Cora and the Nurse Dragon
Best Book Bit:
“Chirrup.” A muffled sound emanated from the egg. Her heartbeat quickened. It throbbed in her ears, almost overwhelming the next gentle “chirp.”
The egg fractured, a thin crack spreading across the top. Then a tiny, dark beak poked through, slightly hooked at the end with flaring nostrils. Cora knelt down, her nose inches from the egg. Two bright, green eyes peered through the crack. The dragon chirped again, like a bird, but deeper. It stretched out a thin, elegant neck, then tumbled forward onto its face.
The dragon kicked with its hind legs and flapped its wax-paper-like wings, trying to free itself from the rest of the shell. Forcing herself to breathe, Cora pulled away the shell and put out her hand. The dragon wormed its way into her palm, stood on all fours, and flapped its wings.
Cora blinked. Four legs, not two, so not a mayfly … but the coloring was an odd, muddy brown, not bright red, yellow, or blue like the other varieties of dragon she knew. “What are you?”
All dragons, from the tiny mayflies to the giant drakes, started out roughly the same size, so that wasn’t particularly telling. The color though … she’d seen a few variations of the mayflies’ typical green, but never brown … and never more than two legs. Four legs was an attribute of the cat-sized dragons, the strikers and steamers.
The dragon scratched behind its horn-like ears with its front talon. “Chirp!”
“Yes, I got that.”
One thing I found confusing about this story was the fact that the author didn’t explain why Cricket didn’t have a serial number. I would have liked to known why.
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.
Even more than that, the story theme was identifiable and adorable. I’m not particularly fond of dragons or fantastical creatures but this author wove a tale about these beings that even I didn’t want to stop reading. I simply had to know what would become of them in the end.
The author definitely shows off her writing skills when describing the settings and props to bring every scene to life in a believable and almost-tangible way. Each character was well-developed and relatable, each carrying their own real burden in life.
But I have to say, the author truly threw me for a loop toward the end when the action starts rolling for a few chapters. I was not expecting that plot twist, honestly. And the ending was beautiful and fitting. I couldn’t have asked for a better form of closure in this story.
The only thing I feel I must mention is the targeted age group that is recommended for this title – ages 8 to 18.
Personally, I would read this story to my ten-year-old daughter, if it weren’t for a couple of almost-graphic scenes toward the end. As an adult reader, or maybe even a teen, I could see it being permissible, simply speaking as a parent, though the characters are preteens in the book.
Mind you, there is nothing gory, and there is no foul language at all, which I appreciated in a title like this, but it does get a bit violent toward the end, so parental discretion is advised.
Other than that, I think this book is a gem, and I will be sharing it with my daughter when she gets a bit older. I look forward to more from this author!