Everyone needs a purpose in life, and Salvi’s “raison d’être” is to slay dragons. Having killed the last one in his kingdom, he tries to settle down to a quiet life of retirement as an innkeeper. Perhaps it is the routine of daily life or the nagging of his wife, but somehow Salvi cannot find fulfillment serving ale in his small village.
An opportunity for adventure arises when young Owain appears at his door looking for assistance in rescuing his beloved Robyn. Salvi remains aloof until he learns that Robyn is guarded by an army of dragons. Unable to resist the temptation to return to his former career, Salvi sets off with Owain. Along the way, they collect various and sundry companions who, in spite of their bickering and competition, prove essential to the group’s mission.
Robert Bresloff’s tongue-in-cheek fairy tale adds just the right measure of realism to the classic damsel in distress story. He takes nothing for granted. There are no magical solutions, no unbelievably perfect princes. Middle school aged boys will appreciate Salvi’s impatience with his underlings, the set-backs caused by his overconfidence and the humorous banter of his colleagues. They may even see a little bit of themselves in this disorganized but good-hearted group of heroes.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.