Friday, September 11, 2015

Dragon Heart by Cecelia Holland

Things are in flux at Castle Ocean.  The ruling family is devastated by the death of the king in battle.  The ruler of the Empire he was in war with is determined to rule the kingdom and sends one of his brothers to marry the grieving widow.  She manages to put off the wedding until all of her five children are there to attend the ceremony.  The eldest son, Luka, is considered the new King by the inhabitants of the kingdom but the ruler of the Empire plans to put an end to that.

The other son, Jeon, goes to escort his twin sister, Tirza, from a convent where she has been staying to Castle Ocean.  Tirza is a problem to her mother.  Small in size, she cannot talk and her squeaks and shrill noises can be offputting.  As Jeon and Tirza sail home, the ships capsize and the two are separated.  Tirza is stranded in a pool with the cause of the destruction, a massive red dragon.  Amazingly, the dragon can understand Tirza and she spends her time with it telling stories.

Soon enough, she flees the dragon and Jeon, who also managed to survive, finds her and brings her home.  The family is reunited but there is a big obstacle in the way of their happiness.  The Empire must be defeated in its plans to take over.  Can they find a way to defeat the invaders?

Cecelia Holland is known for her historical fiction.  This book takes her into the realm of fantasy and readers will be interested to see what she does with this genre.  The castle itself seems to be alive and doing what it can to overthrow the interlopers.  The siblings work together and each does what they can to further the family's fortunes.  In the background looms the spectre of the dragon and what it plans to do.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

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