How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel
How to Train Your Dragon Book 10
Written by Cressida Cowell
Published by Hachette Audio
Read by David Tenant
Well, our hero, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, is at it again. Following his exile as an outcast with the “Slave mark” at the end of Book 9, How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword, he has grown in the intervening year as he has tried to find out what has happened to his father, Stoic the Vast and his best friend, Fishlegs. To do this he must manage not to be caught either by those Vikings loyal to Alvin the Treacherous or the members of the Dragon Rebellion.
When he finds his father, he and most of the rest of his old tribe have been enslaved, along with anyone else who has dared stand up to Alvin, and forced to look for the Dragon’s Jewel with which not only can all dragons be destroyed forever, but which Alvin needs in order to truly be the king of the Vikings, Naturally, Hiccup wants to find it to save the dragons even though many of them are bent on killing him.
This series began as a light children’s tale with much humor and satire, but as Hiccup has grown up, so too has the nature of the story so much like the later Harry Potter books., this is a much darker story than that it was in the beginning. Hiccup has grown and so has the nature of his problems.
Interestingly, in many ways the upbeat end of the story takes place two or three chapters or so before the end of the book, and even the narrator suggests that would be a good place to stop reading. Everything is going well and Hiccup and his friends are triumphant… and then it all falls apart which a lead=in to the next book, How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero.
So far, I still enjoy the story very much. Like any good children’s books, they do not feel as though written down to kids’ levels and, if I am a representative example, can be enjoyed just as much by adults. So, adults, stop trying to be so grown up and sophisticated and just relax and enjoy these stories!
What more can I say about David Tennant’s narration skills. He did an excellent job of reading the first nine books of the series and continues to do so this time as well. Fans of Doctor Who will, of course, remember him, as the Tenth Doctor, and, as such, played the part with a fine mixture of adventure, drama and whimsy. That is how he reads these books as well.
So, my recommendation is to just sit back and listen. It’s a fun, if dark, story and it’s being read to us by “The Doctor” or one of them in any case. Enjoy!