*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Karen voices the story as one would reading to a young child, which is expected being the book is for children. She makes it sound fun with voicing the characters in different tones to fit their stature. I found I really enjoyed Karen's narration. She felt as though she was into the stories as she read to the children.
All stories are about 30-40 minutes long.
I had forgotten how far stretched children's stories were. They make me smile and shake my head at times, but they are enjoyable.
The Book of Beasts
Young Lionel becomes king. As a child himself, he wants a book read to him at bed. He finds The Book of Beasts in the library and is drawn out of curiosity to read it. A library full of books that his great-great-great-great-great grandfather filled, and was also thought to be a wizard. When Lionel opens the book, he's surprised to see the creatures come to life, even the one on the third page that could be very dangerous.
This feels like a great story to open with. Lionel is young and just learning the way of the world and he makes a mistake, but learns to be responsible from it. Also, it introduces us to the first dragon.
Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger
When the one and only dog barks all night, Tom goes out to investigate. Tom finds a large purple dragon licking his wounded wing.
This is cute with the animals that are of opposite sizes we know them to be. There is a reason, history, given as to why which is quickly given. This history becomes a very important thing in this story at the end.
I rolled my eyes at the princess kissing Tom and how Tom had all the answers. But the story was still cute in it's world creation for children.
The Deliverers of Their Country
Dragons appear, of all sizes and take over the land. Though, they don't like the chill of night so the people adjust their living to sleep during day and come out at night. Until Effie and Harry want to find the dragon slayer of legend, during the afternoon.
Listening in order, I think this is my favorite story. Effie is more present in the actions against the dragons. Also, the story is a way to describe the reason for London's weather condition. I very much like the Tap Room.
The Ice Dragon, or Do As You Are Told
Jane and George see the Northern Lights and Jane wants to go see them up close. Walking across the grass, as they are told not to do, they head out on their long journey to the north pole. When they arrive they find trouble. But have made friends along the way who help.
You never know when you'll need a helping hand. Always help those around you when you are out, it could come back to help you. Jane and George help animals that are in unnecessary danger due to other humans, and those animals make a difference when Jane and George need it most.
The Island of the Nine Whirlpools
Returning from the witch's home, the Queen finds the baby she wanted. However, the King is not happy as they were given a Princess and not a Prince, as he wanted. When the Princess is old enough, she is locked away, awaiting the clever prince to find her.
This was a cute story. I liked the idea of how babies are brought to kings and queens here. Not by a stork but by a witch. But what I really liked is what the mother does to stay with her daughter. This is dear. And the witch is not portrayed as an evil one, but as a good one.
This story also shows how math is important to figure when the best time to rescue the princess.
The Fiery Dragon, or the Heart of Stone and the Heart of Gold
The princess's cruel cousin rules the land until she's of age. She's taken everything from her and she lives in the dragon proof tower, watching the land. On May Day she sees a dragon by the woods. When the children go in to pick their flowers, they come running out screaming. The cruel prince makes his way to kill the dragon.
This has a princess that has a great idea to help with ridding the kingdom of the terrible dragon. But she's also one that gives love so easily.
It's a neat twist on the dragon's at night and how to remove it from the land. It kind of explains the hot whirlpools that steam too.
The Dragon Tamers
John's a blacksmith in a town with a well known blacksmith already. Working in the ruins of a castle he finds a dragon in the dungeon one day. The dragon needs the help of a blacksmith.
This story tells how a dragon changes to a... I can't say. You have to listen to see where this domesticated animal comes from.
This story was a little slow for me. I didn't seem to enjoy it as much as the others, not that it's bad just not as the others were.
Kind Little Edmund, or the Caves and the Cockatrice
Edmund is an inquisitive young boy. He walks in the mountains by the caves where others won't because of strange noises. He created a lantern to take with him to investigate the caves, to learn what the strange noises were.
This one's okay too. Edmund is the type of child to question everything, and has a creative mind. I like that about him.
The Last of the Dragons
Dragons have grown rare for princesses to find and be rescued from. One dragon remains and the princess proposes that she save a prince from the dragon instead of being saved.
Aaaah. This is the story I was waiting for. I love the Princess in this story. And I love the way it ended. It's even better than I'd hoped.
These stories are all told as the old princess and dragon tales are told. Princess is in trouble and she's helped. Though, there are a few places where the princesses show they have brains and spark the ending of the story. I like that they have a glimmer of knowledge and use it.