Blog Tour—Donita K. Paul, Day 3


First, I want to recommend that you stop by the sites of the other bloggers participating in the tour focused on DragonKnight:

Sally Apokedak
Valerie Comer
Johne Cook
Janey DeMeo
Mary E. DeMuth
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Leathel Grody
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Marcia Laycock
Shannon McNear
Matt Mikalatos
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower

In particular, check out

  • Stuart Stockton and Sally Apokedak for reviews
  • Shannon McNear and Beth Goddard for stories about Donita
  • Leathel Grody for discussion about fantasy’s place in Christian literature
  • Rebecca Grabill for the myth behind the myth regarding fantasy 😉
  • And now, my review.

    I’m not a proficient reviewer by any means. For the real deal, check out Sally Apokedak’s reviews. Mostly I just know what I like, and I’m enthusiastic about DragonKnight.

    This is the kind of fantasy I eat up—a quest for a noble cause, conflict between good and evil, a personal battle within. On top of that, I thought this was by far Mrs. Paul’s best writing.

    First, I thought the protagonist, the previously prickly squire Bardon, had a believable goal from the outset. The problems and delays that cropped up still felt like a part of the original problem, so I easily transferred my concern to seeing the new foils dispatched. In addition, the characters that waylaid him from his original plans were delightful, interesting, well developed.

    Second, I found Bardon to be a more complex character than Kale, heroine of the previous DragonKeeper books. He was someone I could care about in his internal as well as external struggles.

    I also thought Mrs. Paul improved the battles in DragonKnight. With perhaps only one exception, I could see each scene, track the participants, follow the outcome. Realistically, some people were injured and some villains died.

    Once again Mrs. Paul’s inventiveness is evident. The minneken Jue Seeno threatens to steal the show as did Dar in DragonSpell and Toopka in DragonQuest, yet Mrs. Paul again manages to keep the focus in the right places.

    Bardon’s mental rehearsal of the principles from the tomes, clearly a potential minefield of preachiness that Mrs. Paul avoids, are especially fresh and appropriate.

    As in the first two books, I thought there were occasional slips into transparent Christian equivalency, the most noticeable being prayer before meals (particularly the one where Bardon said, “We thank You for this food and for the hands that prepared it.”). Still, these intermittent lapses did not spoil the story for me.

    The end held some wonderful surprises, all made believable because they had been properly foreshadowed. I must also admit to shedding a tear and may have cried outright if the characters had given in to grief.

    All in all, this book delighted from beginning to end. Using Sally Apokedak’s star rating system, I’ll give this book


    – – –

    Tomorrow we’ll have a tour wrap-up, including the answers to Monday’s non-quiz. 😉

    Published in: on June 22, 2006 at 5:00 am  Comments (16)  


    1. Nice review Becky. 🙂 Good thoughts and insights.


    2. Thanks for stopping by, Stuart—I appreciate the feedback.

      Your post today was great. I love the personal stories about Donita. Writers really do have real lives! 😉



    3. I took a detour on dragons today.

      Did you notice that sales ranking on went to 733 or so. It’s still doing nicely. Even the first volume is ranked respectably at amazon, and that came out two years ago.

      Most coolsome stuff.



    4. Mir, thanks for reminding me about the amazon rankings—I’d wanted to check that out today. Still running low. I’m excited it’s getting such a positive burst upon release. I think that bodes well.

      It really is a good book, too. Well deserving of attention.



    5. Not that I check these things daily, or hourly, even, but Barnes and Noble ranked DragonKnight in the 800s yesterday. That is amazing! But of course, I don’t look at those numbers.
      Seriously, when I mention Amazon and B&N numbers to my editor and agent, I get a major “tut-tut” lecture. They assure me that those numbers have minimal value and the only numbers that really count are turned in by the sales department. By the way, the sales department is very happy!


    6. “occasional slips into transparent Christian equivalency”

      Good phrase. I’m going to have to remember that the next time I review a CBA book! 🙂


    7. Ohhh. I like it too. Donita must have a strong constitution to be able to check her own sales ranking.

      I have a hard time checking my blog stats.


    8. Donita,

      Since the rest of us aren’t privy to those sales department numbers, we have to take the crumbs where we can find them. 😉

      I am happy to hear, though, that your sales department is happy!

      God’s blessing as you continue to write.



    9. Elliot,

      That phrase just seemed like the most succinct way to describe it.

      At a conference this year, one critter claimed my work had transparent Tolkien equivalency, though he didn’t use those same words. I’m not sure that’s much better than transparent Christian equivalency. Of course I don’t think it’s so … but does an author ever know for sure?



    10. Rebecca,

      Wouldn’t you be at least a little curious? I think it could get a little … out of control, from what other authors have said, any way. That’s what I’d have to guard against, for sure. Kind of like the “They like me” barometer for writers. Sales numbers and reviews.



    11. Argh! I somehow missed that I was going to be in Costa Rica during the tour. So of course my site says nothing about it. I am lame. I see that you have linked to my site saying I am in on the tour. I imagine everyone did. Can you let me know what I can do at this point to help? Lame, lame, lame! So sorry.

      (sound of head hitting desk)


    12. Matt,

      Complete answer at your site. Hope we can catch you next week.

      And, hey, if I was going to Costa Rica, I just might have forgotten too. Don’t sweat it.



    13. Hey! You stole my stars. You linked right to my site, you thief! heh heh. Is nothing sacred. Soon I’ll open up your little blog and find my smileys splashed all about hither and yon.


      Great review. I particularly like “the previously prickly Squire Bardon” line. heh heh

      And give me a break about the real deal. If you had an eye-rolling smiley I’d use it here.


    14. If you had an eye-rolling smiley I’d use it here.

      Heh heh heh—you could always just paste one over from your site! 😉

      And for the record, I did come clean over at your site—confessed my crime right out there for the world to see. Notice, I said “confessed,” not “repented.” I like your stars! They add a touch of class.

      Thanks for the kind comments about the review. But yours does stand as the real deal!



    15. Yes, you did come clean. That’s why I came running right over to see what you had done. You thief.

      I once right-clicked on a page to view source and I got a message that read, “Hey, it’s bad manners to be peeking up my skirts.” Heh heh. It was a normal web page but they’d put that message and then spaced several lines before they started the code so if you failed to scroll down it looked like that was all that was on the page. Very funny.

      I laughed but that never stopped me from viewing people’s source codes and finding out how they did stuff. It’s how I learned all my html.


    16. Janey’s Blog is awesome!!!!!!!!!
      How funny to find out you know her too:)
      Take Care,
      Diana Joy


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