Fourteen-year-old Kale, an o'rant child, discovers a dragon egg—or rather, it discovers her. The unexpected gift propels young Kale from a life of slavery in a small village to the honor of service to the benevolent Paladin.

Teamed with a stately emerlindian and a mischievous doneel, Kale embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue a rare dragon egg from an evil wizard. If they fail, evil wizard Risto will use the egg's power—destroying the special life within—to create a twisted race of creatures that will defile the earth.

Humor and whimsy blend seamlessly with pathos and heartache to render an enthralling adventure. If you buy one book of imaginative fiction for your upper grades/young teens (or even for yourself) this year, Dragonspell should be it. Superbly plotted, keenly inventive and peopled with delightful characters, this book stands to become a classic. (Jun., 352 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Nelson