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Voices of Dragons Paperback – February 15, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—In an alternate 21st century, teens have cell phones and cars, and worry about who will take them to homecoming and whether or not to have sex. They also have dragon drills—just in case the creatures cross the border and attack. After World War II, the dragons, who had been in hiding for centuries, reemerged from myth into real life. Humans, still on edge from the trauma of the war, struck out at them, causing a conflict in which many on both sides died. A truce was reached, a border was created, and a tentative peace was established. Seventeen-year-old Kay lives on the border of Dragon. After a fall during an ill-advised solo climb, she is rescued by Artegal, a dragon who is studying human language. Over the next weeks, a tentative friendship grows into a bond between them. When the border is breached and a conflict begins, they must rely on their friendship to repair the damage before too many lives are lost. The intense climactic action will appeal to reluctant readers, but to get there they will have to get through some slower-paced chapters. Vaughn has grounded this fantastical tale with typical teenage concerns such as relationships, parents, and school; and Kay is a strong, likable heroine. The result is a novel that will appeal to those who like relationship-driven stories as well as those who enjoy fantasies such as Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003).—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The notion that huge, flying dragons exist is only one of the leaps of faith that Vaughn’s debut YA novel requires of its readers. A nuclear war between humans and dragons resulted in a truce that divided the species' worlds. Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt lives in the closest human town to Dragon with her mother, who works for Border Enforcement. After Kay falls into a river and is swept across the border, she is rescued by a passing dragon, who wants to practice human speech. The two become friends, meet secretly, and even practice flying together. Then military hawks fake an incident that sparks a war, and Kay’s father is the first victim. Eventually Kay and her dragon friend devise a scheme to stop hostilities and then set out in search of legendary islands, where they hope to find escape and peace. Readers willing to suspend disbelief will be swept along by this series starter’s fast pace, appealing characters, and interesting conceptual blend of legend and technology. Grades 7-10. --Lynn Rutan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061547905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061547904
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 Enchantments

Wow. Following in the footsteps of the great dragon writer, Anne McCaffrey, Carrie Vaughn created a fantastic new world and beautiful young adult story in VOICES OF DRAGONS. Combining a modern world with creatures we normally reserve for mythological places, Ms. Vaughn gave us what many readers search high and low for: real life with a touch of fantasy.

Kay Wyatt is our heroine of the story and probably one of the best aspects of the book. She is a well rounded character and very relatable. Not overly gorgeous or full of angst, Kay allows us to delve into the story with her and join in her adventures. Seventeen and feeling the pressures of teenaged life, Kay escapes to nature when she needs to clear her head. Hiking and rock climbing are her passions, the exhilaration of feeling free enough to calm any frazzled nerves. More than that, her outdoors activities end up serving another purpose. Coupled with fate, they lead her over the border to Dragon and to Artegal, with whom communication is strictly forbidden.

While Kay discovers that dragons may not be as evil as humans think, the rest of her normal life still has to go on. Her best friend, Tam, goes out of her way to encourage the budding romance between Kay and Jon. Caught in the middle of the peer pressure to take their relationship farther than either are really prepared for, the two navigate confusing and rocky waters while still managing to find comfort in the presence of one another. Unlike many new young adult stories hitting the market, Ms. Vaughn allows Kay and Jon to have a simple and fairly innocent romance.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first heard about Voices of Dragons, I had no idea it was a young adult urban fantasy. Actually I had no idea what it was about at all, but Dragons are a surefire way to get my attention at least. As I heard more about it, I was a little skeptical over the premise. It truly did sound like a Romeo & Juliet set-up but with a Dragon and a girl. The book more then exceeded my expectations however.

There was something very real about the situation to me, or perhaps the reactions of the characters. Kay is described early on, through actions and her own self-evaluation, as being prone to doing reckless things for adventure. Throughout the book she does just that; climbing cliffs without lines (or a climbing buddy), choosing to continue to meet with Artegal and then enthusiastically agreeing that they should try flying. Truly the two of them were a matched set--neither seemed overly afraid of the consequences, could only see the adventure of it.

The relationships with her human friends and family were a little more strained. Aside from keeping the monumental secret that was Artegal, Kay was also neck deep in the terrifying ritual of High School dating. On the one hand her best friend Tam was deep certain that if Kay just let it happen it would be the best thing ever. After all it was for her, so why wouldn't it be for everyone else? On the other hand Kay's uncertain feelings for her other best friend Jon wavered back and forth, plaguing her with doubts and 'what ifs'. Her time with Artegal gave her a peace and serenity, despite the danger, that she desperately needed.

When the tensions began they happened fast and then kept going. I was worried about an unexpected death creating friction between Artegal and Kay, but there wasn't any.
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Format: Hardcover
I think the story was wonderfully original. The idea of a modern world coping with dragons is interesting. Kay was a nice strong character and her boyfriend is suprisingly understanding and not the typical raging hormones teenage boy which was refreshing. I feel like the story didnt really pick up until near the end thought and i wish the plot could have been developed better. also i wanted some more closure with the ending. its not a bad ending but it leaves me feeling like either there might be a sequel or thats it and i wish the author expanded it.
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Format: Hardcover
VOICES OF DRAGONS, Carrie Vaughn's YA debut, is a fascinating blend of modernity and the ageless awe of dragons. From the start, I was effortlessly pulled into Kay's world and greatly enjoyed this unique tale that melds new with old.

The greatest strength of this book is in its world-building. Carrie Vaughn easily creates for us readers a world in which it is natural for humans and dragons to coexist in an uneasy sort of peace. The presence of dragons is smoothly intertwined with our own history, and Kay's border town is a well-drawn location of new troubles but classic fears, of dragon raid drills among a world of high school relationships, rock climbing, and the wild beauty that is Montana.

While the plot is comparatively simple and even a little slow at points, Vaughn's depiction of the dragons is enough to hold our attention despite the plot's conventionality. Artegal, through Kay's eyes, is an astonishingly complex character, with the dangerous majesty of that mysterious race. In comparison, Kay is relatively unextaordinary: she rarely gets a strong, standout voice.

But that was okay by me for this book. Carrie Vaughn is an accomplished writer whose smooth prose can make even the most basic story elements shine. VOICES OF DRAGONS is unlike anything I've read before, and not only will I pounce on the sequel when it comes out, this book has also reawakened my interest with dragons in literature. Check it out: I dare you!
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