Dragons of the Valley

Dragons of the Valley
Donita K. Paul
 Published by Waterbrook PressPublished on September 2010

Summary taken from Goodreads:
 War threatens the peaceful land of Chiril… can one painter-turned-reluctant-swordsman really help?

With an invasion of her country imminent, Tipper Schope is drawn into a mission to keep three important statues from falling into the enemy’s clutches. Her friend, the artist Bealomondore, helps her execute the plan, and along the way he learns to brandish a sword rather than a paintbrush.

As odd disappearances and a rash of volatile behavior sweep Chiril, no one is safe. A terrible danger has made his vicious presence known: The Grawl, a hunter unlike any creature encountered before.

To restore their country, Tipper, Bealomondore, and their party must hide the statues in the Valley of the Dragons and find a way to defeat the invading army. When it falls to the artistic Bealomondore to wield his sword as powerfully and naturally as a paintbrush, will he answer Wulder’s call for a champion?

            If I had one piece of advice about this book, I would definitely say, “Don't give up!” I was kind of frustrated with the book for the first few chapters because Paul is completely making up an entire world, not that that's necessarily a bad thing. It was just very frustrating to not know who or what anything was without reading one of the indexes at the back of the book. I think even something as simple as moving the index that described the different races to the front of the book would have been helpful.
            However, once I learned what the different races were and had an idea of what she was talking about, I really loved this book. I think that many of the main characters are well-developed with personalities that were unique and special. I love the kimens, I wish they really existed because they were just so fun, and Lady Peg made me laugh from the beginning of the book till the end.
            I also really enjoyed the storyline itself. It didn't follow the hero saves the damsel in distress type of adventure storyline, which I found refreshing, even though I definitely enjoy that storyline. It does have the classic good verses evil theme to it, which I always enjoy, however, the final battle wasn't addressed quite as much as I anticipated. So don't start reading expecting raging battle scenes and constant action.
            Overall, I really did enjoy this book, and think the character development was very good. I found myself getting sucked into reading just to find out what some of the more interesting and unique characters would do next.

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