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Another Morris Award Finalist! I didn’t realize that this was the first in a series. At first, I was a little…disappointed? While I love reading the various award finalists, I don’t always feel that I am ready to make the kind of commitment an ongoing series takes. There are still so many that I haven’t finished. By the end of the book, I can’t wait for the second one. For some reason, the cover and title combination make me think that this would be a book where Owen travels to another reality to fight dragons. I was a bit off.

While the story is “about” Owen, it is told by Siobhan, and is equally her story. The book takes place in an alternate timeline that is mostly contemporary with the addition of dragons. It is an alternate history, with little changed, except the aforementioned dragons becoming a reason for many historical events.

I loved this book. I loved that Owen and Siobhan were not in love. They were friends, there was no tension, there was no drama or jealousy. It reminded me of the relationship I had with my best guy friend. This book had the feel of (the beginning of) an epic fantasy, brought into the future. Because it is an alternate reality of our world, it reads quicker than other epic fantasy stories. There is drastically less world building needed.

It’s a lot more plot driven than character driven. I do not say that as a criticism. Even if it were (I know for some it is), this is only the first book, and the characters may have plenty of time to evolve. For now, it is enough that they have made their choice to begin the path.

The female narrator is a nice change in this type of tale, though occasionally I wished that she were not telling her own story as a tangent to his. In truth, she shows that she has great power through her words to effect a community’s opinion and chooses to use that in a way that might help many. It was a great book, and when I closed it, I really didn’t think anything else on the Morris list would impress me more.

Title: The Story of Owen
Series: (Dragon Slayer of Trondheim #1)
Author: E.K. Johnston
Pages: 312
Age level: YA
Illustrated: No
Setting: Canada with dragons
Favorite Character: Owen’s family. As a unit, they are amazing. They acknowledge each other’s weaknesses and work together to be stronger.
Favorite Moment: Siobhan’s first dragon attack, when one of her first thoughts (after fear) was to want her book bag to write down the music in her head.
Rating: 4 stars
Book Source: Library