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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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***Dragon's Bait

by Vivian Vande Velde

Reviewed January 20, 2004.
Magic Carpet Books (Harcourt), Orlando, 2003.  First published in 1992.  196 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF VAN).

When a greedy neighbor covets her father’s shop, Alys is accused of witchcraft.  Her frail father dies at hearing her sentence—She is to be left for the young dragon who has been troubling a neighboring town.

Things don’t turn out as the villagers, or Alys, expect, and she gets a second chance at life.  With the help of a new ally, she turns her attention to revenge.

This is an imaginative and well-written book, but revenge is a dark subject, so that makes this a dark book.  The ending is a bit unsatisfying.  I’m not completely convinced that she’s any better off or any happier than when the book began.

I like Vivian Vande Velde’s more recent books—Heir Apparent, The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, and Wizard at Work—better than this one.  I’d like to think that that’s because she’s improving as a writer, and her books are only getting better.

Reviews of other books by Vivian Vande Velde:
Three Good Deeds
Cloaked in Red
A Hidden Magic
A Well-Timed Enchantment
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Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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