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Book Review: Dragon and Soldier

Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner

[4.5 stars]

Dragon and Soldier     Amazon US PB Amazon US HC Amazon Canada PB Amazon Canada HC
Timothy Zahn
Class/Genre:   Science Fiction   Juvenile   Young Adult
Series: Dragonback Adventures # 2
Starscape, Jun 2004, $17.95, 299 pp.

Teenager Jack Morgan still adjusts to his only known relative Uncle Virge being a computer simulation and his symbiotic relationship with Draycos, who exists as a two-dimensional "tattoo" on a humanoid hostís skin or as a three-dimensional dragon. They met when Jack, running form the law, hid on uninhabited Iota Kletis while enemies attacked Draycosí ship causing it to crash planet side. They agreed to help one another.

Jack and Draycos conclude that mercenaries destroyed Draycosí ship since there was no backup like the military would have employed. Jack joins a mercenary outfit over the objection of Uncle Virge because he and Draycos figure that each of these paid to kill groups keep tabs on the competition. On planet Carrion, using the name Jack Montana and with the clever help of Draycos Jack joins Whineyard Edgeís Edgemen, a teen recruiting center. In training Jack meets talented Alison, but soon he, his dragon, she, and others will be sent on a deadly assignment in which no one is quite whom they seem to be.

Mindful of Andre Nortonís 1960s outer space adventures for teens of all ages and Star Wars, the second Dragonback adventure is a fantastic action-packed tale with a fabulous cast. Jack and the dragon are a delightful pairing as he provides specialized thieving skills while Draycos furbishes cerebral military tactics and specialized fighting to their joining. Alison is a wonderful new player while Uncle Virge remains the same as he wants his nephew to disavow the relationship that could kill him. Though DRAGON AND SOLDIER can stand alone, reading DRAGON AND THIEF first will bring deeper insight into how the humanoid and the dragon joined.

Harriet Klausner

Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner

Please Note: Books reviewed are usually provided by the publisher, author, or an agent. Reviewers usually get to keep the book.

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