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Drake, Salamanda.
Children's Fiction DRAKE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Fantasy-minded girls with a love for horses will likely take to this story, first in a planned series, which uses the structure and tone of a horse-training tale but features dragons instead. Cara is the daughter of Huw the Dragonmaster, leader of the training farm called Dragonsdale. She has a deep love for dragons in general, and for the "untamable" Skydancer in particular-but her father has forbidden her ever to ride one since her mother died in a riding accident. The arrogant and lazy Hortense, daughter of wealthy Lord Torin, is trying to learn to ride, but her attitude prevents her from bonding with any dragons. When Cara catches Hortense beating her dragon after losing a competition, she blackens her eye, earning the ire of both her father and Lord Torin. To smooth the ruffled feathers of his valued customer, Huw offers Hortense her choice of dragons to take for her own-and, of course, she chooses Skydancer to spite Cara. That ends badly too, and Cara ends up rescuing Skydancer (and flying him in the process). Large portions of the book are devoted to the workaday stable duties at a "dragon farm" and to the day of the big competition-it is in both of these sections that the similarities to horse fiction are particularly strong. But the element of the fantastic, a nifty die-cut cover and Marklew's exuberant pencil illustrations should endear this book to girls who dream of riding great, beautiful creatures-of one sort or another. Ages 9-12. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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