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Reviewed by Barbara Karp for Readers' Favorite
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the greatest Viking hero who ever lived, continues his memoirs in How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm. Author Cressida Cowell relates the youthful adventures of the heir to the Hairy Hooligan Tribe throne when he was an average, not-very-heroic-looking boy. As the tale begins, the well-named Murderous tribe has invited the Hairy Hooligans and the Bog-Burglars to a swimming competition. On a cold, wet, windy day, Hiccup joins the other boys, including his best friend Fishlegs — who is wearing inflated arm bands because he can’t swim — and Camicazi, the small but fiery daughter of the leader of the Bog-Burglars.
The competition begins. However, bullies relieve Fishlegs of his arm bands, and it is all Hiccup and Camicazi can do to keep him afloat. Horrorcow, the hapless boy’s dragon, is sent for help; however, before it can arrive, the three Vikings-in-training are swept further out to sea and captured by Raptortongues, dragons often used in spy missions. To Hiccup’s horror, their destination is a huge ship manned by vicious barbarians, and their captors are none other than Madguts, leader of the Murderous tribe, his assistant Gumboil, and Norbert the Nutjob, chief of the dreaded Hysterics. To make matters worse, the ship is bound for America, never to return. Hiccup discovers a group of over a hundred people chained in the ship’s hold. The Viking-hating Northern Wanderers receive a promise from our hero: in return for his life, he will find a way to free them. Can Hiccup and his friends carry off this feat, escape from the clutches of Norbert, and return home?
Cressida Cowell’s latest account of Hiccup’s adventures is as full of humor, suspense, and surprises as the earlier tales. Lively, spot-on narration by David Tennant brings the characters and the story to life. Listeners will eagerly snap up the next, and concluding, volume of the Viking hero’s tale.