I chose this book and bought a copy because I won the second in the series in Goodread’s ‘First Reads’ and I just had to read the first in the series! Although I do enjoy dragon stories, I may not have selected this book to read without some other motivation, personally I prefer Westerns, some romance, or horse books, and I must say that without this author and these books my reading experience has been lacking. Three cheers.
I enjoyed the fresh and subtle plot and the twists along the way which kept me engaged. I love, love, love the detailed descriptions and the colorful language (which was used as a point to separate the classes and was disdained to the point of humor). The characters and made up creatures were fun and believable in a fantasy sort of way and I felt a true connection to the heroine, Jennifer Strange. One of the best elements of this story in my humble opinion is the melding of old and new. Medieval dragons, trolls, (and what in the world is a Quarkbeast?) and magic all combined in a world of cars, telephones, and computer code is just cool. And I appreciated the very hidden messages of conservation, loyalty, and standing up for one's own beliefs.
I quickly got into the story as young Jennifer, an orphan, a foundling indentured into work as manager of magic in the aging hotel full of mostly retired sorcerers. She faces her challenges with wit and courage that belies her age. I laughed with her, I feared for her, and I grieved as she faced her greatest challenge.
I recommend this book to young people, it will expand your horizons, and to adults, it will renew your belief in goodness.