Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Dragon's Bait

Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Released: April 1st, 2003
Fifteen-year-old Alys is not a witch. But that doesn't matter--the villagers think she is and have staked her out on a hillside as a sacrifice to the local dragon.

It's late, it's cold, and it's raining, and Alys can think of only one thing--revenge. But first she's got to escape, and even if she does, how can one girl possibly take on an entire town alone?

Then the dragon arrives--a dragon that could quite possibly be the perfect ally. . . .

Taken from Goodreads

Start: 4/2/2014 | End: 4/4/2014 | Pages: 208 | Rating: 3.5 Stars  

My Thoughts: 

I discovered this book through Tumblr, surprisingly, because the post summarized the plot of it but NEVER gave out the title. I literally had to search through the notes in order to see who answered the poster's question, and I FOUND IT. 

Dragon's Bait is a pretty old book, being published around 11 years ago. I'm surprised I never read it when I was younger, because this would have been perfect for me. There is only a tinge of romance in it, since it's technically classified as a children's book. It FEELS like a children's book. 

Our main character, Alys (such a cool name), from the start of the book, is accused of being a witch *gasp*. Her father is currently suffering from some sort of disease, and promptly dies while she's being taken away. However, instead of being burned at the stake, the Inspector, Atherton, decides to feed her to the nearby dragon as a sacrifice. This way both her, and the dragon, will be gone. 

Luckily for her, this doesn't happen, and instead, we see her befriending the dragon, Selendrile. And not only this, but the dragon can also change into any creature, including human. The reason why he rescues her is unknown, maybe it's because of her thirst for revenge at the townspeople, and the people she thought were her friends.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked this book. It was very fast-paced, and I liked both Alys and Selendrile. But the truth is, I really wished that there was more. 200 pages simply isn't enough. It's really not fair that this is a children's book, because this concept has sooooo much potential as a young adult novel. SO MUCH POTENTIAL. I would absolutely love a love story between these Alys and Selendrile. A sequel to this book would be amazing.

But no. I'm just stuck with a couple of shy glances here and there from Alys, with Selendrile just smirking from a distance. Like I can FEEL the attraction but I'm given nothing substantial.

Then again it is a children's book and I just have to calm down. (Though seriously if anyone's heard of a book similar to this one let me know asap)

I really liked how this book showed the difference between the two characters. Alys is pretty innocent, and she doesn't understand how evil the world can be sometimes, though her accusation kind of shows her this. Yet, it's not like she wants the world to burn. The revenge she seeks is fairly innocuous, like wanting to ruin the reputation of both men who accused her. She never thinks about burning the town to the ground. 

You would think that dragon boy over here would think otherwise, but he NEVER questions her! He doesn't suggest, hey let's just burn the town to the ground, but instead helps her think of ways to get revenge. The bulk of the book takes place carrying out their plans, rather than bonding (which is what I had in mind). But then there are some things he does in the background that really makes you (and Alys) question where he got it, how, and whether this should actually be a children's book or not. 

But you know what!? You can totally tell that he really likes her, whether it's romantically or not. Even though Alys keeps on telling herself not to trust him, in the end she does, and honestly I don't know how she does it. I don't want to spoiled the ending for you, but I have a head canon that both Alys and Selendrile become the best of friends. I don't care if there's another book that says otherwise.

It wasn't the best of books, but it was really fun to read. I read more than half of it in one sitting, and then the other half in the next. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a very quick read, and also misses children's books. This book also has some moral to it, like "people only believe in what they want to believe" or something like that, but I'm not sure if I caught on to it entirely. 

And yes I love HTTYD, and no it's not relatable to this book at all except DRAGONS. Excuse for me to use the gifs haha.


  1. Aww man :( That concept sounds awesome!! I would love to read a romance between a human girl and a dragon boy! That's just amazing things waiting to happen. So sad it merely touches anything on that regard, but I think I would still read it!

    P.S. HTTYD is the best. I bough my host sister a Toothless toy that makes noises wen you squeeze it ;)

    1. Aww that's so cute! I want a Toothless plush! And yes such a novel would be fantastic!


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