Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Caramel has been reviewing the books in Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series (2001-2015) one by one. He last reviewed the tenth book in the series: How to Seize A Dragon’s Heart. Just recently he obtained copies of the last two books in the series and is getting ready to review them for the book bunnies blog. But in the meantime, he wanted to talk about a little book that Cressida Cowell wrote (or apparently, translated from the Dragonese) in 2006: How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel reviews How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: Okay, Caramel, so we just read this book together, and I think at 74 pages, this is the shortest book from Cowell about Hiccup and Toothless, no?

Caramel: Yup, at least the shortest I’ve read.

S: True, there might be other books, possibly for younger folks, that might be shorter. But this is definitely shorter than the ten books you read from the How To Train Your Dragon series, right?

C: Yes. And it is not quite a part of the series really.

S: So tell our readers what this book is then.

C: This is a story told by Toothless. All the ten books I read from the series are told from Hiccup’s point of view. But this time, Toothless is telling us a story.

S: Yes, and it is a pretty neat story I thought.

C: Yes. In this story, Hiccup and Fishlegs are still pretty young and so is Toothless. The young Vikings are in a hunting competition, and they are supposed to have their dragons hunt fish for them.

S: And then what happens?

C: Toothless eats a ton of glow-worms, those are nanodragons that the hunting dragons like to eat. And don’t worry, they are not being cannibals. Nanodragons are a different species, very small and apparently delicious according to Toothless. So Toothless says it is like humans eating chicken, not like humans eating each other.

S: I see.

C: Toothless is too full to hunt but then the glow-worms in his tummy light up and help them catch lots of fish. And then …

S: Wait, don’t give away all of the details!

C: Okay, I won’t. I will stop here. I will just say that the rest of the adventure involves a DarkBreather, a horrible terrible sea monster with a huge mouth.

S: Okay, I think that is a good clue to share with our readers, just enough to whet their appetites.

C: But I do have to say DarkBreathers are scary and they drink BLOOD

S: Wow! Okay, I think we should not scare our readers too much!

C: Oh, they should not worry. It is not a scary story really, but really fun to read.

S: So quite a typical story from the How to Train Your Dragon world, right?

C: Yes, but a new one, it was not one that we had read earlier from Hiccup’s view.

Caramel is reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel is reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell.

S: Okay, so then let us think about the book more generally. What three words would you use to describe it?

C: Funny, adventurous, and interesting characters.

S: Well, we knew the characters from the other books already, no?

C: Yes, but hearing about them from Toothless is fun.

S: I see. And the dragons are still much smaller than the ones in the movies and the animated series, right? They are small, like big hunting birds?

C: Yes. Some are the size of an eagle or a hawk. The books are very different.

S: But I do know you like those series a lot too.

C: Yes. And I really really like one of the songs from them. Can we put a video of “This is Berk” here?

S: I think we can. Let me see. For some reason I am not able to embed the video (even though we can embed other YouTube videos to our posts), but here is a link for folks to listen if they want to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNPIih4X7SA And this is the link we have used more often: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWr0hSKLcXY Unfortunately, both have some ads at the beginning.

C: No worries. I love this music!

S: I know. Maybe you think about flying on your own dragon?

C: Sometimes.

S: A little bunny on a dragon might not be too safe.

C: Meh, nothing is safe in this world.

S: A pretty insightful statement from a little bunny, but as your mommy bunny, I am not sure I like that sentiment coming from you.

C: Aw come on. You know I am always careful!

S: I know. I know you would definitely be careful if you were flying a dragon!

C: I wish! But can we at least put a trailer of one of the movies?

S: Okay, let us try.

The trailer for How to Train Your Dragon (2010) from YouTube.

C: The movies are really fun too but I also really like the books.

S: I know! Okay, I think this is a good time to wrap up our review. I know our readers will be looking forward to your reviews of the last two books from the series.

C: Yes, they are coming! Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell, and is looking forward to finishing up the original series soon.
Caramel loved reading How to Train Your Viking by Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell, and is looking forward to finishing up the original series soon.

Caramel reviews How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell

Caramel has been reviewing the books in Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series one by one. The last one he reviewed was the eighth book (How to Break A Dragon’s Heart). Because Marshmallow had already reviewed the ninth book (How to Steal A Dragon’s Sword), Caramel decided to skip that and move on to book #10: How To Seize a Dragon’s Jewel. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel reviews How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, we are on book number 10. Tell me about it.

Caramel: This book is about the dragon gem. It has the power to destroy all dragons forever.

