21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Dragonhorse and the Seeker of the Forgotten Knowledge
Judge Number: 89
Entry Category: Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
Okay looks like I might need
to re-do my book cover. But, if that is it than look at the scores I got!
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide
a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
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Structure and Organization: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 3
Plot (if applicable): 4
Character Development (if applicable): 5
I thought this was an interesting novel. The idea of horses and dragons secretly having a lot in common is definitely something Iâ€™ve never seen before, and itâ€™s
always nice to come across something totally newâ€”especially in the fantasy genre, which is a pretty crowded category. I like Shion as our protagonist. Sheâ€™s spunky and strong and inclined towards trouble, which I think
makes an interesting read. I also liked Lhayan. I thought she was a great character and I loved how she rebuked so many of the standard â€œwitchâ€ conventions. In regards to the narrative, I liked how you jumped pretty much
right into the action. I had sort of mixed feelings about your prologue, though. I like that you included one, but I think the definition of magic fell a little flat. I might revamp that a bit. Your writing was really strong and accomplished. There was a wonderful
flow to the prose and the mysterious, lovely narrative voice you employed really fit your genre. Some of your descriptions were really lovely and evocative as well. Regarding the cover, I thought it was striking and I liked the font choices, but I do think
it is a little misleading. It comes off a bit more â€œVictorianâ€ than â€œfantasyâ€. The image quality, too, was a little grainy. The only other significant criticism that really occurred
to me was that I was not quite sure how old Shion was. She reads youthful and sheâ€™s still bound to her guardians, so we get the sense that sheâ€™s a young woman, but sheâ€™s very independent, so that makes
her feel older. I think you could afford to give us her age from the start, which would help. Without a clear distinction, Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™d say this screams YA, though. However, youâ€™ve clearly got talent
and it was an enjoyable read.
*Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards”