Donita K. Paul's DragonLight is the conclusion of her "DragonKeeper Chronicles" series. Since I haven't read the earlier books, it was a bit confusing to jump right in, but at least there are a cast of characters in the front and a glossary in the back. I'd still suggest starting with the first book.
Anyway, after a lot of unpleasantness, relative peace and niceness have been restored to Amara, which sounds as though boredom will ensue. Not so. After a bracing bit of pest control, Kale (Heroine, Dragon Keeper, Light Wizard, and Woman With a Secret Even She Doesn't Know About) discovers that her husband is taking her off on an extended date that could get them both killed. He sure knows how to show a lady a good time.
The date involves a quest to discover a lost colony of extra-smart dragons, which leads us to ask
1. If they're extra-smart, how come they got lost, and en masse yet?
2. If they got lost anyway, did they perhaps have a good reason, so they should be left alone?
However, Bardon (Kale's Husband, Knight, Spouter of Wisdom, Sufferer of Cooties on Steroids) has discovered a group of people living together in regimented conformity and led by a group who think they're God's gift to God. (Thereby proving that even the Almighty enjoys a gag gift on occasion.) Bardon thinks fast: they haven't sued him, so they aren't lawyers. They haven't pulled a spreadsheet on him, so they aren't accountants. That means they must be either cultists or members of MoveOn. In either case, they are a threat to the realm, for they will eventually leave their commune and clog up the airports.
He reports the matter to Paladin ("Pal" to his friends), who immediately recognizes the grave fashion risk involved and orders Bardon to find an "expendable sucker" (royal jargon for "hero") to infiltrate the group off-camera. (This is, after all, a family-friendly book.) But he also orders Bardon to go ahead with the working date, knowing that there's nothing as romantic as stumbling onto a whole colony of misplaced dragons.
However, the trip has barely started when the true evil rears its head--and no one has the wit to realize it but the reader. It begins with Regidor, one of the smart dragons--yes, the same kind as the lost guys: they sent him out for pizza and he couldn't find his way back. Anyway, he has invented a small forerunner of a TV or at least a Video iPod. Faster than you can say, "And now a word from our sponsor," a group of dinky black dragons shows up and starts annoying everyone. (The book blames this on some ancient legend about a humungous dragon with a kind of psoriasis--a poor cover story.)
Anyway, the good guys assemble a team:
Kale and Bardon, Specialists in Romance and Surviving Bad Stuff (almost redundant);
Regidor, Specialist in Wandering Way Off and Saying, "Can You Hear Me Now?"
Gilda, Regidor's wife, Specialist in Making Others Want to Survive so They Can Kill Her Afterward;
Sir Dar, Specialist in Cooking and in Talking People to Death;
Brunstetter, Specialist in Being Tall and Jovially Killing Things;
Toopka, Specialist in Being Cute Yet Mysterious;
Sittiponder, Specialist in Babysitting Toopka and in Not Being Deceived by Appearances.
(And a cast of thousands.)
Will they find the missing dragons? Will the cult find them first and bury them in tracts? Will someone turn out to be a Catholic who's read Bel and the Dragon and therefore knows an amusing way to dispatch a psoriatic pseudo-saurian?
What do I look like, a blabbermouth? Read the book, already!
Even more rollicking adventure with the CSFF Team:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
* Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
* Shannon McNear
* Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
* Cheryl Russel
* Steve Trower
1 year ago