How to Break a Dragon’s Heart
(How to Tame Your Dragon #8)
By Cressida Cowell
Published by Hachette Children’s Books
Read by David Tennant
Last week I reviewed Adventures of a Brownie, a children’s’ story from the Victorian era. Now let’s looks at a fine example of what is being written for similar aged children in the “Second Elizabethan Era.”
So far, I have reviewed the first seven books of the series and have found them all a lot of fun. These might be marketed for children, but seriously they are not just for kids. There is humor and drama and extremely good pacing. The characters probably could be more complex, but we don’t expect depth out of Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Warner Brothers and their sister, Dot or Phineas and Ferb. However, as a whole, these stories have something in them that will engage the reader on one level or another.
This time our hero, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III must save his friend Fishlegs from being fed to the Beast because Fishlegs made the unforgiveable faux pas or writing a love poem to a beautiful Viking princess. To save Fishlegs, Hiccup must undertake an impossible task while battling Berserks and dodging Scarers. At the same time, he is being hunted down by an old enemy and must learn the secret of the Lost Throne of the Hairy Hooligans. Oh… and his friend Kamikaze, daughter of Big-Boobied Bertha, Chief of the Bog Burglars, is missing. It might just be that the impossible task is the easy part.
Like the stories that precede it, this one is a lot of fun. As I have said before, forget almost everything you might have seen in the movies that were adapted from these stories. About all they have in common is a few of the names and the fact there are Vikings and dragons and I really think the stories are better. They last longer and are both more dramatic and funnier. Read them for yourself and see if I am not right.
Once again, David Tennant. the 12th Doctor Who and one-time Harry Potter villain, reads the continuing story of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III masterfully. Admittedly he did cross the line a coup0le times from dramatic reading to funny voices, but as I once commented about a reading by another Doctor Who portrayer (Tom Baker), the way he does it is what most other readers attempt to do, but fail. When Tennant uses a funny voice, it seems to fit the character so well that I was able to forgive him. Indeed, if other readers did it as well I doubt I ever would have come up with that as a point of criticism.
So, this is a fun story whether relegated to children or also shared with adults and I don’t think I would want to hear anyone by David Tennant reading it.