I’m a fantasy nut. I love spells and scary monsters. Harry Potter is my number 1 book! But, above all, I love dragons. So this middle grade fantasy novel enticingly entitled Dragon Brothers should be right up my street. And, you know what, it was. But not in the way I imagined.
You see, this novel is not a ‘dragon’ novel as such. It’s actually a cleverly plotted story looking at ‘inequality’. But, in this story, the inequality is not a result of different skin colour or different sex, it’s to do with magic: the magic-born Shaynen and the non-magic Klor. The Shaynen look down on the Klor and it is up to the Dragon Brothers to find a way for the two to co-exist.
This is a very politically correct novel. Not only is the dilemma very relevant to the world we presently live in, but as the book’s blurb says, ‘Featuring a gender nonbinary protagonist and lesbian side characters, Dragon Brothers offers a voice of inclusivity for children everywhere.’ Now this might put a few children off. But don’t let it. The author’s very good and the story is not ‘preachy’ at all. In terms of storytelling, it’s excellent. The characters are interesting and well-developed, the fantasy world is intriguing and the plot is superbly structured. A bit like C S Lewis’s Narnia books, there’s a message in there, but the author still wants to entertain the reader with a wonderful story.
So, can I recommend this book? Absolutely. In fact, it’s a bit of a gem. I suspect 9 – 12-year-olds will find this story a blast. And, if it happens to help them think a little about inequality, all the better.
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review www.thewsa.co.uk
Copyright © 2023 Lara Lillibridge
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