Troy Lee Henderson has brought us a succinct and enchanting story of mystery, adventure, coming of age, tolerance, and accepting death. Yeah, all that in less than it takes for me to get ready for work in the morning. Henderson kept the story simple and built in a sense of wonder and appreciation for life and the wild. Eathed is an aged dragon, on his way out. He seeks out a nice cool cave to take his final rest in, only to be awakened by three mischievous brothers – Simon, Darian, and Edwin. Of course, finding a dragon rates high on the Pucker Factor for the boys and they high-tail it out of there, running to the parents and babbling of their discovery. The father takes the oldest to the ruling lord to report the issue; subsequently an elderly dragon hunter is sent to investigate. Sir Allistair Bayne is Simon’s grandfather, and he takes Simon on as his squire.
I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story for you. Rather, I am going to gush about how I liked this simple tale. I loved how three generations were brought into the story. Simon being the oldest grandson gets to do most of the thinking in this story. Timidly, he develops a friendship with Eathed, and from there a deeper appreciation of aging wisdom. I truly loved how this story didn’t cut any corners on death as part of the natural world.
Our narrator William Dufris delivered this tale with a story-tellers awe and excitement. Truly, I felt like I was listening to this tale at a Renaissance Fair while eating a roasted turkey leg. During the exciting parts, his voice rushed along with the story’s need. In moments of tenderness, stupefaction, and wonderment, Dufris slowed and hushed his voice. His characterization of the bad guys, Eathed, and Sir Bayne were all excellent and distinct.