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DragonSpell (Dragon Keepers Chronicles, Book 1) Paperback – June 15, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–After 14 years as a slave girl in the village of River Away, Kale is free, because of a dragon's egg. Since she found it, the village elders have decided that she must present herself and the egg to the great wizards of the walled city of Vendela, where she expects to become a servant of Paladin, the earthly representative of Wulder, supreme being of Amara. Her journey is interrupted first by attacking ogres, then by a detour into a cave that hides seven more dragon eggs, and finally by a daring escape aided by dragon-riding rescuers who become Kale's guides, tutors, and closest cohorts on her travels. Two of her precious eggs hatch on the way and become her constant companions–first green Gymn, who heals, and then purple Metta, who sings. To them, Kale is much more than just a slave girl–she is the last of the great Allerion dragon-keepers. This is classic quest fantasy with echoes of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Houghton) and of Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003). As in C. S. Lewis's "Narnia" books (HarperCollins), Christian allegories and messages are clearly presented and easily found, but it is equally possible to read this as Kale's story as it happened in Amara, a world completely separate from our own. It would be a shame to limit readership by relegating this clever and inventive story to the genre of Christian fiction. There is plenty of room for sequels, and readers will want to know much more about Kale and the remainder of her quest.–Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
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“In Dragonspell, Donita K. Paul has created an amazing world of fantasy adventure. From riding on dragons to jumping off cliffs to moving mountains, this story is sure to spark a reader’s imagination–young and old. And with a message of identity transformed from slavery to servanthood, it’s a book families will love reading and discussing together.”
–Christopher P. N. Maselli, children’s author of Reality Shift and founder of TruthPop.com

“A reluctant heroine, her fainting dragon, and an assortment of colorful companions make for a delightful read in Donita K. Paul’s Dragonspell. This is adventure and fantasy at its finest–a must read for the imaginative soul.”
–Linda Windsor, award-winning author of Along Came Jones and the Fires of Gleannmara trilogy

“Dragonspell is a fine, well-written tale guaranteed to entertain both old and young alike. This was proven in our household when our eleven-year-old son snatched up the book and devoured it. Upon returning it, he exclaimed, ‘It’s good!’ –high praise from a rabid fan of Tolkein, Lewis, Jacques and company. I can only nod my head in agreement.”
–Christopher A. Lane, Gold Medallion and C.S. Lewis award-winning author of children’s and adult fiction

“Inventive, engaging, witty, insightful, touching, and profound–Dragonspell is all this and more. If Donita K. Paul’s only intention was to create a world where readers encounter novelties and wonders at every turn, then she has succeeded admirably. But she actually does much more than this: she enables us to see our relationship with God and His world through new eyes. A delight for all true fans of fantasy literature.”
–Jim Ware, author of God of the Fairy Tale and co-author of Finding God in the Lord of the Rings

“Enchanting! A perilous quest, a timeless battle, an unlikely heroine, and a rousing adventure in a world of magic and mystery–Donita K. Paul has concocted a tale brimming with eternal truth and seasoned with delightful and amazing characters that linger in the senses long after the last page. Dragonspell is destined to become a classic for a new generation of adventurers!”
–Susan May Warren, award-winning author of Happily Ever After

“The greatest thing any author can do is to catch you up and transport you right into the very scene, the very action, the story . . . in such a way that you live the book, not merely read it.  That is exactly what Donita K. Paul does with Dragonspell.  For a few hours, you will take a journey to a place you have never been, with a story you will never forget.  Enjoy the trip!”
–Stephen Bly, author of Paperback Writer and Christy-award-winning The Long Trail Home

“Dragonspell is a tightly written fantasy quest set in an extraordinarily rendered storyworld. With seven intelligent races, seven evil races, several delightful dragons, one weird wizard, and an endless supply of exotic plants and animals, you will NOT be bored.”
–Randy Ingermanson, Christy award-winning author of Oxygen and Premonition

“No one will ever be able to read this and doubt that Christian fantasy is a viable genre for spreading God’s word.”
–Christine Lynxwiler, president of American Christian Romance Writers

“Charming, well-drawn characters, a story chock full of adventures and misadventures, a land populated with dragons, doneels, emerlindians, grawligs, and all sorts of other fascinating inhabitants–I ask you, what more could any reader want? With Dragonspell, Donita K. Paul has nailed a complex and engaging fantasy world. Whether nine or ninety, you won’t be disappointed.”
–Kathleen Morgan, author of Consuming Fire and All Good Gifts

“Dragonspell has a heart-thumping, page-turning plot that is sure to captivate and enthrall even the most reluctant reader!”
–Peggy Wilber, author of Reading Rescue 1-2-3

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578568234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578568239
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My daughters and I spent enjoyable evenings reading this fantasy novel throughout the summer. They loved Kale and her quest. We laughed at some of the characters' antics, wished for cute little dragons as pets, and raced through the confrontations with natural and unnatural foes.

