My middle-grade daughter really loved this series and told me I had to read it. Let me start off by saying that if I had read this when I were in junior high, I would have adored it. It has everything I loved back then: a magical young girl protagonist, evil knights, cute boys, and dragons. It takes place in a familiar McFantasyland setting, the kind of place I wanted to live when I was younger.
These, of course, are all the reasons that I didn’t like it that much reading it as an adult. It’s not that Dina’s adventures weren’t interesting, it’s that I’ve read them a hundred times before. The reader I am today thinks that adding dragons to a novel detracts rather than adds to it. I did appreciate the ending, which turned in a different direction from the syrupy one I’d been expecting.
If you’re 10-14 and think dragons (and other standard fantasy elements) are like bacon in that they make everything better, you will likely agree with my daughter that this series is one you can’t miss. If you, like me, are at a more jaded distance from your first forays into fantasy literature, you are likely to find that there isn’t enough different about this series to induce you to read it.