Reviews for Dragon of Trelian
Booklist Reviews 2009 April #1
"Magician s apprentice Calen and young princess Meglynne meet accidentally when both choose the same hiding place from which to watch the enemy kingdom s procession, in which the prince of Kragnir comes to Trelian to marry Meg s sister. Calen, lonely with only his strict master for company, and Meg, burdened with a terrible secret, quickly grow to trust each other. Calen helps Meg with the baby dragon she has been secretly tending, and he teaches her how to manage the psychic link she s formed with it. When they discover a plot to assassinate Meg s sister on the eve of her wedding, thus rekindling the war, they must find a way to stop the traitor with just their wits, Calen s apprentice-level magic, and Meg s half-grown dragon. Calen and Meg s easygoing, entirely believable friendship is the core of this adventurous first novel. Meg is gutsy and impulsive, while Calen is thoughtful and steadfast; and they make an appealing duo. Though not breaking new ground, this is a solid addition to the fantasy genre."
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #3
After a chance encounter, Calen, the mage's apprentice, is befriended by Princess Meglynne ("King Tormon's third and least patient royal daughter"). Neither one realizes that within weeks the fate of two kingdoms will rest in their hands. Meg's older sister is pledged to marry the prince of the neighboring rival country, a union that should end years of bitter hatred, strife, and warfare. As the castle prepares for the momentous occasion, Meg herself becomes quite smitten by Wilem, a courtier from the rival kingdom, but her deepest secret-that she has found a dragon and has bonded with it-she shares with Calen alone. As the two work together to learn more about the dragon, they uncover Wilem's betrayal, a plot to kill Meg's sister that threatens to plunge the kingdoms back into war. Using their combined resources-his knowledge of magic and her mindlink with the dragon-they race to avert the impending disaster. The length of the story dilutes the pacing, but otherwise this strong debut novel should find a welcoming audience among Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale fans. Moreover, the villain's ultimate escape opens the door for further adventures featuring this endearing duo. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 March #2
Appealing characterization elevates a standard fantasy adventure. Princess Meg's independent streak saddles her with an awkward secret: Just as a nuptial delegation from an enemy kingdom arrives to cement peace terms, she accidentally "links" herself to a baby dragon. Fortunately, she bumps into Calen, a young mage-in-training, whose boredom with the dry didacticism of his mentor has left him eager to explore more practical applications of magic. When the pair stumbles upon a scheme to reignite political hostilities, their subterfuge becomes a desperate struggle to thwart a murderous traitor. There's nothing in this story line that the genre-savvy reader won't deduce by the second chapter, nor is there much innovation in the stereotypes of feisty princess and insecure apprentice. But this familiarity is transcended by the freshness of their voices, as well as the charmingly honest portrayals of family life, the dizzying heartbreak of first romance, the insecurities of loneliness and the rewards of scholarship. While the secondary characters (especially the dragon) remain woefully underdeveloped, the narrative moves at a brisk clip to a satisfying conclusion, with a broad hint of sequels. A promising start. (Fantasy. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June
Gr 4-7--Calen, a young mage-in-training, is vaguely dissatisfied with his life. Learning magic isn't as exciting as he thought, he's alone much of the time and always in trouble with his master for something. Then he meets Princess Meglynne and an unlikely friendship begins. Meg has secretly a dragon baby she found and is discovering all sorts of complications with keeping it secret. Calen helps her learn more about dragons and through his studies finds out more about magic and his own unique talents. When they discover that treachery is afoot, they must find a way to save the kingdom with only their wits and their talents. This is an exciting fantasy that draws in readers from the start. Knudsen does a fantastic job of creating sympathetic and realistic characters that really drive the story. The tale is adventurous and exciting with many twists and turns along the way. The ending is satisfying yet leaves room for sequels, which readers will be clamoring for. A page-turner.--Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ [Page 128]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 June
Calen is apprenticed to a mage who seems to not teach him anything. Meglynne is a young princess who dresses as a servant to escape her royal duties in the castle. The two are cast together and form a strong friendship. Meglynne trusts Calen with her secret--she is hiding a dragon in a cave. Calen sneaks into the mage's library to find out everything there is to know about dragons and realizes that Meg is linked to her dragon in a very magical way. She and her dragon are powerful together, exactly like Calen and his magic are powerful. When a plot to destroy Meg's kingdom is discovered, the two children and the dragon must foil the conspiracy and thwart the evil sorceress's plan. Knudsen's first novel is readable, but it needs some work. The dialogue is often stilted and a bit overwrought. Meg and Calen's sharing of magical power is repeated often and in too much detail. Readers realize that it weakens them when they help each other magically, but their friendship is more important than their health. There is a lot of discussion and thinking in the novel and not enough action; however, young readers love books about dragons and will not be disappointed. The cover is fascinating, and the thickness will draw in readers who love lengthy fantasies. A sequel is forthcoming.--Sarah Hill 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.