The Dragon’s Cave by Rose-Marie Lyttle

Title: The Dragon’s Cave

Author: Rose-Marie Lyttle

Publisher: Wilrose Dream Ventures

Publication date: August 13, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade/Teen, Fantasy

Please note I received this book for free from Kindle Scout.

Summary: It was an ordinary day for seventh grader Seamus: running with the cross country team, running with and rescuing friend/crush Lacey, fight with best friend Andy, and get benched from Sectionals. But then he gets struck by lightning and ends up on the Isle of Rum, presumably in the Medieval times. He’s squire to a knight on a mission with the king and several other knights and their squires to slay a dragon and take the treasure it guards. Mysteriously, many of the men remind him of people he knows… But things get tricky when Seamus ends up befriending the dragon, seeking instead to save it and the island, because the rest of the group would rather steal the treasures of the isle.

This was a lovely book to read to my son at night. Adventure, knights, a dragon. Plus it’s right around that Middle Grade and Teen point so it was more appropriate for him than most other books I had read so far. I loved the descriptions of the Isle of Rum, which is an actual isle in Scotland, but I was left scratching my head about the setting and time. If it’s Scotland, why doesn’t the dialogue match? Where’s that Scottish brogue? And what time period is this? Medieval times? It seems so, but, again, the dialogue didn’t feel consistent with that. The dialogue felt very modern and even Andrew said “yeah,” but the other characters didn’t catch that. One thing I really didn’t understand was modern Seamus in squire Seamus’ place. He was frequently prevented from explaining who he really was, couldn’t move his body the way he wanted at times, but spoke like a modern boy and had to continually remember to use different words. A lovely story and location, but lacking in authenticity.

The characters aside, the story was clear, concise, and intriguing. There were no subplots to muddle the story and the conflict between Seamus and the king and knights was clear. His relationship with the dragon was touching and interesting. I just wish I knew what happened at the end, before he was transported back home. It ended rather abruptly.

The Bottom Line: This was a great book appropriate for my son and an easy read for me. Overall, the storytelling was nice, though not flawless. I am, however, interested to see if this story will continue. This is a great book for a middle grade to teenage child, especially one who loves dragons and adventure.

How many cups of tea will you need?

4 cups will be great

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I Have a Boy and a Girl, But That’s Not Why I’m Done

A lot of people see I have one of each and say something along the lines of, “Oh, you have one of each, so you must be done!”

Yes, I have one of each. Yes, I am done. But not because I have one of each. And sometimes I wish I had more confidence and the wherewithal to say so.

There are, actually, two reasons why we are not having any more. We just got lucky and had one of each. Actually, my husband is a scientist and followed the scientific approach to having a boy and a girl. Yes, there is a science behind it and, no, I didn’t know what he was doing until after the second baby. But, you know what, I don’t care.

Reason 1

Ten years ago I was a junior in college, unattached and fantasizing about my dream graduate program and my eventual life as a psychologist. I loved kids and planned on working with them. I was not planning on bearing and raising them.

A few months later, I met the man I would marry. We had so much in common, except he wanted a big family. So we compromised. Two kids, because we both have siblings and couldn’t imagine having an only child. Reflecting on my son’s almost 3 years of being an only child, trust me, it’s a good thing he isn’t an only child.

So, two kids it was!

Reason 2

Even if we had wanted more, I would have called it quits at 2. After 2 late preterm babies I was done. Pregnancy and childbirth were a little too much for me physically.

My son came after a chemical pregnancy. I was fortunate and had zero complications or major problems throughout the pregnancy. He was measuring small, but, then again, I am extremely petite. Everything was flawless and I passed my comprehensive exams for my Master’s degree while 7 months pregnant. Then, at 34 weeks, I went into preterm labor. It started Saturday night and he was born Tuesday afternoon. You can do the math. He was born a day before 35 weeks. It was painful and I hadn’t slept for 3 nights. I had blood clots after and didn’t see my son for the first 6 hours since he was under observation in the NICU. But, looking at him now, you could never tell he was early.

Because of that history, my OB the second time around took some precautions. Ultrasounds almost every week throughout the second trimester and progesterone shots every week starting at week 17. They were supposed to go until week 36, but, considering I was already dilated the day I should have gotten the last shot, I got lucky and received 19 of the 20 shots. I was also sent to Labor and Delivery 3 times, before going a fourth time on my own to finally have the baby, due to a shortening cervix and dilation that third time. My daughter was also measuring small and they had me do a stress test to be sure she was okay. And I did almost everything with a 2 year old in tow. Considering how active I was, I’m surprised my daughter stayed in until 36 weeks. The little stinker was born 1 day before she would have been considered term.

I’m afraid of what they will do to me for a third time. I don’t want to do it. I especially don’t want to do it with two kids.

So that’s why I’m done. It’s nice having one each, but it’s far from the reason why I’m done.

