- nrlymrtl, 06/12/2011
Over the years I have read a few Robin McKinley novels, such as Sunshine and Deerskin. When I picked up Dragonhaven, I expected some of the same sort of writing: dark and sultry, graphic, a little twisted. Dragonhaven was a very different novel. To start with, it is told from the view point of a 17-year-old boy in the first person, complete with run on sentences and slang. I picked this book up after finishing a N. K. Jemisin novel, and totally had to switch gears. But by the second chapter I was hooked.
Picture Wyoming, near-present-day future. Dragons, and a few other mythical beasties, roam the earth. Most are nearly extinct and a national park and dragon wildlife habitat has been set aside by the US government. There a visitors’ entrance, little museum of sorts, gift shop, tour buses, park rangers, etc. No petting zoo. A little twist that got me hooked on the story was that dragons come out of Australia and are marsupials. Yep, a dragon baby pouch.
So we ride along with this teenage boy, Jake Mendoza, who has basically been raised at Dragonhaven and he comes across a dying dragon, and her dead newly born babes. All but one. How would you raise a marsupial baby dragon? Trials and tribulations of the press, trying to keep a very big secret from a good chunk of the world, coming of age story. Then we meet the other dragons and communication becomes a very big deal. It was a touching, warming story with a good ending. The book is acceptable for all ages.