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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978-1-64654-313-7
  • 290 pages
  • $19.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978–1-64654-314-4
  • 290 pages
  • $9.95
Called to Dragons Nest
David Hinko, contributor

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

The novel chronicles the journey of an adolescent girl, from her living innocently in a virtual paradise to leading an army in rebellion. The fantasy story line features dragons and their people, who possess magical powers to make and control fire. At its core, though, this story is about a group of young adults who struggle to do the right thing when confronted by unspeakable evil. In the same way that Rose, the lead character, is called to Dragons Nest to fulfill her destiny, we each are called to stop oppression, discrimination, and exclusion.
Reviews
This YA fantastical allegory debut from high school student Hinko, the second in a series, follows a young woman, Rose Mensch, on a fateful journey. Rose learns that she’s a Red Lip: a member of a race of sinless people created by dragons, gifted with the power to create fire, and tasked with being a constructive example to humanity—but who, because of their aversion to harming others, are “entirely unable or unwilling to protect themselves.” Jealous of their power, the king of Rose’s homeland, Nava, has oppressed the Red Lips and hopes to eradicate them, a catastrophe that Rose is prophesied to defeat. After learning about the prophecy, Rose leaves her aunt’s idyllic home and she sets out to kill the king, while wrestling with whether doing so is worth betraying her inherent pacifist nature.

The novel’s vision is ambitious, but the plot can lack momentum at times, encompassing a number of detours unrelated to the stated goal. The stakes are sometimes lowered because the social persecution of Red Lips, which is the reason for killing the king, is rarely shown. And some characters can lack complexity, having only one note or characteristic; for example, the main villain is one-dimensional evil.

But Erik, the morally compromised chief of the Blue Lips, is a fun, complicated, and necessary foil for simpler characters. Rose’s parents’ backstory is told in affecting fashion. And the worldbuilding will draw readers in. This imaginative young author has built a compelling world, populated by thoughtful, philosophical characters considering big questions. Readers will be curious to see how her work evolves.

Takeaway: Readers searching for classic YA fantasy with girls on the front lines and a focus on virtue will enjoy this traditional tale.

Great for fans of: Sherry Thomas’s The Burning Sky, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: C
Editing: C
Marketing copy: B-

News
10/04/2020
Called to Dragons Nest Book Trailer

Please watch the exciting video related to my first book!

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978-1-64654-313-7
  • 290 pages
  • $19.95
Ebook Details
  • 05/2020
  • 978–1-64654-314-4
  • 290 pages
  • $9.95

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