The Story of Owen

Dragon Slayer of Trondheim

Johnston, E. K.

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Story of Owen
In an alternate world where industrialization has caused many species of carbon-eating dragons to thrive, Owen, a slayer being trained by his famous father and aunt, and Siobahn, his bard, face a dragon infestation near their small town in Canada.

Publisher: Minneapolis :, Carolrhoda Lab,, [2014]
ISBN: 9781467710664
Branch Call Number: y JOHNSTON 2014
Characteristics: 305 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Fire-breathing Dragons;
Fossil Fuel Catasrophe;
Hero from a Dragon-slaying family;
What could possibly go wrong?

From the critics

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Dec 26, 2014
  • sorenkrane rated this: 5 stars out of 5.


Picked this one up at the library, completely random, excited for a story about dragons. Boy, what a find. Incredible. Honestly, I swear this book was written for me - music, dragons, Canada, history with a twist.

LOOOOOVED it. And, the writing was impeccable. It was like a rich dessert, one that you looove but have to eat slowly to savour it.

Recommended for the dragon lovers!

Aug 26, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Life as we know it, but with dragons.

Johnston has imagined what the world would be like were dragons real, wild creatures. Not super intelligent, magical beasts as is often portrayed in fantasies, but wild animals that are fiery and feed on carbon emissions. Humanity's fiercest, deadly competition for territory.

As told through the eyes of a teenage girl in contemporary Canada who has been recruited by a family of famous dragon slayers to help de-corporatize the profession, an aspiring musician and composer who is asked to be the bard for young Owen as they attempt to re-establish the tradition of every village having a dragon slayer who works for the community instead of hiring out to the highest-bidding government or corporation.

An amazingly realized scenario with great characters and great commentary on reality as we know it.

Jun 11, 2014
  • teardropinhand11 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A really good story told in the traditional way of an epic. Develops the story really well, revealing all in good time. I definitely hope that there is more to come!

May 17, 2014

Owen Thorskard, a dragon-slayer in training, and Siobhan McQuaid, a young musician chosen to tell his tale, team up to save their small town from an ever-increasing dragon threat. Set in a contemporary world where dragons thrive on carbon emissions, this is an adventurous and eloquent modern-day epic tale that will appeal to both teen and adult readers.

May 05, 2014

"Once, dragon slaying was a noble calling, with slayers guarding their neighbours from ferocious, carbon-hungry dragons. These days, however, most slayers work for big cities and corporations. That's why the citizens of Trondheim, a tiny town in rural Ontario, are so grateful for the protection of a renowned family of slayers like the Thorskards. It's also why Siobahn, a gifted musician, agrees to become bard (and algebra tutor) to trainee slayer Owen Thorskard and to join his family's campaign to return dragon slaying to its roots. Similar to The last dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, this modern, inventive spin on dragon lore will enchant readers with its strong characters, quirky humour, and intricate world-building." Teen Scene May 2014 newsletter

Feb 19, 2014



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Aug 26, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I never understood teenagers who escaped to their rooms and hid all the time. If they didn't know what their parents were up to, how did they hope to properly evade them?

Aug 26, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

After World War II, when automobiles became a staple of Western culture and the dragon population boomed thanks to the glut of carbon emissions over Europe, the United States, and Japan, there were a bunch of car-related tragedies in rural North America. It wasn't so bad in cities or in Europe, where the population was concentrated and there were always more appealing targets for dragons to go after than a lone car. But in the countryside, a carbon-burning car was one of the most dangerous places to be. After a dozen years of debate on whether to allow teenagers to drive, the government finally implemented an education program to teach young drivers how to drive defensively, providing the basics of what to do in case a dragon tried to make off with your car while you were in it.

Aug 26, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A botched dragon slaying can be something of a disaster. Since dragons enjoy feeding on carbon emissions and do so whenever possible, a messy dragon slaying with multiple leaks can cause upheaval in a local environment. After Rome defeated Carthage, for example, the legionnaire dragon slayers went out of their way to butcher dragons improperly in the area around the fallen city. The resulting desert eventually spread to cover most of North Africa.

Aug 26, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"It will let Owen learn how to track dragons properly, and it will keep you out of the library, where you might get into something you're not supposed to."

"Let me get this straight," I said, having swallowed. "You are sending me out in a minivan whose date of manufacture predates the year of my birth, so that I can watch two dragon slayers track down enormous fire-breathing animals, in an effort to prevent me from spending time in the library?"

"There's no supervision in the library," Dad said.


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