The story starts with Kale as a young slave girl. Slowly she discovers she is more than a slave girl; she is a woman destined for great things. As she searches for the fabled meech egg, she accepts the role that is hers and she makes many new friends along the way. "Dragonspell" implies more contact with dragons, and indeed dragons are an important part of the background, as well as a driving factor in Kale's quest. But my daughters and I all hoped for a little more of the dragon scenes. We especially had a soft spot for Celisse. I'm sure dragons will be explored more in the sequel.

Paul's writing is full of imagery and world-building. The allegorical aspects are clear, but never heavyhanded. Christian themes ring true. Most of this fantasy land will seem somewhat familiar to avid readers, yet it still pulses with a life and imagination all its own. The names are fun and evocative. The characters are many, but memorable.

This is one family who will be waiting anxiously for the next in Donita Paul's series.
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Format: Paperback
This books somehow achieves that elusive balance of light-hearted fantasy with a passionate message about the love of God in the midst of the hurts and confusions of life. A fun and entertaining read, the message is unobtrusive, but so integral to the story that you ache for a closer relationship with Palidan and his Father, Wulder.

It is a very rare talent to stimulate that hunger for a closer relationship with virtually no churchy language or theological jargon. It is rarer still to do so with simple language showing gripping and imaginative characters involved in a desperate battle - while keeping the tone upbeat and hopeful. The good dragons are a surprising and delightful twist against preconceived notions that all dragons must be evil.

Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia in the imaginative creatures and characters, this has a tone and flavor all its own. Readers who loved the Chronicles will love this also. Yet they should come to it expecting something new and fresh. They won't be disappointed.

I am eagerly anticipating dipping into the sequel - savoring it - like a second helping of dessert that is just a bit too rich for one sitting.

Altogether a wonderful book
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Format: Paperback
My son is big into dragons right now. He loves fantasy. How nice it was to find a book which not only indulged that but had a good message. My husband read this book to both of my boys as bedtime reading. They loved it. The message does not beat you over the head as some Christian fiction does, but is much more subtle at least for the kids. My 10 and almost 12 year olds were entrhalled and can't wait to read the sequel.
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Format: Paperback
Welcome to the world of DragonSpell, where seven high races and seven low ones share the lovely kingdom of Amara, and the young village slave Kale is about to discover that adventure is not all it's cracked up to be. Her talent for finding dragon eggs and her eventual destiny as the Dragonkeeper catapult her into a quest for the egg of the fabled meech dragon, now held captive by the evil wizard Risto. Kale journeys through hope and doubt, joy and seeming failure, until she comes to recognize and accept that despite her humble beginnings and internal uncertainty, she can indeed share a part in greatness.

This book is billed for all ages, from 9 to 90, and certainly had enough sparkle to keep this cynical, weary reader engaged. I found it sweet, thought-provoking, and entertaining--in short, a very winsome read. The story and characters stayed with me long after I turned the last page. (Dar, in particular, is not to be missed!)

DragonSpell works nicely to help fill the need for wholesome fantasy by contemporary authors for teens and younger readers. My 12- and 14-year-old sons were riveted by the book, and its sequel, DragonQuest. As a homeschooling mother of eight, I had a few questions about the premise when I first picked it up, given the symbolism of dragons in Scripture, but I found this story to be a spiritually "clean" read and very uplifting.
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Format: Paperback
Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul is a fantasy about Kale, a slave girl who finds a dragon's egg. The elders in her village free her from slavery since, after all, she now owns a dragon's egg, and send her far away to The Hall to learn.
Kale may indeed now have a dragon's egg, but other than that, she feels the same as always. She expects to be a servant in The Hall now, much like a slave, which is the only thing she knows, so that's okay. On her journey she finds seven more dragon eggs.
Every move she makes leads her away from her destination, despite her determination to get to The Hall. She is dragged along on a journey with a band, who keep telling her she's meant to use her special gifts.
Kale has no gifts except obeying. Her companions tell her she has the gift of finding dragon eggs.
The entire book is full of fun and adventure. Timid Kale turns into a plucky adventurer by necessity not choice. Despite her desire to obey her village elders and go to The Hall, she's having fun - fun interrupted by terror as the evil Wizard Rizzo tries to turn Kale to his side, so he can use her to find dragon eggs.
In fantasy writing the challenge is `world creating'. In the best tradition of Lord of the Rings, Donita K. Paul creates a world with creatures good and evil. She conjures plants and animals with her vivid words. Paul creates an adventure so fast paced and death defying that it doesn't matter what the world around Kale looks like, but you can still see it.
Dragonspell is for adults as well as children. It's funny and inspiring. The good guys are intrepid. Kale, the reluctant heroine, rises brilliantly to the challenge set before her. The evil Wizard meets his match with the all powerful Wulder and his fellow warrior Paladin.
Dragonspell was an uplifting change of pace for me. An interesting respite from the romance and danger of most novels I read.
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