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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: 'The Last Dragon'

By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Rebecca Guay
September 2011
Dark Horse Comics
ISBN: 978-1595827982

Dragons once ruled the islands on the edge of the land where men lived. But men settled on the islands and eventually conquered the flying serpents. For the last 200 years, men believed there were no more dragons. But they were wrong.

The first person to disappear is the healer, who had a timely conversation with his daughter Tansy about dragonsbane just before he makes a decent dinner for the dragon. Tansy is his youngest daughter and the one who will become a healer as well.

In true fairy tale fashion, she has two older sisters, who fill Mary and Martha roles as worker and dreamer. They and other villagers react to the dragon's menace in ways that show, in true fairy tale fashion, how fear makes people foolish.

Three boys are sent to scour inland for a hero to vanquish the dragon. They find someone, all right,  but Lancot isn't quite what he seems (just as his name isn't quite Lancelot, he isn't quite heroic when we meet him). But because this is a fairy tale and it is written by Jane Yolen, Lancot and Tansy find a way to slay the dragon.

Jane Yolen's words and Rebecca Guay's art combine superbly for a richly detailed story. Dark Horse shows once again why it is a serious publisher in a field that encompasses a wide range of storytelling themes and styles with publications such as this. And Jane Yolen shows once again why she is one of the grand storytellers of our time.

©2011 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reprinted with permission

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