Fri 13 Jun 2008
Robin McKinley has been a powerhouse in the world of fantasy and children’s fantasy since her novel Beauty was published in 1978; her 1985 Newbery Award for The Hero and the Crown cemented that. She’s adapted a lot of fairy tales and even a folk tale (Robin Hood); her previous book before this one was Sunshine, which won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Sunshine was not a children’s novel; nor was her novel Deerskin, but Dragonhaven is.
Jake Mendoza’s father is the head of Smokehill, the largest and best haven for Draco australiensis, in the world. Draco australiensis is more commonly known as a dragon; a true dragon, scales, flying, fire-breathing and all. Jake grew up there, homeschooled; he wants to be a ranger, or perhaps a scientist, when he grows up. When he’s almost fifteen, he goes out on an ‘overnight’ deeper into the dragon preserve. There, he comes upon a dying dragon, and the corpse of the poacher who killed her. Right after the dragon dies, he realizes that she had just given birth, and one of the babies survived. Without thinking, he rescues it — and later, after he’s become attached to her, remembers that there’s a law against it. What can he do now? (more…)