How to Slay a Dragon (Book I of The Journals of Myrth)
By: Bill Allen
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: January 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: June 18, 2011
There are so many fantasy books out there in the market today, that it’s very, very rare to get your hands on one that is so different from the rest - with so many fun characters and a truly exciting plot - that when it does happen, readers should flock to their bookstores. …And Bill Allen has most definitely begun a series that is completely unique and absolutely “flock-inducing.”
Greg Hart is the main character of this wonderful story. Greg is a young man who has to look forward to beginning junior high tomorrow, and he’s not all that happy about it. In fact, there is a bully at Greg Hart’s school who just loves making his life miserable. What Greg is very good at, however, is imagining. Carrying around a journal with him, Greg Hart puts together truly fantastical stories that take him into other worlds where he is the hero who saves the Princess and the Realm, and it’s really exhausting imagining you’re a hero all the time.
While he’s writing in his journal, Greg hears the voice of the bully coming through the woods, walking with the girl he dreams about named Kristin. What Greg doesn’t want to do is look like an idiot or be teased in front of the prettiest girl in school, so he takes off - running through the woods to get out of the bully’s reach. What happens next is something Greg was never counting on.
Through a portal he goes, and Greg Hart ends up in the Kingdom of Myrth, headed by King Peter Pendegrass. He’s a very amiable king, but he was waiting for a long time for the hero of the prophecy to arrive and he is so happy when Greg lands in his realm. A hysterical assistant to the King named Lucky takes Greg aside and tells him all about the prophecy that one day a hero by the name of Greghart will come and slay the mighty dragon, Ruuan. Of course, Greg knows that they’ve made a mistake and TRIES to tell them so but…no deal. Everyone in the realm believes wholeheartedly that Greg Hart is Greghart.
The quest for the dragon involves a mysterious amulet, a Wiccan woman by the name of Witch Hazel, monkey dogs, trees that move, and a family of dragon-slayers that Greg desperately wants on his side. Every part of this story is extremely satisfying. The dialogue is hysterical, and watching Greg Hart battle his way through the death-defying tasks is a plot worth reading!
Quill Says: A fantasy novel that FINALLY stands out from the pack! Bill Allen has done an incredible job of bringing the land of Myrth to life, leaving the reader truly excited about the next great adventure.