Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell

‘How to Train Your Dragon’

By Cressida Cowell

Book #1 in the How to Train Your Dragon Series

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date: 2004
Pages: 214
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 4
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as “the Dragon Whisperer”…but it wasn’t always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and become a hero!

Straight up I was expecting ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell to be the same as the movie because I’d seen that way before I’d even known it was a book. It is definitely not like the movie. But I ended up really enjoying it.

We follow Hiccup as he partakes in training. As part of this training he is expected to collect a small dragon from a den of dragons to train to become his own. I appreciate Hiccups realisation that this is not a good idea and that being the biggest and scariest Viking isn’t the most important thing.

We also meet Toothless. I think this is where there is the biggest difference between the movie and the book. Toothless in the movie is a Night Fury where has Toothless in the book is a common dragon. I feel like this is a key difference.

Toothless is a sassy dragon that has self preservation at the heart of all his actions and his development through the book is great for such a short book.

This is another easy read, definitely one that I flew through. It is a series that I will complete in the future.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 9.5/10
Character Development:8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars: 4/5

Review: ‘The Wizards of Once’ By Cressida Cowell

wizard

‘The Wizards of Once’
By Cressida Cowell
(Book #1 in the Wizards of Once Series) 

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 389
Series: The Wizards of Once (Book #1)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Amazon & Kindle Audible Dymocks QBD

Synopsis 

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure …

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring.

My Thoughts

Outright, I really enjoyed this book. I had never read a book by Cressida Cowell but once I saw that she had written ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ I knew I wanted to read this story. I was not disappointed.

The story starts by following Xar (Pronounced Zar) a Wizard with no magical powers (yet). He’s a great character to start with. He is very self confident – regardless of his lack of magic – and is on the hunt to catch a witch to steal magic. We quickly meet is band of followers, magical creatures and adviser Caliburn who is a bird.

We learn about Xar’s plan and how he feels about his brother Looter (who in my opinion is not very nice) before we meet our other main character, Wish. She is a Warrior. Readers learn about the rift between the Witches and Warriors. Wish is a warrior who doesn’t want to be a warrior and enjoys all things magical – including an enchanted spoon which is where we first meet her.

The characters are introduced so well in the story and you make connections with them very quickly which I think is a spectacular characteristic particularly for middle grade novels and children need to be engaged instantly.

The illustrations throughout the book really enhanced the story and allowed you to picture this world that Wish and Xar inhabit. They go along nicely with the descriptions of the world. My particular favourites were the Spelling book, the tree house in which Xar lives and the dungeons in Wish’s Mother’s kingdom.

I was encapsulated in this little world from start to finish, I loved how they made Xar likeable and unlikable at the same time. I also loved Wish, as someone that works at an all girls school I love seeing determined, brave and daring female characters to introduce to the girls.

Rating

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  4.5/5

Chat with me footer

Have you read any of Cressida Cowell’s other books?