Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Paul, Donita K.
New York : WaterBrook Press, 2004
IL 5-8
ISBN 1578568234
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Kale had a talent for finding dragon eggs. She didn't realize it when she found the first one. She only thought that she had been extremely lucky. But, when she felt the pull in the cave and was unable to resist until she found the clutch of seven more dragon eggs, she began to realize that there was something special going on.

She was on her way to Vendela, the city where she was to be trained. But, she wasn't used to the crowds that she would encounter in such a large city. River Away had only about two dozen homes and not much more. And, she had been a slave there. But now she was free...with all the responsibility that entailed. It was all too much. She needed some time alone to get used to the clamor she knew she would encounter in Vendela.

So, she had the farmer drop her off outside the city despite his offers to take her all the way in. But when she climbed an embankment to watch some dragons soaring into the city, Grawligs, rough, hairy mountain ogres, captured her and she lost consciousness as they passed her back and forth.

When she came to, she discovered that they didn't tie knots very well. She managed to slip free of the bindings and slipped away when the ogres were distracted eating. She was some distance away when she heard a shout from the camp and knew they would quickly be on her trail. A misstep sent her into a narrow opening under a huge boulder and onto a hard rock floor. From the scuffling above, she knew the Grawligs were right above her, and soon they announced that they had found her. But, the opening was too small for them to pass through. Looking around, she found she was in a cave that went further underground. With several other openings.

Kale found one that would bring her out of the cave and away from the Grawligs. But, there was a narrow tunnel with moist air flowing from it that seemed to beckon to her. She climbed up to the exit and looked around, only to turn back to explore the tunnel that called to her. Although her mind wanted to escape the depths, her arms and legs ignored her commands. Enchantment!

She kept crawling through the muck and darkness. Finally, she saw a soft bluish glow ahead and came to a vast underground chamber. The enchantment pulled her through the maze of stalactites to a niche in the wall opposite. Seven small oval dragon eggs nestled there. She gathered them together and wrapped them in her scarf.

The enchantment was gone, and when she brought out her original dragon egg, she found that it had warmed and was gently thrumming. As she held her treasure, she found herself relaxing and her aches, exhaustion and hunger fading.

When she returned to the exit, she heard the sounds of battle coming from outside the cave. Peeking out, she found the grawligs being attacked. By two dragon-mounted riders, and one marione standing within a circle of the trolls fighting them off

And that was when Kale's adventure began to get interesting.  (Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2007-2008)

SUBJECTS:     Young women -- Fiction.
                        Master and servant -- Fiction.
                        Religious fiction.

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