- Perfect Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Chez Champignon (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983611505
- ISBN-13: 978-0983611509
- Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,146,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sambuka Black (A Dragon's Tale) Perfect Paperback – Print, 2011
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I loved the many illustrations sprinkled throughout the entire book. Especially the ones that are drawn by the main character Kara, the authors do a great job at seeing the world through a child's eyes.
The birthday song made me laugh!
The charming illustrations are the perfect complement to the text. It's a treasure to see such craftsmanship and attention to detail in a contemporary novel. (It would make an excellent gift for any reader or collector of illustrated novels.) There's certainly enough playful mischief to delight seasoned bibliovores and young readers alike (not to mention nature lovers, wild-mushroom hunters, and food enthusiasts). So I invite you to pour yourself a glass of Sambuka Black and devour this tale, that is "if you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer..."
It's the classic quest of a young girl to overturn a malicious magician. The villain has seized control of a magic realm through enslaving the wise and mighty dragons that once roamed free. As one might expect, as the plucky heroine sets off to rescue her own young dragon companion, she encounters a variety of fantastical beings--some helpful, others deadly. Gathering strength along the journey, everything leads toward a climactic confrontation.
I was delighted with the antics of the sidekicks she teams up with: a faun and a four-armed cyclops. There's a spirit you feel in them that is just so warm and good-natured, you leave the book wishing you could go back to their house for a cup of tea and pan-fried grubs. It's a pleasure to find warmth like this in fiction, which--though imaginary--helps conjure a place of safety in one's mind that lingers long after the book is done.
At the same time, I'm very pleased that the authors didn't pull their punches when our heroes came face-to-face with danger. There's a death, a painful loss, and a very visceral sense of risk when the adventurers face violent conflict. This is as it should be; without the possibility of failure, who cares? The stakes are high, and light shines in contrast to the dark.
The authors are clearly great fans of classic Sci Fi/Fantasy films. Genre fans will have a fun time picking out all the references to Ray Harryhausen flicks in particular. Not that you'll miss out on anything if you don't catch them--but the shout-outs and homages are there to be found. As are a number of other puzzles and mind-ticklers. Hints at the end of the book encourage younger readers to go back and look for the clues, to see if they can figure out the mysteries. Answers to a few still evade me... I look forward to the promised sequel to expand my understanding of this entertaining universe.
If you enjoy stories like the Dark Crystal, or Miyazaki's "Spirited Away," or if you're a fan of all the various dragon worlds--check this one out.