S: Wait, that sounds serious. So the title is talking about a dragon’s jewel. Is that what you are talking about too?

C: Yep.

S: So which dragon owns this dragon gem? And who is trying to seize it from them?

C: I think it belongs to all dragons, but it is hidden and there is a map that shows where it is. Hiccup and his friends are trying to find it before bad guys do.

S: Because of course the bad guys would want to hurt the dragons?

C: Of course. But there are others who just don’t want Hiccup to have it. Those are some dragons who do not like humans much.

S: Hmm, that is interesting. So there are factions among the dragons, because Toothless and many of the other dragons we met actually like humans, right?

C: Yes. Also the map has a red herring.

S: Oh, do you know what is a red herring?

C: A fake lead, so a clue that looks like it will lead somewhere but it won’t. It is a picture of a red herring, a real herring, a fish, that is winking.

S: That’s a cool way to teach children this phrase! A red herring that is a real red herring!

Caramel is reading How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel is reading How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

S: So you read all ten of the books in this series now. Did you enjoy this tenth book as much as the others?

C: Yes, but I think I liked the ones before the eighth one more, because with the eighth book things start getting a bit too serious. A bit too scary.

S: What do you mean?

C: There is a character named Excellinor. She is a witch and Alvin the Treacherous’s mom, and she is really scary.

S: Hmm, and she shows up in the eighth book, is that so?

C: Yes. And see, here is a part where I think it gets extra creepy:

The Librarian turned, and poked his way back to Prison Darkheart, slaloming crazily through the corpses, with all the eagerness of one who has waited long to settle an old score.

Everything we do, you see, has its consequences and repercussions, every kind act and every bad, every friend we make, and every enemy.

Everything is connected.

C: And the Librarian is not even as scary as Excellinor.

S: Okay, I can see why you would get a bit sad that this series, which was mostly fun and light-hearted, became a bit scarier than you had expected.

C: Yes! I really am a bit bummed by it.

S: That seems to happen a lot though, as the characters mature, for example, in the Harry Potter books, too, things start getting more and more serious and scarier and scarier.

C: I know. And that is kind of why I’m avoiding reading those books.

S: Well, I still think they are really good books and you should read them some time soon…

C: We will see. Maybe I can be convinced.

S: Maybe. I’ll see what I can do to convince you. Well, let’s get back to this tenth book of the How to Train Your Dragon series. What three words would you use to describe it?

C: It is a bit scary, so I would use that word. Then, it is also still funny, so that is my second word. And sad.

S: Oh, I did not know that. But I know you don’t like too many sad stories.

C: I hate them. The only sad story I liked was Charlotte’s Web.

S: But you liked this book too, no?

C: Well, I guess this counts too.

S: So do you still want to read the eleventh and the twelfth books? Or are you too scared now?

C: Maybe. I think I do want to read them. But I hope they won’t be so sad and they won’t be too much scarier.

S: I guess we will see, right?

C: Yep.

S: So let us wrap up this review. What do you want to tell our readers Caramel?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel both liked and disliked reading How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell. He is eager to see how the stories will wrap up in the last books of the series.
Caramel both liked and disliked reading How to Seize A Dragon’s Jewel (Book #10 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell. He is eager to see how the stories will wrap up in the last books of the series.

Caramel reviews How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell

Caramel is on a roll, reviewing all the books in Cressida Cowell’s How To Train Your Dragon series one by one; you can check out his reviews of  How To Train Your DragonHow to Be A Pirate,  How To Speak DragoneseHow to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse, How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale, A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons, and How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm if you wish. Today he is reviewing the eighth book titled How To Break A Dragon’s Heart. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel reviews How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, this is book 8. What do you want to tell us about it?

Caramel: There is a big storm and Camicazi gets lost. So everyone in Berk begins to look for her.

S: So is the book about Hiccup and his friends trying to find Camicazi before it is too late.

C: Yes. First they find her ship which is destroyed completely, and they are really worried. They think she must be somewhere on Broken Heart Bay, which is supposedly haunted.

S: Oh, that name sounds like it is related to the title; how to break a dragon’s heart.

C: Not really.

S: So what is that supposed to mean? Which dragon’s heart are we talking about being broken?

C: It is Furious’s heart. He is a huge dragon, and he was a blood brother of an ancestor of Hiccup’s and when Hiccup’s relative (and namesake) was killed, the dragon’s heart broke.

