Book Review: Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George (Bloomsbury – 2008)

This book does a fantastic job of picking up where the last book left off. With the dragons united under a king and queen once more, they find themselves threatened again by humans determined to enslave them. Because as a nation, the dragons have finally come together, culture is even more deeply explored in this book than the last. Creel has a lot to learn—not just about dragon kings and queens but also about the larger world she lives in.

George balances the more local plot of the imminent danger of another war with the larger issue of the dragons as outsiders with nowhere to go and almost no one to trust. The book risks repetition by following the war in Dragon Slippers with another war but is saved by the twists it takes and the new issues that arise from development and innovation during and after that first war.

One of the things I look for when I’m reading a sequel is whether characters continue to develop or end up regressing. Thankfully, this book passes the test. Creel, Luka, Marta and their friends retain the growth of the first book, and George finds new ways of testing them and giving them chances to learn and change. She doesn’t shy away from making very definite changes in their lives where other writers might be afraid that one character or another might become “uninteresting.”

Quite possibly, and this I think is very unusual, Dragon Flight is actually more exciting than its predecessor. Much of this has to do with the fact that George builds on the world and the story of the first book so that Dragon Flight is, by many counts, an extension of a story already begun.

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