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DragonQuest    by Donita K. Paul order for
by Donita K. Paul
Order:  USA  Can
WaterBrook Press, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Donita K. Paul's tales of Kale, the Dragon Keeper of Paladin, are the perfect blend of fantasy and religion. Her second novel, DragonQuest, picks up a few weeks after DragonSpell left off. Kale has just started her studies at The Hall when she is sent to help the wizard Fenworth in The Bogs raise the newly-hatched meech dragon.

Kale is joined on her mission by Bardon, a knight-in-training with many secrets, and Toopka, an orphan girl entrusted to Kale's care. Word soon reaches The Bogs that another meech dragon raised by the evil Risto is traveling south, causing dissension among all dragons. As the group journeys to rescue the other meech dragon from Risto's clutches, Kale is almost lured away from her friends by her unknown mother. Throughout their quest, Kale learns a lot about her family, about her friends, and about herself.

While this is an allegory, it is also a finally crafted epic fantasy, showing that religion and fantasy can coexist. The wizards whom Kale joins on her quest all serve the higher power, Wulder, and his earthly emissary, Paladin. However, there are also wizards who follow Risto, Pretender's earthly servant. At the end of the quest - and as is typical in epic fantasies (whether religious or secular) - good triumphs over evil.

DragonQuest offers wonderful reading for anyone who enjoys epic fantasy whether they believe in a higher power or not. Paul's writing makes the reader think on both a personal and spiritual level, while leaving a feeling of excitement and contentment. At the end of this episode, Kale has four eggs left in her moonbeam cape - I hope this means there is at least one more Dragon Keeper tale to come!

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