by Donita K. Paul
from the back cover
Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.
A Desperate Search Begins…
A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…
This is the third time I've read this book... in about two years. The first two times I would have given it a 7/5 if such a thing was possible, but on this last reading I picked up on some details that actually brought it down to a plain ol' 5/5.
I absolutely love how Donita K. Paul writes her characters. As usual, the antagonist, Kale, is my favorite character--she's not "spunky," naively brave, or flawed-but-still-perfect (and unbearably obnoxious). She is timid with an underlying strength, yearning for purpose and belonging. And she reacts realistically to all of the situations Donita K. Paul throws her into, which is, unfortunately, not always the case with some book characters.
Kale's companions are, well, eccentric, but in the absolute best possible way. Especially Wizard Fenworth, who is Eccentric with a capital E. He's also one of my favorites (ok, they're all my favorites).
So why did I like it less the third time around? It seemed a bit juvenile in places. Towards the beginning of the book, a few of Kale's thoughts seemed like lazy substitutes for good detail. Overall, though, I still really enjoyed it. I won't remove DragonSpell from my favorites list quite yet! (or, you know, ever...)