Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde Review

"Fifteen-year-old Alys is not a witch. But that doesn't matter--the villagers think she is and have staked her out on a hillside as a sacrifice to the local dragon.
It's late, it's cold, and it's raining, and Alys can think of only one thing--revenge. But first she's got to escape, and even if she does, how can one girl possibly take on an entire town alone?
Then the dragon arrives--a dragon that could quite possibly be the perfect ally. . . ."

I love dragons. That's what I have to say on that topic.

Is this really YA? Because it seems to be perfect for MG, not YA. Heck, maybe not even MG. But that is a different debate that I don't want to get into right now. Anyway, Dragon's Bait is (supposedly) YA Fantasy with dragons, magic, and a whole bunch of problems (witch trials, which is horrible as we all know). From the synopsis, it seems like a very decent book.

But what happened?

Let's talk about the dragon. Who is he? Selendrile. What does he want? It is easy to presume he is curious about humans, and his quips about finding them delicious is not amusing. Especially when Alys is so close to his teeth. I'm very wary of him and his mysterious ways. I do realize that he is totally into Alys' plan for revenge, but is there a strong connection between the two? Ehh... Not really. I won't trust a dragon even if it has no teeth. 

Alys is a toughie, and she manages to escape death. But I'm not very attached with her. Yeah, she's cool. But no, she's not a friend to me. 

The story starts off at Alys' "questioning." That means, she is being questioned by a bunch of accusers who think that she's a witch. I like Selendrile's sudden entrance/appearance, and the course of revenge is not always so smooth. But I feel like the book is underdeveloped, and I wish the author put more information into the story. I would love background information, but like the characters, the book doesn't open up. 

Selendrile and Alys. Is this a love story? Umm... Sort of? Hmm. It is actually more like "not really." Those two? I never felt a strong connection, especially the Selendrile towards Alys direction. 

The ending. Really? I'm raising my eyebrows at this. A fifteen year old goes off and lives with a... Oh, freaking. I'm not even completing that sentence. 

Overall, Dragon's Bait is not a favorite book. No, I'm not recommending this, because in my opinion, it's way underdeveloped. I wish to know more about the characters, the charming world building, and the nature of shapeshifting. It shouldn't be all about revenge. 

Rating: One out of Five

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