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After flagging a little in the intermediate books, Cressida Cowell's saga has hit its stride with a vengeance in the two latest. Perhaps the film has given her a shot in the arm, even though it was so very loosely based on the books (good, but very little to do with them)? My son is fed up that those who purchase the early books now get character cards thrown in, whereas those who have been loyal followers of Hiccup from the beginning (and bought them all pre-film) miss out. However, we are both pleased that CC is keeping to her own individual course with these stories, not bending to the film's style.
The story has got much bigger and more cosmic, and some of the efforts to re-incorporate all the plot-points of the earlier books as aspects of the new Titanic Struggle are inevitably a bit forced. And there seem to be even more species of dragons than there are beetles ... some of us are losing track. Still, this is a great page-turner. Hiccup prioritises finding his friend Fishlegs over seeking the Dragon's Jewel, and secretly infiltrates the Slavelands. There he finds his fellow Vikings searching for amber - and something more valuable still - on the endless red sands, where lurks a menace even scarier than the inrushing tide ... How will the story of Fishlegs's past impact on Hiccup's quest? Will the revolting Snotlout finally get his come-uppance? Will Hiccup manage to bring peace before Vikings and dragons wipe each other out, and will Toothless the dragon ever grow any less annoying? Find out some of the answers here.
The thing that is not made clear, and my son really dislikes, about the Kindle version of these books is that they omit the illustrations! This is a major part of these books, and a really huge item to omit! Frankly given they are mono illustrations (i.e. black and white) it makes zero sense to omit them. Really poor given they cost near as much as the paperback.
My daughter has read all of these books and is eagerly waiting for the next installment due out in September. She is now fluent in dragonese. Lovely characters - hero's that don't have super powers or are the best at everything - just brave and true to their friends and are smart and compassionate. Has had both me and my daughter also laughing out loud - Camacazi and toothless are especially funny. Good role models for girls and boys alike - good adventures, lots of excitement and fantasy but with great heart. Brilliant.
I' ve waited a long time for this one. So happy to have it. Things judt got serious with the Dragon's Rebelion. The village depends on Hiccup more than ever. I read this book but i need to hear the audiobook, because it's just beyond 5 stars to hear David Tennant acting the characters.
You need to read these books in order, so don't buy this as your first book in the How to Train your Dragon series. My boys really love these, they are suitable from about 5 years (the film a little younger) and it got the older one really into books. Good as a pre Harry Potter/Hobbit series of books. PS you will probably need to get them torches so they can read them under the covers when they think you think they are asleep.