Book review: Dragons of the Valley

An absent-minded wizard and his companion embark on a mystical journey but taking a confusing detour. I know how they feel.

When I started reading Dragons of the Valley, a new novel by Donita K. Paul, I was bewildered by all the unfamiliar names, places, people and creatures. Like a tourist visiting a new country and not knowing the language of the locals, I was lost and struggled to get my bearings.

But then something really magical happened. Confusion gave way to delight. And though the world depicted in the story was utterly alien to me, I began to enjoy the journey and care about the characters.

In the tradition of The Lord of The Rings, Paul puts together a group of unlikely heroes, confronts them with villainous foes and unexpected perils, and inspires them with profound truths and deep friendships. In particular, fantasy fans of all ages will love the humble artist Bealomondore, who lays down his beloved paintbrush and takes up a sword to protect young Princess Tipper.

Ultimately, I believe that reading Paul’s earlier books in her dragon series may have alleviated some of the early confusion I experienced with Dragons of the Valley. That said, I’m glad I pushed past my initial disorientation to enjoy this fanciful tale.

Read what others thought of Dragons of the Valley by clicking on the links below:

Gillian Adams
Noah Arsenault
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Keanan Brand
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Amy Cruson
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Amber French
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.


13 Responses to Book review: Dragons of the Valley

  1. […] Tammy Shelnut Kathleen Smith James Somers √ Speculative Faith √ Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler √ Dave […]

  2. I’m glad, too, Dave. I’ve read all six of the previous books set in this world, and I honestly forgot that others might be confused by the list of characters and the different races. I’m so happy you were able to get beyond the unfamiliar and enjoy the story.


  3. Sarah Sawyer says:

    I wondered if the unfamiliar world might be a stumbling block for those who hadn’t read Donita’s other books and even mentioned that in my review. I’m glad to hear that it didn’t prevent you from enjoying the book!

  4. Thanks for the review. I’m glad you stuck with it and ended up enjoying the story. If you have any young people, be sure to visit These are picture books and we have two contests going on right now. Both end in February and have great prizes.

  5. Phil says:

    Excellent review. This echoes my thoughts as well. Though I generally prefer “gritty” suspense thrillers, Mrs. Paul’s books manage to appeal to me in a special way.

  6. Becky Jesse says:

    I like being brought into another world with different languages and different things that I need to experience to enjoy the world. I also love listening and trying to mimic other languages and getting into the culture (mainly through food) of other backgrounds than mine. Maybe that is why I like this book. Thanks for posting your honest opinion though! 🙂

  7. Good review! I am glad you were able to get into the book not having read the previous ones. I wondered!

  8. David Wilson says:

    Interesting perspective Becky. Any times of cultures and food that you tend to favor?

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