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