Review: How To Train Your Dragon (10 book set) by Cressida Cowell
There is only one difficulty about being a children’s literature fanatic, an aspiring author and a book blogger. You can’t read all the books. Until this month I had missed out on one of the biggest children’s series of the 21st Century – the How To Train Your Dragon stories by Cressida Cowell.
With millions of copies sold and borrowed worldwide, with a successful film franchise based on the books, it was clear I was missing something.
When Books2Door offered me the chance to review a boxset, I jumped at the chance.
So what is How To Train Your Dragon about?
The story begins with Hiccup, son of the fearless Viking leader Stoik. Hiccup is training to be a great warrior. The only trouble is he is a wimp. My heart went straight out to Hiccup. I was that kid who was picked last for PE. I still have no coordination, no sense of direction and generally no skills which would make me of any use on a sports team. I rooted for Hiccup from the first chapter and didn’t stop until I had finished the series.
You see, Hiccup learns that there is more to being a hero than wielding a sword. There are other skills which are valuable in this world, like logic and empathy and resilience. Hiccup has those in spades. He continually outwits perils – from dragons to Barbarians to a deadly volcano – with his own skills and the help of his friends.
In short, it is about dragons and Vikings and sea battles and warriors.
The recurring antagonist Alvin keeps the tension up in a way which reminded me of the Harry Potter series. Every time something goes wrong in Hiccup’s life, the reader wants to know whether Alvin is behind it.
What I loved about the series was the plots differed from each other. The first book is about the other Vikings realising that their tribe needs more than one skill to survive. The second is a quest for an ancient sword. There are quests and mysteries and survival narratives.
The books are also witty and conscious of their young readership. Passages of text are broken up with slogans in large fonts and information files about dragons which reminded me of Top Trumps cards.
Would you recommend the books?
The books are page turners and I can see why they are so hugely popular. As well as being a detailed world, they are just well-plotted stories. Reading the boxset was a lovely experience because I was able to follow Hiccup and his friends through their different adventures. The boxset I read contains the first ten books and is available from Books2Door.
If you are yet to visit these classics, dive in. You’re in for a treat.
Click here to buy the same set and join the tribe.
Thanks to Books2Door for gifting my set of How To Train Your Dragons books. Opinions my own.