I’m not entirely sure what to say about this amazing book. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons took me for a wild ride and forced me to experience every single emotion in my arsenal in rapid succession. I found myself going from broken hearted to laughing out loud in the space of one paragraph. The danger the characters faced would make my heart race only for my breath to be taken away by the love story half a page later.
Rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe the reading experience this book gave me and it’s going to take me a while before I settle down again. It’s going to take me a lot longer to stop obsessing about the story.
I have to be honest. Reading about Isidore - his past and his present - nearly broke me. There were sections of this book I wanted to read with my eyes closed. That’s on me, not on the author. I don’t deal well with stories of abuse, especially when it involves kids. They make me angry and leave me feeling frustrated and helpless. But, I took my cue from Isidore and kept my eyes open and the pages turning.
“Tiny tendrils of courage brushed his heart, causing fear and courage to war within.”
I have to admit though that despite the addictive storytelling, wonderful characters and suspenseful plot I was continuously tempted to skip to the end. From the moment I started reading, ALL I wanted was a happy ending for Isidore. No, that’s not entirely right. What I wanted to do was dive into the book, wrap him in my arms, and keep him safe from the world. Thank God for Declan and Sorcha, who did just that and—for a long time—were the main reasons I was able to continue turning the pages. Just as they were also the reasons Isidore was able to continue living at first and start to trust again later on.
I think Cody Kennedy has done something amazing with this book. Not only has he given a realistic but hope-filled book about abuse and its consequences for those who are suffering or have suffered it themselves, he’s also written a story that might give other youngsters, those lucky enough to grow up in stable surroundings, an insight into the pain and consequences of abuse. You may say I’m a dreamer...but I’d like to hope that as a result, real-life Declans may emerge.
Isidore’s journey in this book was anything but magical and all the more beautiful for it. There are no miracle cures and none are promised for the future either. And yet, the Isidore we leave with Declan when the story ends, is miles away from the Isidore we meet when the story starts. It may have been a case of—as Declan says—two steps forward, one step back, but Isidore is growing and slowly starting to trust again. Trust Declan and Sorcha to love and look after him; trust that maybe he isn’t completely ruined by what he’s suffered and trust that things can get better. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, because Declan beholds him with love and admiration in his eyes, Isidore has to at least consider that he’s not worthless.
I must apologize. I’ve written a rambling collection of thoughts rather than a review so I’ll try to summarize my thoughts.
Slaying Isidore’s Dragons is an action-filled thriller dealing with important and difficult issues. It is a story filled with emotion and humour, pain and love, danger and domesticity. It broke my heart and put it back together. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons gave me a reading experience I treasure and a story I won’t forget any time soon.