Review: A School for Dragons by Amy Wolf

A School for Dragons (The Cavernis Trilogy #1) by Amy Wolf
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Summary:
Mattie Sharpe—seventeen and bored in L.A. —is getting into trouble. She gets into even more when she's whisked to Cavernis, a world teeming with dragons. But these are dragons as you've never seen them: they are fussy gourmets; work as lawyers & CPA's; and attend their school ASH, where they take classes like TNS ("Tails, Nails & Scales").

Reuniting with her childhood friend, Mattie learns why she’s been brought there, and even heads ASH’s rowing team, Skull & Bones. She learns how to be a knight from the mysterious Eli, a small mute dragon…or is he?


Book Review:
A School for Dragons by Amy Wolf was, SPOILER ALERT, an average story - it has a hero with a good heart, a great friendship and, SURPRISE, a school that is run for and by dragons. It even comes with a moral; I can't even remember the last time I read one of those. The above sentences might have been dripping with too much sarcasm and a tint of disappointment because I read this book as an adult and maybe expected a Young Adult story; however, I think this story would be great for the age group of 8-12 years.

The story follows the struggles of an LA girl, Mattie going to the school for dragons. She goes to school with dragons, lives with them, trains with them and even fights for them when the time comes. At the heart of this story lies a great friendship, the kind we wish we had to lean on, to make us see the light when we are in darkness.

I loved the story when I started reading it. It had seemed so pure but as the story progressed, it became more about the story’s movement than the characters taking their time and reason to develop. The story needed them to be a certain way and so they just did and that seemed like an injustice to the characters that could do so much more.

A lot of characters in the story like the various dragons, St George and a few others that I wouldn’t mention because, spoiler alert, are borrowed from or inspired by myths and legends. When you write such characters, the key to making them a success is, knowing how much to borrow and how much to make up on your own. For that, you have to not just have the imagination but know where to make that transition - where legend stops and turns into what you wrote it to be. And that transition point has to be believable to the readers, it should leave them wanting for more than what you just gave them. One of the finest examples I have seen for this is Dan Brown's writing - if you have read his books, you know what I mean; if you haven't, run to your nearest bookstore or library!

I believe the book could have used a good copy editor and a sensitivity reader. Copy editing is recommended because some of writing could be improved if someone were to just point out a few punctuations. And I have to say this, when you want to enunciate accents and dialects in a book, you have to be very careful to not offend the community as well as make sure it’s not overdone and the reader does understand the dialogues. I believe A School for Dragons has the potential to pass on some really good message to the kids and it should not be tripping over silly reasons like missing commas or a bad accent or an overused phrase.


*A review copy was provided to Oh Just Books by the author in exchange for an honest review* 
 
This review written by - Ashwati 

A person who loves to not just read books, but bring forth the characters to life inside her head; then she loves them, hates them, studies them like specimens, and analyses their redeeming qualities and flaws, all the while wishing she were a part of the story and its universe.
PS: she also loves long sentences.

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