Raven, Chapter 12-b

A smile spread across Corinn’s face as his lookout reported what he had seen. This was just the icing on the cake after the news of Aven’s death. He wasn’t completely sure of what it all meant, but it did point to an unstable Raven. She was devastated, as the boy was telling him. It had been days and she was still in deep mourning.

Raven wouldn’t be thinking clearly. She could be impulsive and have her guard down. Of course, she could be reacting differently and be even sharper than usual. She could make many mistakes, or work flawlessly. The woman had never before lost a member of her following to another’s hands. Of course, Aven had had to execute a handful for disloyalty, but that had been on her orders.

No, Raven had never lost anyone that close to her before. And now to lose her closest friend and adviser? It was also rumored that the man had been Raven’s lover. There was no evidence of that, but he didn’t doubt it was true. They were too close to not be lovers.

He didn’t know how Raven operated while grieving, but he was sure it would put him at an advantage. Her mindset would be different and it might be easier to get at her and stab a knife through her own heart.

He smiled at that thought. Ever since the girl had proclaimed herself a Thief Lord he had been itching to get rid of her. But she was tough and well protected. No one got to her unless they were allowed, and no Thief Lord had ever gotten close to her with so much as a sharpened stick.

“My Lord?” the boy asked uncertainly as Corinn’s smile grew and his eyes sparked with a light he hadn’t seen before.

“Good job, boy,” was Corinn’s only reply.

He pulled out a silver coin and flipped it to his lookout. The boy turned it over with awe, forgetting the odd look on his Thief Lord’s face. Never before had he ever been paid for any of his work. He couldn’t believe he actually held real money in his hands.

“Good work, kid,” Corinn repeated when they boy hadn’t moved. He turned away from the boy and dismissed him with a wave, clearly indicating he was done with the kid.

Only the sound of footsteps told him the boy had left. Like Raven and Deryk, he was based underground. His network wasn’t as extensive as Raven’s, but it was mostly because his following was smaller than hers, so they required fewer caverns and less space.

Quin emerged from the shadows he usually hid in. He was a silent one, and that’s what Corinn liked about him. He understood all of his orders and only offered his advice when Corinn demanded it. The man followed his words to a T. That had been a problem with his last adviser. Pyner had been too focused on the “advising” part of being his adviser.

“What do you think?” Corinn asked, not looking at his adviser. “Do you think now would be the time to go after her, attack her, bring her down?”

“The woman is unstable,” Quin said, his voice soft and silky, not too different from Corinn’s own oily voice. “She could be capable of anything.”

Corinn nodded. “Yes. That is true. I thought the same.”

“Would you like my advice?” Quin asked.

Corinn turned to him and blinked. “Yes. I would, actually. What would you do?”

“I would survey her a little longer, perhaps another day, but no longer than that. We cannot give her too much time to recover. If we are to strike, now would be the time. Of course, we must be careful, so we must have a closer eye on her.”

The Thief Lord nodded and folded his hands over his lean stomach. “I thought that, too. We can’t wait too long, but we do need more information. Quin, it’s been far too long since you last served as a shadow.”

A smile spread across Quin’s face. “I would be happy to follow the woman.”

Corinn nodded. “Good. Keep watch for her and follow her closely whenever she exits her caverns.”

Quin bowed to his master and murmured, “As my Thief Lord wishes.”

And that’s exactly what Corinn loved so much about the man.

A Class Story

Ashley: About time we started. Once upon a time there was a unicorn.

Ben: Beautiful as he could be. But one day an evil witch came to him.

Carrie: Curses she threw in abundance until he became a little boy.

Daisy: Darling as he was, a poor shepherd and his wife took him in.

Ethan: Evan though they came to love him, he seemed to be very strange.

Fred: For breakfast he ate grass, for lunch he had dandelion heads, and dinner was a plate of leaves.

George: Gentle to all, he ignored little boy toys and pranced in the meadows.

Helen: He befriended the other unicorns and shocked the shepherd and his wife.

Irene: Instead of turning him out because of his oddness, they took him to the village Wise Woman.

Jenny: Jilailah she was called. A good healer she was. A cure was sure to be found.

Kim: Keep him in her home she did. She watched him day and night.

Leon: Laurel branches she gave him and ate them he did.

Mark: Mannered and sweet, baffled her he did.

Nancy: Noises he didn’t make and more confused she became.

Oriana: Odd as he seemed, she enjoyed his company.

Perry: Problems were few, but still no cure could be found.

Queenie: Questions she asked, and none he answered, mute as he was.

Rose: Roses he gave her when they bloomed in moonlight.

Stan: Silver hair flowed as he danced and pranced like a horse.

Teacher: That’s coming along very well. Keep going.

Uriel: Unicorns came out to play with him and an idea struck Jilailah.

Vera: Very soon she found a cure.

William: Wicked witch she went and found.

Xavier: Xylophone she turned him into.

Yuki: Yak she turned him into and run off the witch Jilailah did.

Zara: Zeus, Jilailah called and unicorn the boy became.