The Dragons of Noor is a YA fantasy novel by Janet Lee Carey. It is also a companion novel to The Beast of Noor.
Children are being taken by the wind, a wind that seeks out and whisks away only those it chooses. And it only ever chooses children. One of whom is Hanna and Miles' little brother, Tymm. The grief in the kingdom is palpable, and only getting worse as the waytrees begin dying and falling - breaking the magical ties that bind the lands of Noor and Oth more and more. Everything is changing in the worst way possible, and Miles and Hanna both decide they must try and stop it, and find small Tymm and the rest of the wind-taken children. But first they need to know where the dragons stand.
Hanna hopes her Dreamwalker ability will somehow help. And Miles hopes his training as a meer (one who wields magic), will keep him from giving into the temptation to use his dangerous and rare gift of shape shifting - in which he could lose himself completely before rescuing anyone at all...
I hadn't read The Beast of Noor before picking up The Dragons of Noor - but despite sometimes feeling that I was missing some experiences and character development that was alluded to, I didn't find it to be too much of a problem to jump in to The Dragons of Noor.
Immediately, there is a tingling sensation of high fantasy, with inventive terms and creature names that make you glad there's a glossary in the back. I was instantly entranced by the ancient war between dragons and men, resulting in a secret exile of the dragons for a whopping 700 years. An exile that is coming to an end...
The waytrees are powerfully magical and the only way between the two worlds - this comes across very strongly and suspensefully. The author knows how to bewitch and captivate the fantasy lovers, that's for sure! It's a great, detailed, creative start, though of course confusing at first. Most of the best fantasies are, until you pick up on their language.
The Dragons of Noor is beautifully wrapped in ominous mist, dying waytrees, mournful deyas (the gentle, striking beings that indwell in the trees), and haunting winds that whisk away beloved children - creating a unique, impressive, rich atmosphere. It's full of lovely, ethereal, tinglingly magical descriptive images and a thorough, serious, involving plot.
There's a maturity level to The Dragons of Noor, that sets it apart from some other adventure fantasy novels. The characters are solemn, and the gravity of the situation is rarely leavened. Not that it is a depressing story! It is an enrapturing one, emotional and poignant at its core. Definitely for the reader who enjoys his/her fantasy with a deeper, more meaningful plot.
Though the novel flowed seamlessly and wove a tale of imagination and stark beauty in my mind, it did make me sad that I hadn't read The Beast of Noor first. I just got the feeling reading The Dragons of Noor would've been an even richer experience, and now I have spoilers for the first book, which probably is (and probably still will be, even with the spoilers) an extraordinary YA fantasy novel. I am going to read The Beast of Noor as soon as I can - and I encourage you to read it first, too.
There is a truly disquieting and foreboding sense of urgency as the land of Noor seems to be draining of color, of magic. The Dragons of Noor is a passionate, sensitive, provoking, lyrical novel that deserves a ton of attention from adult readers, as well as all you smart YA lovers.
With its stunningly remarkable imagery, The Dragons of Noor is a special, elegant, vivid tale of courage, bravery, and beauty that I can't recommend enough!