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Byron Shire
February 28, 2024

Book review – Handbook for Dragon Slayers

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by Merrie Haskell, HarperCollins,
pb RRP $13.99

Myth, marriage, magic and fantasy are all rolled up into one in this fantastic story of Princess Matilda, the one they say is cursed, Judith, the princess’s faithful maid and Parz the mighty warrior.

So a runaway princess, a faithful maid and a mighty warrior make up a group of would-be dragon slayers. These strange characters are all searching for different things but are all in the same fantastic story and all wrapped up in the same adventurous plot. One searching to redeem himself, one searching to show her strength and one searching for a place to write.

Although they all sound different, the ultimate purpose of this author’s work is redemption, revealed as you follow Parz’s character from the one known for his mistakes to the one known for his successes. The emotions this author brings out really intertwine with yours, making you cry when they cry, feel afraid when they feel afraid and be full of joy when they are full of joy. The author also uses her descriptive words to her advantage by really showing you the scene or room they are in at the time.

This book is truly intriguing and the author Merrie Haskell artfully and creatively weaves suspense and humour into the same sentence. You could never put down one of her books. Handbook For Dragon Slayers demonstrates her skill with writing and always leaves you wanting more. Her plot is edgy and imaginative and it is truly a unique book. Any reader with exquisite taste is absolutely bound to read this wonder of a book. This is truly wonderful, though its language was slightly repetitive in some scenes.

Overall this fantastic book is worth the read and is a read you will never regret. After reading this wonderfully creative story you will never turn back. Although this book was fantastic it was not my favourite book but my recommendation is that this book would be great for children ten to 16 years old. Will all the characters find what they were looking for, or was it not what they expected?

~ Jade Rushwood, Byron Bay Public School

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