Dragon's Pawn is a quick, fun read for those looking for a fantasy book that is a little lighter than most that are out there. The hero is Jarl, a computer programmer from modern-day earth who is recruited to become the hero of Realm, the alternate world where all the fairies, leprechauns, etc. escaped to when man chose science over magic. Jarl is appointed Dragon's Pawn and given an amulet that he cannot remove. As he does good deeds, the dragon's scales on the amulet turn to gold. So Jarl sets out across the country killing ogres, fighting dragons, freeing princesses from binding spells and the usual sort of heroic stuff. He finally makes his way to the Keepers who guard the Gate between worlds and discovers that the evil wizard is trying to build another gate, which would enable him to bring in evil creatures from every universe/reality. But does Jarl have enough power in his amulet to stop the wizard from taking over Realm?
I really enjoyed Carol Dennis' charaters. They are easy to get to know and aren't really deep, but they were fun and they all have their own little quirks: Jarl has some hesitations about believing in magic when he first arrives, but quickly discovers that magic is real if you believe in it...;Mirza is everything Jarl ever wanted in a woman, but she is hard to keep track of as she can choose to be any shape she wishes; Fafnoddle is a pacifist, vegetarian dragon who would much rather develop new plants such as his steak-tasting fruit than fight; Ebony is the evil-wizard's dragon whom Faf falls in love with; Rory is a leprechaun who gets dragged into being the Keepers' contact with Jarl; then there are the dryads, the death-that-comes-from-the-sky creatures, laser-shooting robotic warriors, old librarians, other pawns, and many, many more.
The world is basically earth if magic still existed and is very easy to imagine. The plot is quick and easy to understand, as well. This book would probably be better appreciated by teenage readers and/or first-time fantasy readers, but if you read a lot of fantasy (as I do), you know that it is sometimes good to get a break and read something that doesn't take a lot of thought, but is still quite well written - if you fall into this category, check out this book. I look forward to reading the next couple of books in the series and seeing what happens to Jarl and his companions!
This report prepared by Debbie