- Series: Dragon Jousters (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: DAW; First Edition edition (March 4, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0756401224
- ISBN-13: 978-0756401221
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 125 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Joust: Joust #1 (Dragon Jousters) Hardcover – March 4, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
In this elegant, compelling fantasy from the prolific author of the Valdemar series (Arrows Fall, etc.), Lackey combines meticulously detailed dragon lore with emotionally intense, realistic human characters. In the arid desert country of Tia, the Altan serf Vetch has to scramble after whatever crumbs are left over after the servants, the slaves and the animals have been fed, while doing the work of three or four full-grown boys. Being hungry is hard enough to take at the best of times, but being a hungry, growing boy, sorely overworked during the dry season when even the beasts of burden are sheltered against the cruel sun, is intolerable. By chance (or the will of the gods), this dreadful situation comes to the notice of one who can change it. Jouster Ari, a dragon rider and a warrior of the Great King of Tia, dislikes cruelty to animals, men and even to mere serfs. In a neat turn of events, Vetch becomes Ari's dragon boy and the caretaker of Ari's dragon, Kashet. What follows is a detailed look at the lives of Tia's dragons, their dragon riders and those who care for them. This uplifting tale, which contains a valuable lesson or two on the virtues of hard work, is a must-read for dragon lovers in particular and for fantasy fans in general.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Hunger, anger, and hatred are constants for young Vetch, rendered a brutally mistreated and overworked serf by the Tian conquest of his homeland. But everything improves when a Tian jouster requisitions Vetch to become the first serf ever to be a dragon boy. His training is intense, and his duty clear-cut: to tend his jouster, Ari, and his dragon, Kashet. He discovers that, because Ari himself had hatched Kashet, the dragon is different from others that have been captured live in the wild and must be drugged to be made tractable. Vetch finds he really likes and understands dragons, and soon he becomes the best dragon boy of all. He still harbors anger, however, toward the Tian invasion. Could he, perhaps, hatch a dragon, and then escape to help his people? In Vetch's world, Lackey gives us a wonderfully visualized society, similar in terrain, climate, religion, and the differing circumstances of slave, serf, and free person to ancient Egypt. Moreover, she fills the book with well-limned characterizations and convincing, detailed dragon lore to make up a whole in which Vetch's coming-of-age becomes an integral part. Fans of McCaffrey's Pern will love it, but they won't be the only ones who do. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The story takes place in a civilization that can be compared to the old Egypt; this is a nice change from other books about dragons where the adventures take place in somewhat medieval atmospheres.
In this book we meet Vetch, he is a young boy that has lived worse than a slave for a long time since his village was conquered, fortunately he was found by Joust Ari (dragon rider) who gave him a dignified job and was a great example for him that managed to get him to have the will to live again, and to imprint the image that he is worth it.
Vetch is developed nicely throughout the plot; I was pleased to find myself angry when he was angry and I really felt bad about his past, he is a character that the author managed to wonderfully create and give a defined image. I found myself loving Kashet as if he was a real puppy and Ari is a character that I hope we get to meet again in the other books.
For all dragon lovers out there, you won't regret reading this book.
I will go read the next book now!
I also like all the descriptions about dragons. The book goes into the care and training of the dragons and also some about the wild dragons. The relationship that Ari and Vetch have with the dragon Kashet is very sweet and I especially like the part of Vetch with his dragon. I won't give the end of the book away except to say that it was very touching and that I can't wait to read the next book. While this book may not be amazing writing I found it a very enjoyable read!
Highly recommended for the young reader (between 10-16) because they can certainly indentify with Vetch, but also recommended for readers of fantasy of any age!