S: Oh, that sounds like we will find out a lot more about Hiccup’s family history in this book, right?

C: Yes.

Caramel is reading How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel is reading How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

S: So you have been enjoying these How To Train Your Dragon books Caramel. Is this eighth book as good as the previous ones?

C: Yes. But it is a bit sadder. But we do meet Alvin the Treacherous again. He had been swallowed up by a giant dragon and going into a volcano, but somehow he survived all that.

S: That was a bad guy, right?

C: Of course. He is one of the villains of this book. And he is also a cousin of Hiccup…

S: So we are back to that family history again. What three words would you use to describe this book? Try to come up with new words if you can.

C: Sad. I never used that before. And, believable bad guys.

S: Hmm, that is not quite a single-word descriptor but it will do. What would be your third word to describe the book?

C: Strange reunions?

S: Hmm, that is a bit mysterious. I’m intrigued…

C: You should read it! Seriously!

S: Hmm, I might just do that… Well did you read the next book yet?

C: No.

S: You know Marshmallow has already reviewed that. So you need to read books #9 and #10 and review that tenth book next for us.

C: Happy to do so!

S: That’s great! So what do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and is ready for book #9 and whatever follows.
Caramel loved reading How To Break A Dragon’s Heart (Book #8 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and is ready for book #9 and whatever follows.

Caramel reviews How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell

Last week, Caramel reviewed the sixth book, A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons, of Cressida Cowell’s How To Train Your Dragon series. Today he continues the trend with the seventh book: How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm. As usual Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel (together with friend Mr. Balloon) reviews How To Ride A Dragon's Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel (together with friend Mr. Balloon) reviews How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

Sprinkles: So we are now on to the seventh book of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Caramel, tell us what happens in this one.

Caramel: Hiccup and his friends get kidnapped by two Raptortongues and are taken to the American Dream 2, a ship made by the Hysterics.

S: Wait, who are the Hysterics? What is a Raptortongue?

C: Hysterics are another tribe and they are enemies of the Hairy Hooligans. We saw them in earlier books. Raptortongues are a type of dragon. Here is a picture of what they look like.

S: Hmm, so Hiccup is in trouble yet again!

C: Yes, isn’t he always?

S: It seems like it. Okay, tell me more about the book.

C: The Hysterics are trying to get to America, and the Romans are around, too. I’m not sure that makes sense timewise, but plotwise it works pretty well.

S: I know what you mean. Wikipedia tells us that Vikings were most active in raiding other European locations from the 8th century to the 11th century. And the Western Roman Empire had already ended by then. Wikipedia tells us they declined and fell from power around the fifth century. But the Eastern Roman empire survived, and we know them today as the Byzantines. Still those could not be the ones our Vikings in these books are interacting with. So I agree with you. Timewise things are a bit off. But oh well.

C: Well, I did not know any of this, but I sort of thought there was something wrong with the timeline. Then again, Romans don’t show up in this book. They only show up in How to Train Your Dragon, How to Be a Pirate, and in How to Speak Dragonese.

S: Then why did you bring them up?

C: I just thought of them, because they are also bad guys that keep showing up, like the Hysterics.

Caramel and Mr. Balloon are reading How To Ride A Dragon's Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.
Caramel and Mr. Balloon are reading How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell.

S: So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: Funny, adventurous, and apparently historically inaccurate.

S: Well, it is fiction after all. And there were no Romans in this one, so maybe we can ignore that part?

C: Sure. I now want to read the back of the book to our readers:

UH-OH-UH-OH-UH-OH, thought Hiccup as the Raptortongue folded back his wings, preparing to land on deck. The barbarians let out a cheer as the Raptortongue let Hiccup go, and laughed wildly as he sprawled on the deck, with Camicazi and Fishlegs being dropped beside him. “COME BACK AND FIGHT LIKE VIKINGS, YOU COWARDLY BATS!” shrieked Camicazi, in a twist of fury at being kidnapped by the Raptortongues, and their new captors only laughed more.

S: That is a good introduction to the story Caramel. I can see it made you want to dive right in and read all the way through.

C: Yup.

S: So are you planning to read the next one now?

C: Yes! And I will review it for the blog too.

S: That sounds good. So let us wrap this up then. What do you want to say to our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel (and Mr. Balloon) loved reading How To Ride A Dragon's Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and reviewing it for you.
Caramel (and Mr. Balloon) loved reading How To Ride A Dragon’s Storm (Book #7 of How to Train Your Dragon Series) by Cressida Cowell, and reviewing it for you.