Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadjian, 265 pages, October 18th, 2016, Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Coming of Age. Warning: May contain spoilers.
by Leigh Holland
Dragonsoul is a tale of two worlds: Evenar, the land of color and vibrancy; and Hainabal, city of gray shades and gloom. The world each character is born into shapes their worldview, informing their actions. However, each is much more than the world that shaped them. Each of them must deal with their internal struggle and rise above for the sake of all.
After running away from his abusive father, a masked child known only as Zero is rescued from the streets by the king. Zero works hard to become a seasoned knight, serving his king. He and his men destroy all things within the gloom-covered landscape with any hint of color, such as books and dragons. Believing his king honorable, Zero never questions whether or not his orders are truly in the best interest of the kingdom.
Outside the city yet within the Gloom, a fourteen-year-old farm boy named Denyth discovers an egg. Taking it home, he is shocked when a baby dragon emerges. Raising the colorful Littlehorn becomes the most wonderful experience of Denyth’s previously colorless young life. Their bond is genuine and eternal. As Zero and his men are in pursuit to slay the last dragon, Denyth and Littlehorn flee with the aid of the Evenarian shapeshifter Nelai and enter Evenar seeking the help of the Wind Queen. By the end of the tale, these characters must come together to save the realms.
Two major themes throughout the book are good versus evil and the struggle within. “Color” represents the positive forces, including inspiration, wisdom, compassion, hope, and paying kindness forward. “Gloom” represents the negative forces within and around us, such as hopelessness, despair, anger, vengeance, and acceptance of these forces without struggle. Even so, the Gloom is comprised of shades of gray, not absolute darkness, therefore anyone can redeem himself. Another theme is that leaders and their choices affect the destiny of their people.
The story is told through shifting perspectives in a narrative style. The characters are well developed and the plot well-constructed. Descriptive devices conjured interesting settings without lengthy exposition. The writing style is reminiscent of beloved young adult fantasy books from my childhood such as “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle and “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy fiction.
Dragonsoul can be found at Dragonsoul.