Book Review: Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

Voices Of Dragons is the debut YA novel from Carrie Vaughn. It was published by Harper Teen on 16th March 2010 and the book is 309 pages long.

In a version of a modern day world, humans and dragons coexist although not easily. Many years ago, humans and dragons stopped interacting and are now shut off from one another, fearing what the other may do if something goes wrong.

Adventurous seventeen year old Kay happens to cross the line of the human/ dragon divide one day while out hiking and her life changes forever. On the other side of that divide, Kay meets a dragon who doesn’t breath fire at her, try to kill or kidnap her like people have feared for so long now. Instead, the dragon actually talks to her! Kay had heard rumours of what the dragons were capable of but she never dreamt that she would actually get to talk to one herself. As Kay and the dragon, Artegal, decide to help each other out, the quickly become friends.

Unknown to any normal citizen, a war is looming between humans and dragons but will this unlikely friendship be enough to stop something devastating from happening?

What I thought
To begin with, dragons are a fantastic subject to have in books so I was immediately looking forward to reading this one.

The thing I love so much about this book is the fact that it is set in the present day. Characters do normal things like go to school and watch TV while doing their homework. The world isn’t about to end, there are no crazy love triangles and really, everything is pretty simple as far as things go compared to some other YA novels. I liked that instead of two countries going to war, it was the different races of humans and dragons. The reasons behind the conflict were great and were also justified well when exciting things began to happen. Although dragons may seem like a slightly strange creature to put in a book that is set now, I guess you could also say that they are no different from including something like vampires.

I really liked Kay, the female main character. Her voice was strong from the very beginning and she was obviously very comfortable with knowing exactly who she is. Not many characters in YA are this confident in themselves and it was extremely refreshing to see. I can’t say that I missed all of the teenage angst and worrying about whether or not a boy liked here and if he didn’t, why not. She was also rebellious when it came to carrying out something she believed in, even when people told her not to. I loved so many things about Kay because she breaks the mould for female characters by the way she acts, things she does and what interests her which are things like hiking and climbing. It was really great to see a bit of a tomboy for a change.

Kay also has some great friends and a lovely relationship. Jon, who was once a best friend has now turned boyfriend and Kay has some pretty mixed feelings about this which was a good thing. She doesn’t fall in love with him immediately and she doesn’t think the whole world revolves around him. Kay also doesn’t jump into a relationship with him the minute he shows her some interest which is more than the kind that friends do. I loved that Kay was cautious when it came to taking things to the next level with Jon as she didn’t want to ruin their great friendship.

The whole dragon aspect of this book was amazing. Not only is there the human/ dragon divide but there is a whole load of mythology behind where they have come from and what they are doing now. Artegal was a lovely character too who really showed compassion and understanding for Kay, even though they were so different. It was interesting to learn things about the dragons from Artegal and to be able to learn more about why he wanted to learn. It was interesting to see that the dragons had so much more in common with humans than I would have thought possible and I really enjoyed learning more and more about them as the book went on.

The ending is what really disappointed me though. With no idea if there will be a sequel, I was left reeling from a pretty big cliff-hanger. So much was left unresolved and I still want to know a lot more. If there is no sequel, the ending was extremely poor due to leaving the story completely open with no real round up of what happened. I want to know what happened to Kay and Artegal without their story left being all over the place. Voices of Dragons very much reminds me of the film ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ in some ways but with a lot of added depth and with an up to date twist. A lovely story although the ending really let the book down.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good apart from the ending which I think has just put me off adding it to the wish-list unless a sequel is confirmed. Brilliant review as always <3


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