Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Break a Dragon's Heart by Cressida Cowell

How to Train Your Dragon Book 8: How to Break a Dragon's Heart (How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III))
How to Break a Dragon's Heart
Cressida Cowell
320 pages
Published November 7, 2011
Stranded on the exceptionally dangerous, and possibly haunted, Beach of the Broken Heart, Hiccup must face Ug the Uglithug and complete the Impossible Task--or die trying. Along the way, he'll have to battle Berserks, dodge Scarers, and save Fishlegs from being fed to the Beast, all while being hunted down by an old enemy with a dark secret about the mysterious Lost Throne. With Toothless by his side, and time to stage his rescue running out, what's a Hero to do?
My take: This is the 8th book of How to Train Your Dragon series and it is absolutely not essential at all to read the first seven books in order to completely and utterly enjoy this book. I did see the movie, How to Train Your Dragon at the local sticky shoe and was absolutely delighted by the script, the humor, and the story. Like the movie, the narrator is Hiccup, the son of the great Viking leader. He is an unlikely hero but with the same sense of humor shown from the movie.

There are references to previous books with asterisks and quick descriptions at the bottom of the pages, along with words and terms used in Viking-ese that we Anglo-Saxons may not understand. But Hiccup provides those definitions at the bottom of the pages. Also included are crude (as in primitive, not inappropriate) drawings.

The difference between the stories from the books (at least this one) is that dragon and Viking are working in tandem. They are not under attack. Also, Toothless the Dragon is a small, rather harmless animal that sleeps in Hiccup's coat. Hiccup also has an arch enemy who shows up in the most unlikely of places, an island inhabited by cannibals and he is the cook, of course. 

It is important to note that Cressida Cowell is not the author of these books. She is simply the translator. It seems that Hiccup's diaries came into her possession somehow and she is working studiously to translate them into English. But if, in fact, Cowell WAS the author, I'd have to say she is in the league of Lemony Snicket.
5 Stars

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