This book was reviewed for Reader’s Favourite
Lee’s Dawn of Hope collects together the first 3 books of the Andy Smithson series. As a whole, the omnibus was quite enjoyable. Below, I’ll go over each book included.
We start with Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, where we meet Andy, a young boy having a very odd day indeed. Things only get weirder when he is pulled into a fantastical world and charged to break a centuries old curse that keeps the King alive, while those he loves pass on. To do so, Andy must obtain ingredients. First among them is a red dragon scale.
The next book is Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning. Here Andy returns to the magickal land of Oomaldee, where he must again help the royal family, this time by retrieving another ingredient. He must also retrieve the source of the curse, which has been stolen, causing the King to sicken. An old foe returns, and we meet new ones. We get to learn the truth behind the King’s curse.
Third in this book bundle is Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor. Andy returns again to Oomaldee, to retrieve a unicorn horn to help the ailing King. This time he is plagued by a being visible only to himself, urging him to bring the horn back to his mother instead. Then, his friends are kidnapped, held for the ransom of a unicorn horn. Andy has no intentions of harming the unicorns, but seeing if they would be willing to gift him a horn for the King. Now he’s afraid he will not be able to retrieve enough for everyone relying on him.
I found the writing of these stories to be a little clunky at first, even for an intended younger audience. A bit more variation in sentence length would enhance the rhythm, and including more words that are ‘difficult’ would help the readers increase their own vocabulary stores. You can see a definate progression of improvement from one book to the next though. I love seeing writers grow into their element.
Lee did a great job of weaving valuable morals into these stories, showing their importance in amusing ways. Humour plays a big part of all of the books. I enjoyed most of it. While not prudish, I’ve never been a fan of fart jokes, even when I was younger. Many kids do enjoy that brand of humour though.
In addition to displaying morals, the stories teach kids to think creatively. Everyone has their own dragons to fight. Bulimia, anorexia, bullies, crippling anxiety, parents/teachers who do not listen to a child’s needs. The list of ‘dragons’ is endless. These stories present creative ways to handle everyday problems the reader may be facing, which is a great thing in my opinion.