Candlewick Press (2009)
ISBN: 978 0 7636 3455 1
Reviewed by Tehani Wessely
Despite having a cover that truly put me off reading it for quite some time, The Dragon of Trelian was a very enjoyable book. With two charming central characters and a storyline that while simple, was very effective, the novel surprised me on many levels, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it.
Calen is a mage’s apprentice, and he doesn’t like what he does. His master really doesn’t seem to think much of him, he’s bored, and living a lonely life. Meglynne is an adventurous princess who simply can’t just do princess-y things – she needs more action in her life and despite loving her family dearly, often turns out as a disappointment from her escapades. When Meg meets Calen, and finds in him someone she can confide her biggest secret in, the pair set in motion a chain of events that is not only unexpected, but dangerous too, but which may see both of them finally finding their true places in the world.
The plot is reasonably straightforward in this novel, but it still manages to surprise the reader with some twists and turns that will particularly appeal to a younger audience. That said, there are more mature elements to the novel, such as a romance for Meg, and some darker elements of the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Dragon of Trelian, as a savvy YA and adult fantasy booklover, and I think that stemmed from the well-drawn characters and believable growth they underwent during the story. While not billed as the first in a series, there’s certainly scope for more to come in Calen and Meg’s stories, and I sincerely hope that Knudsen revisits them in future books.