Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fast paced fantasy story
Cons: A bit darker in tone that I normally enjoy
The Bottom Line:
Search for his father
Might lead Fort to last dragon
Fort’s Continued Hunt for His Father
Earlier this year, James Riley introduced us to his newest magical world. The Revenge of Magic is his third fantasy series for middle school students. We get to return to this world in The Last Dragon.
I will be including a spoiler for that first book below since that spoiler sets up the action for this book. Be forewarned as you read the review.
It’s been six months since the attack that rocked Fort’s world. He and his father were visiting Washington, DC, when something rose from the ground and snatched his father before vanishing. In the last few weeks, Fort has learned about magic and join a school in which kids are learning these skills. Even more surprising, he’s learned there is a chance his dad might still be alive. Since that day, rescuing his father is all he has thought about.
Now, Fort has a chance to get the magic book he needs to rescue his father from wherever he was taken. He has enlisted his friends to help him steal the book as it is moved one night. However, as always, complications ensue, including a new roommate that Fort is supposed to spend all his time with. But as he practices the magic skills he needs, he keeps having nightmares in which the Old One promises him his father in exchange for the last dragon. What does that even mean? Should he make that exchange? Or will his original rescue plan work?
For me, it’s been six months since I read the first book in the series, but this one does a great job of reminding us of the world that James Riley had created while propelling the action forward. I was soon caught up once again in this world and ready to see where Fort’s adventures took him here. They take him to some pretty unexpected places, and it’s a fun, fast paced ride that will keep kids reading. It certainly kept me reading.
As I was reading this book, I was able to pin point what does bother me about this series. It has a slight post-apocalyptic feel to it. Or maybe that’s just me trying to put a word to the feeling I get from it. Either way, it doesn’t have quite the same warmth and fun that James Riley’s earlier books have. That’s not a favorite genre of mine, so this is a personal issue with the book, but those who like the genre will love this book.
After all, the characters are fantastic. Fort is a very relatable main character, and he’s surrounded by a strong group of friends. I really liked how these relationships played out here – they felt realistic for what Fort was dealing with and his actions. That brought a realism to the fantasy that I appreciated.
While this series is not completely my choice of genres, I’m still anxious to find out what happens next to Fort. How can I not be after how this book ends? I’m glad I read The Last Dragon, and I think you will be, too.
This review is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.