Thursday, May 31, 2012

Batty About Books - Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac - Part 1

Maria (@mselke01) and I are reading together 
and we are now 
Batty About Dragon Castle

We chose this book after failing to love The Beyonders by Brandon Mull.  We spent two weeks and 190 pages before we decided to abandon it.  That's much longer than I think a student would stick with it.  We used the same list - The Cybils SciFi/Fan 2011 nominations list - to pick Dragon Castle which made it all the way to finalist for MG.

Maria's words are in the funky pink - too lazy to change it!

Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac - Part 1 - pgs. 1 - 113

I love the voice in this one. Part mocking part serious. It reminds me of Jonathan Stroud’s Heroes of the Valley.  In that one Halli is also different from his family. He feels ugly and unworthy and thinks he has to prove that he is every bit the hero as his ancestors were. Though, he was none too bright.
Maria: Yes! I love the little twists of sarcastic humor mixed into the serious tales.

Speaking of not being bright. I love how Rashko can’t see how cunning his family really is. He thinks he has to protect them when they seem to be doing alright by themselves. Except for the case of Paulek vs. Poteshenie.
Yes! It’s like the other three are all in on the “joke” (scheme?) but for some reason Rashko hasn’t figured it out. I’m also not convinced that Paulek is completely under her spell. The more I read of that family, the more I’m feeling like all of the buffoonery is an act.

Speaking of Poteshenie. It’s obvious she’s not the Baron’s daughter but who is she? And how can the daughter of a Baron be a princess?
Ooo... good point! I’m pretty sure she’s not human. It seems like we keep seeing a glint of something behind her eyes. Maybe she’s on the dark end of the sidhe.

Speaking of the Baron. Do you think he’s related to the Dark Lord? Is he real? The mention of glamour and mist caught my eyes!
I’m still betting on more Fairie tie ins. We’ve seen the light side of the fey (tricky, yes, but the King and Queen seem relatively content and safe there), but we haven’t yet seen the dark.

Speaking of Pavol - I love the alternating story lines! I keep waiting to see how the two will intersect! Can’t decide if Gregor from earlier times is Black Yanosh of the present time. They have the same habit of appearing at certain times of the year and training the boys - Pavol and Rashko
Maria: Hmm... didn’t even think of that. I like it!

Speaking of Rashko - What did Georgi mean by “there’s never been a better time to begin remembering”? Must.Not.Read.Ahead.
Maria: See? This is why I didn’t read ahead. I wanted to respond to you with no extra knowledge. Now that I’m sitting down to write back, I can read on.

Overall, I like this one! Even though Bruchac uses flowery language and doesn’t always explain his terminology - the voice is compelling! It keeps you entertained and mystified! I can’t wait to learn more about “Cesta - The road teaches us to give one thing for another.” (p42) You know that has to come up again later! Someone must take something without giving in return. Gah, I need to stop trying to predict everything!
Maria: Agreed. The language use flows in this one, it fits. And I have faith that I’ll figure out the terms and such as I progress in the story. That’s part of the deal when you read a fantasy novel, right? I loved how he “earned”’ his wolves (and I love wolves anyway, they rank up there with dragons and dolphins on my loved creatures list) Maybe something with the bag? I’m sure it will tie in again, dragons are notorious for trades, too.

Be sure to check out Maria's Melange to read the rest of the story!


  1. As I just wrote on Maria's blog, I'm glad you are enjoying it! Have you finished it yet????

  2. Sounds like a great story--I especially love the names. Re: lazy pink, why change what works? ;-)


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