|Dragonwatch book 1 (c) 2017 |
by Brandon Mull
I find this story interesting, because unlike many books where the antagonist doesn't have a clear motive for what he does, I can actually see the dragons' point of view. The situation reminded me of incoming Europeans confining Native Americans to reservations. Though the motives are different, and so are the species. It isn't a matter of cultures clashing, or me being greedy for someone else's land. It's about me not getting eaten by something one hundred times bigger than myself. It's about raw survival. So I see the real necessity of keeping dragons away from humans; because from the destruction that dragons can do, I, as a tiny, chewy human, don't want them roaming free. Neither do Kendra, Seth, their grandparents, and others. But Celebrant doesn't like to be confined. While I can see the point of view of the dragons as a group, I really don't like Celebrant. He's a plain all around jerk. I am certain that with his character, he would be a jerk in the best of situations. He's the kind of guy who is looking for a reason to be mad, and if he didn't have the excuse of complaining about being confined to a dragon reserve, he'd find something else to be mad about. I don't see him as a noble but wronged leader, like Sitting Bull, or Crazy Horse. He's just a bad leader all around, and his fellow dragons would be better off picking someone who wasn't as inherently mean-spirited, and was better at negotiating. He belongs in dragon prison, not leading other dragons.
The book, like Brandon Mull's other books, is very well written, and the characters believable and multi-faceted. I highly recommend it to young readers of fantasy, and to adults as well. It's the kind of book that that can be read and enjoyed by more than just its target audience. And I look forward to the other books in the series!