On the run from the royal army in a giant mechanical centipede, sixteen-year-old Jade Sol embarks on a dangerous adventure to help her father escape from the Isle of Dragons-a land of untamed magic that some believe only exists in myth. When Jade is cornered by soldiers, a mysterious witch name Miria Atkins rescues her, calling on spirits from a magical realm to channel their mystical energy into light and matter. Jade begs Miria and the sorceress’s mechanist brother, Dan, to join her quest.
The siblings resist at first, but their hearts soften when they hear of her father’s fate. Their own parents had attempted an expedition from Vansh to the Isle of Dragons years ago and never returned. Together, the trio of young heroes journey across the feudal countryside trek across the sea to become the first humans to reach the elusive Isle of Dragons.
Genre: Young Adults / Fantasy / sci-fi
Age appropriate: 11+
Number of Pages: 381 pages
Date of Publication: 11/12/2020
‘Isle of Dragons’ is written by L.A. Thompson. She was the editor for the Society of Women Writers Victoria publication and she has conducted writing workshops on creative writing.
Rating: 3/ 5
This is the first book of a new trilogy for young adults about a girl called Jade of House Sol who is trying to find her father who was imprisoned and was apparently taken to the Isle of Dragons. While running away from the capital she met a girl called Miria who decided to help her. Jane stayed with Miria and her family while they came up with a plan that will take them to the Isle. There were a few unexpected situations that Jade and her new friend’s had to go through before finally making the trip to the Isle of Dragons with Miriam and her brother Dan.
This is a book that I found myself asking who was it really meant for? It could potentially be good for middle graders but it is too long and the plot details not well enough explained so I don’t think middle graders will really get it. I also found that it was too simple for young adults without having much depth built into the fantasy world.
The main character has a strong personality and is very determined in finding her father and will let nothing stop her. Miriam is also a good character and has magical powers and her friendship with Jade is special, both of their personalities clashed but they respected each other. I did wish we could have learned more about the characters individually and also seen more of a dynamic with each other as sometimes the interactions between them felt flat and I just didn’t get to know them like I would have wish for. In this book we can also find witches, dragons, a giant metal centipede and more but while there was a great variety of interesting fantasy and steampunk elements none of this was well explained.
I read the whole book but I did feel the urge to skip some pages as nothing was happening. I feel that this book had more potential both in the writing and in developing the plot than was shown in the finished work. I also hope the writer also will answer the many questions that this book left unanswered. While this review is not exactly glowing it was clear there was potential for something very interesting in there and I want to know more about the story so I am looking forward to reading the second book.
Thank you so much L.A. Thompson and Ben Cameron for my copy.
Availability: The book is available in paperback and ebook at all good bookshops and online retailers.