Monday, June 17, 2019

MMGM- Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races (Water Dragon Races #1)

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Halbrook, K.D. Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races (Water Dragon Races #1)
June 4th 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Silver comes from a family of jewelers in the desert community of Jaspaton, and is expected to follow the family trade, but she really wants to be a water dragon racers like her idol, Saggitaria Wonder. Her cousin and best friend, Brajon, is supportive of her, but realizes it will be very difficult for her to pursue this path. When Wonder is due to visit her town, Silver hopes to impress her by making a flying suit, which she does with the help of a mysterious older woman, Nebbeker, who has a past different from most of the people in Silver's community. However, when Silver meets the famous racer, the woman is not only rude, but ends up kidnapping a rare Aquinder, Kirja, (a type of dragon) with whom Nebbeker shares a bond. Silver discovers that she herself has a bond with Kirja's offspring, whom she names Hiyyan. Her only hope to regain Kirja lies in legalities, and if she can enter and race Hiyyan in the competition, she can claim Hiyyan and also ask the queen to restore Kirja to Nebbeker. This is, of course, a vast undertaking, but with the help of Brajon as well as a Calidian servant girl, she manages to hold her own in the competition.
Strengths: This has a lot of action and adventure, with not only the dragon racing but also a journey through caverns, battling the evil Wonder, and surviving in the big city. Brajon and Silver get along nicely, and Nebbeker is an interesting character as well. Plus, of course, being bonded with a dragon!
Weaknesses: The world building on this was weak for me. Not only was it not a well defined place (even though there were some details that lead me to believe there should be one), but the background seemed lacking. Maybe we will get more details as the series continues. On a purely personal level, I'm never a fan of the "follow your dream no matter how misguided it may be" plot line. I was a Latin teacher, after all. And I'm not now. I should have known that was a bad idea!
What I really think: I will purchase this to keep up with the newly arisen demand for dragon books like Tui Sutherland's Wings of Fire series.
Ms. Yingling


  1. I'll have to keep my eye on this one. It's a new title for me, so thanks for sharing!

  2. It does sound like a fun concept, though I'm with you in preferring strong world building. All the same, I'll keep an eye out for this one! Thanks for the recommendation, and happy MMGM!


  3. This sounds like a fun book! It's too bad that the worldbuilding fell short. Thanks so much for the review!

  4. I've read way too many dragon books the last year but will have to give this one a try. Thanks for introducing another intriguing plot to me.

  5. Dragon racing, eh? That's an interesting idea that I'll bet kids would love. Thanks for telling me about this.

  6. I agree--dragons are quite popular again! Thank you for sharing this new title.

    Happy reading this week :)

  7. I will definitely have to check this out as my daughter is really into the Wings of Fire series, and therefore, into all things dragon. Thank you! Happy reading!

  8. This one looks like it will hit my sweet spot. Have a great reading week! :)