Customer Reviews: How to Train Your Dragon: How to Break a Dragon's Heart
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on October 31, 2011
SPOILER ALERT My 9 year old son loves this series for their fun and adventure, but I hope this is not the beginning of the end for our enjoyment of these books. I personally read it after my son brought it to me with concern. I found a good amount of the content scary and downright disturbing and a big change from the others- and none of this is revealed in the Amazon description of the book. I usually don't write reviews, but I'm doing so as a warning to other parents that may be concerned about some of the things that bothered me. The story contains a witch that tries to kill Hiccup, Scarers are blood sucking bat-like creatures that smell fear and swarm you the more afraid that you are, characters speak of human sacrifice and hear screaming on nearby islands, unacceptable "runt" infants are abandoned to die on the sea or exposed on a mountainside, a ghost legend is told about a woman that searches for the runt infant that her husband disposed of, and a father murders his son by running him through with a sword.
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on December 31, 2009
This is the newest episode in the adventures of Hiccup, a nerdy, bookish viking boy who is heir to his tribe's leadership. The strong, brutish, and dumb vikings make fun of him. But he uses brains and ingenuity to prevail. He owns a small, disobedient dragon and has nerdy best friend, Fishlegs. My son (now 11) has been reading these since he was 8. He is a reluctant reader, but he finishes these books in a day or day-and-a-half. He is getting a bit old for them, now, but still wanted to read this one. He is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming movie (should be out in 2010). This book seems to be available only in the UK, and I'm not sure why. I ordered it from the UK, though. Shipping was reasonable, and it arrived very quickly! I highly recommend this, and all the Hiccup books, especially for boys who are reluctant readers.
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VINE VOICEon August 30, 2010
I have to say this installment surprised me. This is very much the kind of book to be expected from this series and certainly rises to every standard of Cressida Cowell's work. However, those expecting the same silly and light craziness may also be surprised by the further stab into the heart this book brings. Is that a bad thing? No! Cowell has always managed to bring in plenty of subtle emotion, but this one shows growth in that department that should be acknowledged when a book starts with an old Viking saga of family betrayal and murder and a (yet another) kidnapping.

Be expecting epic here.

Trouble arises when a love letter to the Princess Tantrum is discovered--written by someone from Berk. Hiccup takes the blame, and finds himself a fiance--and in danger of being sacrificed to a dragon. Expanding on the story is a delve into Berk history with one of the most solemn story lines yet to appear in this series.

If it sounds too serious, keep in mind that this book is everything it should be. There is plenty of silliness and humor, and Cowell extends her wild creativity to delight any reader. The snappy humor and writing is still in going strong, and I think the contrast between the wackiness and the heartbreak is absolutely magical. So yes, this needs to be read by anyone who can appreciate the crazy storybook wonder.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 13, 2014
AudioBook Review
Stars Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5

The story of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, continues on, with this story carrying more plot and background information for Hiccup than in any of the earlier stories. Yes, there is an adventure and a chance for Hiccup to use his brain and a bit of luck to save his friends, but this story has a mixed result, foreshadowing the future in ways that earlier books didn’t.

Hiccup is presented with the story of the prophecy, and how he came to get his name. Sadly, the stories of the two previous Hiccups are tragic, with heartbreak and hurt feelings that rock Hiccup’s world. Similar to the earlier Hiccups: small, optimistic, intelligent and resourceful, Hiccup the third realizes that the prophecy is almost true. His mother is Valhallarama, and to him, this makes all the difference.

He again must use his considerable brain to puzzle out a solution: fortunately Toothless is a bit like a magpie, and gathers all things shiny: a key to everything allows Hiccup to escape the tree-prison he is held in, to find Camicazi and rescue Fishlegs from the upcoming ceremony where he will be sacrificed to the beast. While Hiccup has many skills, perhaps the most prodigious is his memory, a near encyclopedic recall for events and facts: this allows him to recognize the best as Furious, the Maximus dragon that once was tied as a brother to Hiccup the second.

Not entirely triumphant, while Hiccup does manage to save his friends and the day, mostly, there are dire warnings from the very resentful Furious, dire warnings that Hiccup prefers to believe he can overcome. All of the returning characters, Hiccup’s misjudgment of the power of a promise, the questions about his prophecy and the addition of adventures and last minute rescues into the story, moving the story into a slightly darker realm, perhaps signaling the end of our young hero’s childhood.

Narration again is provided by David Tennant with his facility for voices of both returning and new characters, the performance is a treat. Tennant presents a sense of enjoyment and delight in the story, managing to add gravitas to the darker moments, but never losing the playfulness and personalities of the characters that he voices so well. The epilogue in this story gives moments for pause, as the now older Hiccup is recalling the events of his youth, with the added perspective of knowing what has happened, and unlike the epilogues of the earlier books: there really isn’t a lesson here. It feels like a hint and a touch of a warning, letting readers know that everything is changing and will be different soon: fitting as readers and our young heroes are growing up. Another wonderful installment, these are stories sure to become favorites for many.

I received AudioCD copies of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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on June 13, 2016
My daughter and I are reading through all the How to train your dragon books. It is a great set for kids in elementary. we started reading these when she was 7. I assigned her about 15 pages a day to read. We are slowly making our way to the last book.
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on October 10, 2010
This is a really terrific book! We got the first How To Train Your Dragon book about a year ago, and have been hooked ever since! We like to read the books in order, because you really get a better understanding of the characters and the special bond between all of them. Cressida Cowell is a wonderful author who draws the reader into these heart pounding adventures, while still making you laugh out loud! We are looking forward to BOOK 9!!!!!!
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on March 30, 2011
I've read all of the other HTTYD books, but I have to say, this is the best one yet. Unlike previous books, this book really delves further into the world that she's already created (and into Hiccup's family history). In particular, small "on the side" events that happened in previous books have come back and actually turned out to be very important in this book. As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I always admired JK Rowling's ability to do this, but here Cressida Cowell has shown that she too can perform at that level. Great read, looking forward to the next one!
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on May 13, 2015
I love these books. I originally got them for my 8 year old son, but I can't stop reading them too. They are written well, and I underline quotes in the books. There is a great theme/moral and also a lot of laughs.
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on August 29, 2013
He started reading this series in April, maybe, and is already on Book 8. I looked these books up, they are actually at RL 6.4 or so, he's just starting 5th grade, so what's great about these is they are a higher RL but they also have a lot of pictures, which is what really draws him to a book (but he doesn't like graphic novels... go figure!). He's a very strong reader, but often rejects books that are text-only... and often books with lots of pictures or drawings are at a really low reading level. Here is an author who gets that kids are extremely visual now, and just because they want pictures doesn't mean they want a "picture book" reading level!
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on September 6, 2014
Can't say enough about how much our family loves this series. We laugh ourselves silly as Hiccup and Toothless have many adventures. My son would rather read this series again than watch the movie series.
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