Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen, art by Rebecca Guay

All the dragons had been dead for generations.  Nevertheless, one day, a dragon appears and begins terrorizing the town of Meddlesome.  The first victim of the dragon is the town healer, who leaves a wife and four daughters behind.  Tansy, the youngest, that has her father's gift for healing, works out what happens and warns the town.  Three boys are sent to find a hero to defeat the dragon, but they man they bring back is no hero.  It will take Tansy's plan and the whole town together to overcome the dragon.

First, this was beautifully illustrated.  Rebecca Guay's artwork is just amazing.  Everything she does has such a wonderful sense of fantasy, like you're inside a dream.  The colors are muted, adding to the dream-like feel.  I really like how she draws people's eyes.

The Last Dragon is a lovely, simple story.  Tansy is clearly a very smart girl, but girls aren't supposed to be smart, so she spends most of her time by herself.  The hero, Lancelot, that's brought back to the town, is a young man who was only interested in the money, and is terrified to realize he's supposed to fight a dragon.  Tansy, however, has been working on a plan that she shares with Lancelot so he won't lose face (which was awfully nice of her).  It takes the whole town working together, however, to make the plan come together.

Tansy and Lancelot undertake the most dangerous part of the plan, and when things don't go as they should, Lancelot gets to show that he's really brave after all.  Everything ends very happily ever after.  It's a perfect fantasy story.

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