2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Dragon Charmer,
This review is from: The Dragon Charmer (Mass Market Paperback)
This sequel to Prospero's Children by Jan Siegel is a delight and well worth reading for anyone who liked the original. Foremost among its good points is that Siegel doesn't immediately pitch the teenage Fern into another magical adventure. Instead she allows a dozen years to go by in the gap, so that the Fern in this story is now an adult facing adult problems. These include an upcoming wedding to an intelligent but dreary man, career conflicts, and a drinking problem. All the surviving characters from "Prospero's Children" are here as well, along with some worthy newcomers.
Another strength is the writing, as luxurious and mature here as in Siegel's first novel. I love the decadent use of descriptors, particularly once the characters leave England for more magical locales. The atmosphere of the area surrounding the World Tree is magnificent and the two new villains are genuinely frightening. As others have said, the weaving of various strains of mythology into a coherent whole is done flawlessly.
The minor issues that makes this less of a total success are the pacing and a few plot points. Some of the opening sections are a drag. Sometimes the plot appears to require a little bit of unexplained stupidity from the characters in order to make things work. Those, however, are minor issues in an otherwise successful book.
Also recommended for those who like Siegel's writing: The High House by James Stoddard and Larklight by Philip Reeve.