3 out of 4 stars
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A long time ago, four dragons by the names of Candice, Edan, Vulcan, and Ashbel ruled the four kingdoms. Candice ruled Ceptem; Edan, Nava; Vulcan, the Red Islands; and Ashbel, king of dragons, ruled Remular. A time came when they decided to create a special race of Nomads who, by science, were kind and never felt hate or envy. These new creations were incapable of any form of violence and were called “Red Lips.”
Generations later, following the massacre of the Red Lips by the Nomad king and the war that had broken out within the kingdoms, the dragons retreated to a hidden place in the Red Islands called Dragons Nest. There, they called for the strongest Reds, and these Red Lips were given the will to kill the king. In the end, the nature of the Red Lips prevailed, and they failed to kill the king. However, several years later, there is a new sense of hope to kill the king as a Red Lip with special powers called Rose is born. With help from Dragons Nest, can an adolescent Rose overcome her nature to kill the king and end the war? Or is she just overrated? What price does she have to pay to save her people? Read Called To Dragons Nest by Madison Hinko to find the answers to these questions and more.
I have to commend the efforts of the young author in putting together this piece. At only fourteen, Hinko has written a novel that satisfies most elements that make up a good fiction story. Firstly, the character development was superb. Even though there were a lot of characters, the writer did a great job of describing them. I was able to create a vision of how each character looked like. Also, the dialogue between characters helped me understand each character's personality. As a result, I could tell which character was talking at every point. My favorite character was Erik; he was one of the Red Lips that failed to kill the king. I loved the love-hate relationship that the author tried to create between Erik and Rose. Erik was the only character that added a bit of humor to the story, and this is why I connected more with him. However, it was nice to see that the writer gave girls more important roles throughout the story.
Additionally, the book seemed to be professionally edited, as I found only five minor errors throughout the text. Also, I found the plot interesting, and the pace of the book was just right for the story. The author provided sufficient answers to the questions that arose throughout this suspense-filled story. This novel would appeal to young adults and anyone that likes a good fiction story. However, readers that are affected by gore or profanity are advised to read this one with caution as there are multiple profane words and gory scenes. I rate this novel 3 out of 4 stars. I deducted one star because there were some aspects of the book that I didn’t enjoy.
One thing I didn’t enjoy about the novel was the way it ended. Firstly, things moved a bit too smoothly for Rose and her adolescent companions for most of the story, and in the end, it seemed like the author suddenly realized that Rose’s team had little to no casualties and decided to force the demise of multiple important characters. I felt those deaths came too late in the story and was unnecessary. Secondly, I had expected to see a more stern opposition from the king early on, but it seemed like he was not as ruthless as the story painted him to be from the beginning. I mean, how can a bunch of teens take on a king that has a track record of massacring people and find it easy?
Called to Dragons Nest
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