image Here Be Dragons by Sarah Mussi


Book One of a fantasy trilogy set in Wales

dragons

There are a few things I really liked in this book and I want to list them out so they don’t get lost in my review:

  • the story is set in Wales and makes reference to the the great mythological stories from Wales – The Mabigonion is referenced as is Merlin.
  • the writing is fresh with the story told in the words of Ellie, a fifteen year old girl, complete with slang, texts and crossings out when she realises her words have overstepped the line
  • when I finished the book, I still wanted to read more about the dragons of Wales and of Ellie

The book is about Ellie, a young fatherless girl who lives with her mother on Snowdonia. She dreams of going to sixth form and of finding her true love – not George her nearest neighbour. She does love him, but not in that way! One day, helping her mother rescue a lost climber she sees a young boy on the mountain and she is drawn to him. When she finally meets Henry, she is smitten. Except that Henry blows hot and cold and George’s gran warns her off Henry. What is Henry’s secret and can Ellie change what seems like an inevitable fate for both Henry and herself?

The author manages to leave the reader in suspense as to who Henry is and what his presence means for Ellie for the first half of the book. The second half of the book centres around Ellie and Henry’s attempts to ensure each other’s safety and overcome the magic that will condemn them to be apart. At times Ellie’s brash narrating style can grate a little but the story is strong and, as the pages slip away, the reader starts to worry about whether or not things will turn out well. By the end of the book it is clear why this is a trilogy: Ellie and Henry’s story is bigger than just one book and I look forward to seeing how the story develops.

Readers who enjoy fantasy, especially fantasy embedded in existing myths and legends will enjoy this book. There is plenty of action and adventure and Ellie and Henry’s love story is innocent and gentle. This is not a difficult read, Ellie’s narrating style means that the book is accessible to readers from the age of twelve upwards.

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