How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm
By Cressida Cowell
Published by Hachette Children’s Books
Read by David Tenant
So… I am still listening to the How to Train Your Dragon series of which this is book #7. Why? Because while these are obviously children’s books and a bit simplistic at times, they are fun. It is important to keep in mind that the series books have very little in common with anything that happens in the movies of the same name save that the main characters are Vikings and some of the names are used in both, but if you take the books on their own merits, I think you’ll find them as much fun as I do.
This time around the Vikings of the Barbarian Archipelago are holding an intertribal friendly swimming race. The difference between most races and a Viking swimming race, however, is that the winner is the one who comes back last. More of an endurance contest, really.
By itself, that might have made an amusing story, but nothing is ever that simple for Hiccup and his friends Fishlegs and Camicazi. First they are sabotaged by the village bully, Snotlout and then are captured by Madguts and Gumboil of the Murderous tribe who turn them over to Norbert the Nutjob who is on his way to the legendary and far-off “America” where Norbert plans to found a new empire, the Land of the Nutjobs – there are times I think he succeeded. Meanwhile back in the archipelago, Madguts has been declared winner of the friendly race and as his prize he demands that Hiccup’s Dad, Stoick the Vast and Camicazi’s mom Big Boobied Bertha be fed to the dragons and that the lands of their tribes go to Madguts… some friendly race, huh?
The adventures and misadventures of Hiccup and his friends will keep you reading with interest whether reading for yourself or to your children. Face it. Don’t you want to know how Hiccup gets out of Norbert’s hands and back home in time to hopefully save his and Camicazi’s parents? Get a copy or else listen to an audio edition as I did.
David Tenant! Really, what else is there to say? His natural Scottish accent (years of playing the Doctor on Doctor Who notwithstanding) will have you believing the Viking’s Barbarian Archipelago is somewhere amid the Orkney Islands. He reads the story with practiced fun in his voice and rather than recite the words of the songs sung by Cowell’s Vikings, he sings them with lusty vigor. Few, if any, actors could do as good a job and I doubt any could do better.
So buy a copy of the book or the audiobook. It’s a longship-load of fun!