Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
In Nistala, the Waddler Dragon laid three eggs, but hatches four as a golden egg that she does not remember producing lies with the others. Three boys and a girl are born, but the one from the golden egg Farluna is different as this draggling has few scales on his body. The other young dragons torment and scorn the “ugly” one, who feels isolated and alone except for his mother.
When his mother dies, the lonely one feels so forlorn he decides to kill himself by soaring to the end of the sky and then plunging straight down to his death. Instead of dying, he is rescued and escorted to Queen Nijameeno, who has numerous species of dragons residing in her humongous castle. The Queen tells the newcomer that he must seek his beauty in the treacherous northern mountains in the north accompanied by a Sprint Dragon to guide him.
At Prince Rapazo's castle, they learn that the evil Ewot has recently killed a historian in his efforts to control more of the land. The dragon decides his destiny is to challenge and hopefully stop Ewot.
This is a terrific young adult fantasy that starts off as a dragon version of the Ugly Duckling, but turns into a coming of age saga. The little ugly one is a fabulous protagonist whose feelings of rejection put him over the edge once grief adds to his misery. Interestingly his quest for beauty, which changes to his challenging the magically competent malevolent Ewot, gives him a reason to live. The support cast enhances a fine tale that children of all ages will want to trek alongside of Farluna in the land of Nistala.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner