Overview (No Spoilers):
Squire George, aka Squidge, finds himself unexpectedly set on a quest alongside a crew composed of a knight, wizard, and jester. On this dangerous adventure, this mostly reluctant group encounters obstacle after obstacle on their way toward the promised treasure. Will Squidge be able to forge his own path or will he get caught up in his family’s lofty expectations and his Knight’s cruel training? While Squire George & The Dragon follows the conventional path of a quest trope, Stolz breaks from the expected mold with his main protagonist, Squidge. Despite having no desire to kill anything, this young boy weathers harsh sparring sessions with the knight he squires for, Sir Remus, an individual who is constantly on the lookout for the next trophy to add to his extensive collection. When Squidge’s father and a wizard, Elzor, arrive with rumors of a dragon brewing in distant lands, the quest soon commences.
The story really drew me in once the journey started. Every hurdle the group encounters has a twist that delightfully doesn’t go quite as the reader expects. I think some of my favorite moments come from the interactions between Squidge and the troll. While I won’t spoil anything of their exchange, let’s just say a bridge and a toll are involved. These predicaments surface, one after another, with ever mounting danger, continually leaving Squidge to come up with a neat solution just in the knick of time.
While there isn’t a lot of depth to this literary world or its characters, Stolz crafted amusing banter throughout that serves to add significant humor to what, at its core, is a story filled with danger. Overall, I found Squire George & The Dragon to be an entertaining read where a seemingly straightforward quest belies an adventure that keeps the reader on their toes.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What happened to Prada’s niece?
- I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the Zephyr-fiends and Harry Potter’s Dementors.
- I loved that Stolz took a unique approach to dragons that ultimately made for an ending that wasn’t expected at all, though rather anticlimactic. Surprisingly, despite the lack of flashy conclusion, the ending felt satisfying and wrapped up everything nicely.
- Where the story really hooked me was Squidge’s interactions with the troll. Instead of battling the troll, Squidge came up with the compromise of working off the toll.
- I feel like there was so much backstory to Lagel and Cord that was not elaborated upon, leaving some mystery in the mix.
- What will Squidge’s family think of him abandoning the pursuit of becoming a knight?
- Can we all agree that Burr is the star of this story? 🙂 He reminded me of Bella from The Wheel of Time.
- Where will Folly go now that Remus is no more?
- Since the story had been fairly light up to that point, I found it extra shocking (a good thing) when the Dragon gobbled up Remus.
- Was the Prince that carried a magical flaming sword a reference to A Song of Ice and Fire?
- Did Squidge ever go back to see or wish his long lost grandmother farewell?
Coxcomb: a jester’s cap adorned with a strip of red
Rictus: the gape of a bird’s mouth
Unguent: a soothing or healing salve
Adze: a cutting tool that has a thin arched blade set at right angles to the handle and is used chiefly for shaping wood
Dray: a strong cart or wagon without sides
Scree: an accumulation of loose stones or rocky debris lying on a slope or at the base of a hill or cliff
Torpid: sluggish in functioning or acting
Tripartite: divided into or composed of three parts