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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Kathleen Bradford’s Book Three of the Gateways Series: The Song of Dragons takes place in the world of dragons. Luke and Valeen go through the Gateway with their friends, Laura and Ian, who are Natives from the Third Realm, expecting singing birds and blooming flowers to greet them in the realm of dragons. When the four friends arrive, they are instead welcomed by concrete buildings, metal beams, and an unpleasant general named Cornelius Haft. Concerned with the realm’s gray and gloomy atmosphere, the four friends try to find out what happened to the once lush, lively, and magical realm of dragons. Their curiosity and concern lead them into an adventure filled with unexpected trials, different from the exciting ‘vacation’ they had initially planned.
The Song of Dragons is an extraordinary, magic-filled ride into the realm of imprisoned dragons, talking dragonflies, and exceptional heroes. The realm of dragons was once a beautiful, blooming magical place but because of misplaced fear, the majestic creatures that once flew the skies unimpeded have been chained to be tamed and used. I found myself invested in the safety of the prisoners and all throughout the book I was letting out small exclamations and cheers. It was so easy to immerse myself in the world of the dragons and it was even easier to be invested in the characters; each of their struggles and triumphs felt like my own. Switching points of view among the characters allowed me to delve deeper into the kind of people they are and dragged me into the story even more. I especially did not expect to feel sympathy for Cornelius Haft, who imprisoned the dragons of his realm. I actually gained some sympathy for Cornelius, especially when it came to the accident that caused his wife’s death. Although I did not agree with the decisions he made before and after her passing, I felt his overwhelming grief afterwards and grew to understand the resulting, but misplaced anger he had towards the dragons. That just goes to show how powerful, unforgettable and moving Bradford’s writing is. She wove a web of intricate plotlines, drew me in with the promise of dragons and magic, and topped it off with a big silk bow of noteworthy characters. Truly amazing.