Book Review: The Chronicles of Kale, A Dragon’s Awakening by Aya Knight

Book Details:

File Size: 2642 KB
Print Length: 396 pages
Publisher: Silver Knight Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: December 31, 2011
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Book Summary:

Kale Firehart is a young dragon, and the sole survivor of his race.  As a tyrannical general and his massive bloodthirsty army close in on Kale, the most unexpected circumstance transpires.  With time against him, Kale’s trusted friend, a veteran arcane sorcerer, transforms him into the one thing he despises most—a human.

Kale must unwillingly live among human-kind as he embarks upon an extraordinary journey.  With a band of unlikely friends by his side, can Kale overcome the obstacles before him and return to the life he once knew?  The age of dragons is all but over…

About the Author:

Aya Knight was born in South Florida, where she spent the majority of her childhood.  At a young age she developed a strong passion for fantasy and a love of writing.  Through movies, books and video/computer games she would escape into an alternate reality filled with adventure, magic and epic quests.  As Aya entered adulthood, she expressed her enjoyment of writing through becoming a freelance journalist.  She wrote about a broad variety of topics that gave her a brighter insight of the world.  Eventually a story began to develop within her mind involving characters she immediately grew attached to.  Aya knew that she needed to compile her thoughts onto paper.  She grew so intrigued with the evolving storyline that she placed all hopes within the hands of her imagination, leaving journalism behind.  Aya now lives in Central Florida with her husband and two sons where she continues her passion for writing.

For more information about the author go to: http://www.ayaknight.com

Book Review:

One of the biggest challenges in writing fantasy fiction is balancing between cliché and outrageous unbelievability in an author’s newly imagined world.  Fantasy fiction authors aren’t just creating characters; this genre also requires writers to develop entire cultures complete with customs, laws, languages, and everything that goes along with birthing a new civilization.

The Chronicles of Kale: A Dragon’s Awakening is the first book is an interesting and fun young adult fantasy fiction adventure.  The story draws you in immediately, utilizing a rare fast-paced narrative.  Where most writers rely heavily on dialog, The Chronicles of Kale: A Dragon’s Awakening is driven by wonderful descriptive writing which takes a good bit of talent to achieve.

The book’s protagonist, Kale, is a dragon—a rather arrogant dragon, at that—who despises humans with the rare exception of his sorcerer friend, Thomas.  The drama begins when a misguided military leader, with some personal baggage about dragons, convinces the king to grant him authority to hunt down and kill every single last dragon until they are extinct.  General Jedah has concocted a story about kind and benevolent King Valamar’s daughter, claiming she has died a horrible death by dragon when in fact she has been cursed and stuck in a magical forest of sorts.  General Jedah’s campaign of terror has successfully disposed of every dragon but one, which puts Kale directly in the depraved General’s crosshairs.

Through magic—of course—Kale is transformed into a human young man for his own protection and that is where his journey of growth and personal exploration begins.  Oh, yeah . . . he’s also intent on exposing General Jedah, rescuing the King’s daughter and saving dragons from extinction.  But the most compelling component of this dragon tale is Kale’s personal maturation process eventually becoming confident in his role as human hero.

Fantasy fiction has a tendency to be formulaic as are most tales about good versus evil; as readers, we accept this inevitability and, in some cases, expect this predictability as long as the characters are well developed and engaging.  Not only does the author do a nice job with Kale’s character development, she has also given Kale a number of humorous lines and scenes which make the book that much more endearing to readers.

As for the rest of the cast of characters, their roles seem more decorative to Kale’s coming-of-age story.  This is good in the sense that there is no time wasted with excessive back stories and subplots.  There is a brief trip to Neelan’s elf culture, but that too is primarily important to moving Kale’s heroic story forward.  In short, this is a book about Kale.  By the end of the novel, the supporting cast of characters is tantamount to window dressing.  It will be interesting to see if more character development is afforded to supporting characters in subsequent books of this series which would be nice, but not at the expense of the keeping the story flowing at a brisk pace.

There are a few detail issues, such as blending a kind of quasi Old English language of sorts with a lot of modern day colloquialisms and even some slang.  We’re not sure if this was intentional, but it comes off as a grammatical oversight.

Our only other critical observation is that the attempt at creating a romantic storyline between Kale and Neelan was a little odd given the most obvious issue—he’s a dragon underneath his human skin and she’s an elf.  Does this mean Kale will maintain his human form throughout the entire series?  Is this book really about a dragon’s awakening or more about a human experience now that Kale’s been able to see what it’s like to live in someone else’s skin?

This is a good first effort for a young adult fantasy fiction series with lots of potential for subsequent books.  A few minor corrections in detail issues is all this novel needs to move it from a very good read to a great page turner.  As it stands, The Chronicles of Kale is an enjoyable story with great flow and movement.  If you love young adult fantasy fiction, this will be a quick and fun read for you.  You won’t be disappointed.

This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.

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