Bob the Dragon Slayer
Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
Review is by Molly
The adventure begins long ago in a place far away when orphaned, supposed, peasant boy Bob sets off to locate a fearsome dragon terrorizing a village. Bob had been roaming about, doing odd jobs and hoping for handouts. As Bob crawled forward intent upon his quest to see the dragon albeit from a safe distance a voice sounded. "I can grant you power to slay to slay the dragon …" Thus Bob and Stephen, a new graduate of wizard school AND perhaps cousin of Merlin of yore, who appears only to Bob and when no one else is about, begin an adventure. Before long Bob and Stephen find themselves slaying fiery dragons, searching for damsels in distress, outfitting Bob in armor, rescuing Lady Katharine, and embroiled in a battle. Castles, an evil king, lawyers, fair ladies, lofty knights and a reneged reward all help to propel the narrative forward to an agreeable conclusion. And even lawyers step in to assure that Bob is given his just and promised reward. Damsels in Distress who refuse Bob’s help because he is not an official knight are a bit of set back for Bob. On the other hand, a sword named Bruce, talking Ravens and trusty mount Spot and advice about how to go about killing dragons figure prominently as Bob and his exploits become well know throughout the land. Bob sets out to not only gain fame as the slayer of dragons, but to also lobby for the righteous treatment of the poor and downtrodden. A ring Bob has carried in his pocket will prove to be a surprise to the evil king ruling the land with an iron fist.
If you enjoy insouciant and indubitably engaging, then Bob the Dragon Slayer is the book for you. Author Gilleland had composed a zany yarn filled with all the usual suspects for the telling of an old-time legend type narrative : there are an orphan boy on a quest, fiery dragons, a meddlesome wizard, cavalier knights, fair ladies, evil kings, civil strife, true love and a true friendship . The writer’s handling of Bob's maturation as the lad attains an understanding of the challenges facing him is excellent. As an added bonus is Bob’s reliance as he learns to depend on and draw strength from his friends, Willie and Kate. Playful raillery scattered throughout the story adds to the flavor. There's just enough humor to make Bob the Dragon Slayer a pleasure to read, but not so much as to overpower the underlying virtue issues of devotion, integrity, brotherhood, and obligation.
The narrative of Bob the Dragon Slayer is an uncomplicated telling of inevitability, hope, and devotion. Writer Gilleland does not try to encumber the anecdote with unnecessary details or peculiarities. Neither does Gilleland make the yarn pretend to be more than it is; a short and focused theme of right will prevail by centering on Bob much of the time. The story flows, the reader remains focused and doesn't get distracted.
Audacity, renown, duplicity: This frolicsome anecdote is just plain fun to read. Composed with drollery and witticism, ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ will entrance readers venerable and adolescent alike. Sprinkled with whimsical colloquy and delightfully goofy characters ‘Bob the Dragon Slayer’ is sure to tickle the fancy of those searching for a good, fun read.
Not for everyone; some sexual innuendo causes the book to not be suitable for younger middle grade readers. I found the sexual references especially unnerving since the book opens with a grandfather gathering the ‘youngins’ to tell them a tale and then find him babbling about things best left to another time and place. Good book for an afternoon read.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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