Genre: fantasy graphic novel
Length: 190 pages
Setting: a medieval-style world with dragons
Interest: I saw it at the library and picked it up for Miss Adventure. She likes dragons and we always enjoy graphic novels. It seemed like a perfect fit
Summary: Alanna and Hamel are living on their own ever since their father died last winter. Luckily Hamel learned enough blacksmithing skills to keep them going. Alanna gathers food in the forest where one day she finds a baby dragon. She follows the dragon to a cave full of eggs. She creates a dragon costume so the babies don’t imprint on her and returns to the cave as often as she can. Her brother isn’t as big a fan of the dragons. He brings a dragon-slaying knight into the cave. He’s only convinced not to kill the dragons when he sees the eggs have silver in them. They follow the cave out to the other end and find a valley full of dragons. The dragons are being studied by Margolyn in a steampunk blimp.
Final thoughts: Both Miss Adventure and I enjoyed the story. Alanna is definitely the heroine of the story. She wants to save the dragons, and everyone else seems to want to kill them. When she meets Margolyn, she finally finds someone else who believes dragons are fascinating. The knight threatens to ruin everything, but Margolyn and the kids prevail.
The artwork is a perfect match to the story. Sadly, it’s only in black and white. But it isn’t too busy – often the backgrounds are just solid black, grey or white. The artist employs a realistic style for everything, and we get a nice variety of dragons. As a bonus, we get some concept sketches at the end of the story. Overall, a highly enjoyable book.
Title comes from: Alanna is the dragon girl because she starts taking care of baby dragons she finds in a cave. The secret valley refers to the valley they find out the other end of the cave full of dragons.
Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was just a quick graphic novel
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