Tuesday 3 February 2015

The Last Dragon Charmer - Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay Review!

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Title : The Last Dragon Charmer - Villain Keeper
Author : Laurie McKay
Pages : 352
Published : February 3rd 2015
Publisher : HaperCollins
Source : Edelweiss
Purchase : Amazon / iTunes

Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he's always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero.

My Thoughts :

When Prince Caden is finally sent on a mission to slay a Dragon and become an Elite Paladin, he is thrilled, though thinks it's odd that he is being sent in the middle of the night with no fanfare. He sets off and quickly finds the dragon, but the next thing he knows, he along with Brynne (whom was nearby at the time) are swept away in a wave of dark magic. They end up in Asheville, North Carolina in modern times. It's a land of no Dragons and no magic so how can he finish his mission and get home?

Caden is caught by the police and sent to a foster home where a girl has been missing for the last week. This girl went missing the exact same time as Caden was dragged into this world. He realises there might be a connection and sets out to find the truth, though he has to survive school first! His first day of school he realises that this is no ordinary school and the teachers look an awful lot like villains from his realm that were banished!! When one of the teachers confirms his fears, he knows that not everything is as it seems. He will have to work with Brynne and Tito, his foster brother, to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on. 

This was such a fun, fast paced and adventurous read!! I loved it. 

Caden was an absolute hoot. He is sent into modern times and always tells the truth, so when he is asked why he is out in the woods with no parents, he tells the police exactly what happens. Needless to say, they think he is lying but have an obligation to get him shelter. They take him to a foster carer and he still tells it like he is. It was so funny reading the things he says and the reactions of people. Caden was such an awesome character, he was loyal, brave and honest. He just wanted to finish his quest and go home. He knows right from wrong and stands up for Tito when he is getting bullied. He is an admirable hero for kids. 

All the characters in this book were so well written and developed, even the villains. Tito is another foster child and bless, my heart went out to him. He was so afraid of getting in trouble in case he was sent away that he left people bully him. When Caden comes along, he thinks he is cuckoo but can't help but be charmed by him. I loved reading how their friendship grows and they end up relying on each other. 

Plot wise, it's really fast paced. The story itself is quite complex and you really don't know who is who and what's going to happen. It's revealed slowly and there are quite a few twists as well. We are still left with a lot of unanswered questions which makes me want book 2 like yesterday.

Anyway, I absolutely loved this book and flew through the pages. Its an action packed, often times laugh out loud, read. From it's amusing characters to it's adventurous plot, The Last Dragon Charmer : Villain Keeper is a must read. The author has made a fantastic world filled with mystery and magic and characters that you cant help but love. I'd highly recommend this book and can't wait for more. It's an impressive debut and definitely an author to keep an eye on. My boys are currently reading it by themselves and have told me twice already how good it is!! 


  1. It's like the reverse of fantasy books like narnia where kids are transported to a magical land! I like that the villains wound up here too. I'm glad that there's plenty of humor in this book. Sounds like his reactions to our world was fun too. That's so cool that you shared this book with your kids. :)

    1. Thanks Molly! I loved this and so did my boys. If a book can make us all love it as much as this one then it's a definite winner!!