Do you like to play dragon-slaying video games? Ten-year-old Andrew Farrin Smithson does. Andy, a fifth-grader, lives in the United States with his parents Fred and Emily Smithson, who are both CEOs of large companies, and his older sister Madison. What Andy doesn't know is that 500 years before, in the land of Oomaldee, one of his ancestors, Prince Kaysan, killed his older sister Princess Imogenia who joined her already dead mother in the afterlife. Shortly after that her father, King Heraclon IV, also died, and Kaysan became King Heraclon V. However, to punish her brother Imogenia has placed a curse upon Oomaldee which involves a perpetual heavy fog. Part of the curse also makes the new King immortal so that he can continue to see the desolation of his land.
However, the dead King and Queen eventually decide that the curse should no longer continue. One evening, while washing dishes, Andy is magically pulled into Oomaldee, which is very similar to early medieval England of King Arthur's time, to break the curse. With the help of the lisping wizard Mermin, who is a brother to Merlin and a cousin twice removed of mermen; Alden, a boy his own age who is the son of a castle servant; Merodach, a crusty old dragon trainer; and a sword named Methuseleh, Andy is sent on his mission by Heraclon to the Dragon's Lair to find the scale of an elusive red dragon which is needed to break the curse, and also hopefully to protect Oomaldee from invasion by the evil King Abbadon of the neighboring land of Hadession, who is himself a fierce dragon. Will Andy and Alden be successful in their search? Will the curse ever be lifted? Or will Abbadon be victorious?
The exciting and humorous plot, with several unexpected twists, is well devised to grab the reader's attention from the very beginning and hold one's interest throughout. Some parents might want to know the following items ahead of time. The euphemistic words "crap" and "darn" are used. References to "farting," both by cows and people, and to dancing occur. Andy remembers times when he had to get up and go "pee" in the night. Someone is said to have "scratched his big butt." And someone else is called a "butt head." However, a lot of parents will have no problem with these things, and there is no cursing or profanity. From a positive standpoint, Andy learns some important lessons about overcoming fear and selfishness while learning patience and responsibility. Andy's adventures in the Land of Oomaldee will continue with book two of the series, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent's Cunning.show more
by Wayne S. Walker