Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul

Summary: "Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly crafted fiction novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God."

About the Author: "Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and eight novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles, a series which has sold more than a quarter million books to date. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging young writers. Visit her online at donitakpaul.com."

My Thoughts: My fourteen year old son began reading Ms. Paul's DragonKeeper series a few months ago and really enjoyed them. When I had the chance to review her newest book, I knew he'd want to be involved and we both set to reading. I soon found myself transported to a world of talking parrots and intelligent dragons (could there be any other kind?). The characters were intriguing and very likeable. I finished in about two days, more than willing to be drawn into the lives of Tipper, Beccaroon, and the not-as-crazy-as-he-seems wizard.

This was a gentle fantasy. I would have enjoyed a little more adventure and drama, but my attention was captured by the characters and I wanted to spend more time with them. The writing was vivid and I could clearly "see" the action in my mind. I would love to see this on the screen, but doubt it could match the beauty of my imagination.

This is not an overtly Christian book, although the Christian theme is certainly present and readily available for thought and discussion. I was glad the author did not tie everything into a neat little Christian bow at the end. Some of the best Christian stories are the ones that do not preach but instead draw you into a character's life and let you grow and learn along with them, subtly. I think this is one of those books.

It did not come as a surprise to learn the author is a former teacher! The story is full of characters with interesting vocabularies and grammatical peculiarities. This would be a lot of fun to draw from and maybe use for a short, little unit study. Some of the dialogue is just ripe for reading aloud and quoting frequently. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age who would enjoy a gentle fantasy.

If this is the beginning of a new series, I'm on board!

My Son's Thoughts: It was a good book. I liked that she brought back some familiar characters from her other series, especially the quirky one. The new characters were interesting and I liked already knowing the background. At this point, I prefer the DragonKeeper series but would love to read more if this is going to be a series. The DragonKeeper series may be better to read after this one, as it comes first in the timeline. I would recommend to anyone who likes fantasy.

1 comment:

LarryG said...

very interesting series,
my son is an avid reader, i will check into this book and others by Paul.

Thanks for the great review.

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