Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 Stars)
How do you train a dragon?
You yell at it, of course!
Or, well, that’s what Hiccup has been told by his tribe for years now. But, when it is finally time for his initiation, yelling at his small (and stubborn) dragon, Toothless, just doesn’t seem to work. Can he manage to get his dragon to obey and pass initiation? Or will he risk being banished from his tribe for good?
How to Train Your Dragon is the novel inspiration for the hit movie series, but it is quite different from the movie that many have come to know and love! While Hiccup is still a “weaker” and less “brave” Viking, compared to his comrades, the movie’s Toothless is a loveable beast that helps bring about acceptance to dragons again. But in the novel, there is quite a different tale. Toothless is stubborn and stuck up, more interested in himself than helping others, and quite miniscule in size. Even with Hiccup able to speak dragonese, Toothless doesn’t have any desire to respond.
Yet, like in all great stories, Hiccup and Toothless do manage to come together in the end to defeat a great foe!
I knew going into this book that it was quite different than the movie franchise. It’s more violent, with characters a bit less likeable, and a much different type of tribe. Dragons are loved by the Hooligans, and they are part of the initiation into adulthood. So if you decide to pick up this story, know you won’t necessarily meet the Hiccup and Toothless you met in the movies.
That being said, I do think the movie is a better overall story. Toothless isn’t necessarily as loveable (at least in David Tennant’s rendition), more of a nuisance than anything else. (Then again, who isn’t?) The story is also broken into two distinctive parts, less about how to actually train your dragon than the chaos that ensued.
Will readers have fun though? Absolutely! It’s a great story and inspiration for a hit movie series, and it is definitely worth checking out…no matter how much your familiar with the tale.
Plus, if you listen to the audio book, David Tennant is a wonderful narrator.
What’s it about?
In the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you’d ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet…