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The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim    by E. K. Johnston order for
Story of Owen
by E. K. Johnston
Order:  USA  Can
Holiday House, 2019 (2019)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

E. K. Johnston's The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim is a coming of age fantasy set in an alternate reality, a modern world under constant threat from dragons. You see, dragons hunger for fossil fuels and are drawn to feed on carbon emissions.

Sixteen-year-old Owen comes from a famous family of dragon slayers. After his legendary aunt Lottie Thorskard is seriously injured while defending commuters crossing the Burlington Skyway, they move to rural Trondheim, Ontario, which had never had a permanent dragonslayer before.

On his first day of high school, Owen meets Siobhan McQuaid, who becomes his tutor (he's terrible at mathematics), his friend and his bard. Indeed, this is even more Siobhan's story than Owen's, as she learns to use a sword and to take liberties with the details of what actually happened in writing songs about Owen.

Siobhan and Owen have something in common - they both pursue their passion in life. As they each improve their skills, and handle high school, the dragon threat escalates. With the help of other friends, they conclude that the beasts have new nesting grounds and search for them. Eventually, they realize that those nesting grounds must be destroyed.

Young people show that they can make a real difference when their futures are at stake in The Story of Owen, just like in the real world. Sacrifices are needed, and are made, as Siobhan and Owen save the day. I very much enjoyed reading about them.

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