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‘The Gift of Charms’ marvelously reinvents the dragon fantasy novel by placing the dragons in the places of the main characters and the humans as the unknown and dangerous creatures. Instead of the more typical wise and mysterious and ancient natural force, the dragons have well-developed personalities and flaws and foibles. They have to go to school to learn to be dragons as readers would recognize them. You can explore the world Suzuki has created at a really fun web site. The detail of the dragon clans and rich characters are beautifully captured on the web site. I was instantly charmed by Suzuki’s style and the variety of characters. The story is the perfect combination of the worlds of Harry Potter and Spyro and I already can’t wait for the rest of the series’.
We’re looking for wonderful readers such as yourself to read and review ‘The Gift of Charms’.
The first of a new fantasy series by Julia Suzuki
The first in the series is called ‘The Gift of Charms’.
Land of Dragor
The Dragor series will sweep you away to a world of untold legends; a place of magic, love, friendship and adventure, where dreams become reality and fantasy knows no bounds…
Goodreads (Julia’s Quotes)
Link one of these badges to my YA book reads page
Count down widgets
Here is some html code that you just need to post into a page – The first one is a sparkly clock and looks magical J
This one which is a picture of Yoshiko with the countdown which is cool
Important Goodreads widgets
Website link where these are:
Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms by Julia Suzuki – review
‘Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms is a great story that has a great moral to it guardian.co.uk,
Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms is a great story that has a great moral
to it – that it is ok to be different.
It is set in the mythical land of Dragor, where the dragons are forced to hide from the humans who once enslaved them.
Yoshiko is a young dragon, who, from the start, has been different. His egg shell was the “wrong” colour, and he changes to the colours of every dragon clan. At Fire school he is teased and has a hard time. He is always upset and starts to believe that there really is something “wrong” with him. That is, until he meets an old dragon who is shrouded in legends of the past. Slowly, he begins to learn that it is great to be different and not wrong at all!
I really enjoyed this book, and I think that girls or boys aged between 8 and 12 would enjoy it too.
Last night saw the Live Like a VIP team host the summer party of the year at The Arch Hotel and what a party it was. Zoe was the hostess with the mostess and schmoozed with the likes of Stooshe, The Risk, Sophie Anderton, Leo the Lion, Jamal Edwards and Pandemonia. The stars were out to play and we not only had a fabulous time, but we got the best gossip for you guys too.
Sophie Anderton looked drop dead gorgeous in her green and blue micro mini, and had a glow about her we couldn’t quite put our finger on. The model then confessed to us that she is totally loved up with her new boyfriend and that she has not been this happy in years. Awww! Do we hear wedding bells Sophie?
Since Girls Aloud split, we have been on the lookout for a new girl band to obsess over, and now we have FINALLY found them. Stooshe are the coolest girls on the music scene right now and we are loving everything about them, from their sound to their style. The girls were lovely and said they are working on a new collaboration with a world famous international artist, but wouldn’t give us any clues as to who. Well, they have worked with Travie McCoy, could Will.i.am be on the cards next?
X-Factor boys, The Risk were looking pretty dapper yesterday evening. The cheeky chappies spent the evening flirting their way around the room and after the party finished, they bounced their way to celeb hotspot Jalouse. We caught up with the handsome lads and they confessed they have been working hard at producing their debut album. They have finished seven songs so far and have a few more to go. We hope it’s out in time for Christmas – exciting!
SBTV’s Jamal Edwards was learning a thing or two from our magician Niresh. The internet whizz kid was talking to us about Google glasses, which is a new product that brings you augmented vision. We want to be involved with that too. How cool is that?!
Pandemonia arrived in the trademark yellow catsuit and blow up dog and entertained the crowd. And the lovely author of The Land of Dragor, Julia Suzuki joined us for a glass of bubbly or two.
We all had a fab time last night and couldn’t have done it without the expert eye of party planner Stephen Mahoney who used his party knowledge to help us create an unforgettable soiree.
Stephen and Zoe showed off their impressive footwear and put everyone else to shame on the night. Stephen’s green snakeskin loafers and Zoe’s Gianmarco Lorenzi crystal heels looked fabulous and showed everyone else how dazzling VIPs can look.
Celebs and guests enjoyed a sugar rush, with Millie’s cookies providing mini cookie cupcakes and giant cookies for guests to take home. And we loved the scrummy canapes which were made for us by The Arch hotel – the spring rolls were to DIE for. The Ketel One Vodka cocktails were a delicious treat too – the Cosmos made us feel like Sex and the City girls.
After the party, the guests were treated to a goody bag, which was chock-a-block with products from Adee Phelan, DGJ Organics, A Suit That Fits, Leticia Haute Coiffure, and of course Millie’s Cookies.
If you want to see more of the party action, scroll down for some more pics, you will wish you were part of the fun:
The Land of Dragor by Julia Suzuki, book review ‘Like a cup of hot chocolate..warms you the whole way through’
Review: Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms
Extent: 275 pages
This epic novel, first in the Land of Dragor series, is aimed primarily at eight to twelve year-olds but with appeal for all ages transports the reader to the magical Land of Dragor, where seven dragon clans live hidden from man. Their great war is over and the dragons live peacefully among the smoking mud pools and around The Fire Which Must Never Go Out, but the terrible years when they were enslaved by humans have left a lasting scar and they are told they can never soar above the mountains and leave their safe haven to explore the outside world. There is unease in the air of their mist-filled valley, and the coming of a strange egg heralds a new era. Unlike the normal delicate lilac, this shell is multi-coloured like the contents of a treasure chest. The newborn hatchling is called Yoshiko, but he is immediately treated with suspicion by the elders, and is lucky to survive. The last time a coloured egg was laid, legendary warrior leader Surion was born from a red shell, and with his gift of fire the dragons went to battle with the humans. Will Yoshiko bring a blessing to the clans, or a curse? Could Dragor be about to meet its saviour, or its destroyer?
Chameleon-like Yoshiko is bullied and tormented as he grows up, taunted at fire school as he struggles to produce a jet of flame. Desperate to hide his colour changes, he flees from school one day and finds himself on the fabled mountain of Cattlewick Cave, home to the mysterious and reclusive elder Guya. This chance meeting changes Yoshiko’s life, and as he develops from hatchling to youngling, he is inspired to spread his wings and venture outside Dragor. He returns with magic gifts – but only time will tell if they heal or harm Dragor.
Sometimes you read a book that is like a big mug of hot chocolate – it’s very satisfying and warms you all the way through – and sometimes those books have some very interesting sprinkles you’ve never seen before and some uniquely coloured marshmallows you’ve never tasted before. That’s how I would describe Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms in a nutshell – or should I say a mug?
Dragons almost always take on the role of sidekick in a fantasy story and are often portrayed either as unruly pets or ethereal creatures. It is just wonderful to find a story where dragons are the main characters and humans are the mythical race. The Land of Dragor is a beautiful place to escape to, rich in detail, legend, myths and lore which is impossible not to get wound up in. In the same breath, Dragor also shares a lot of similarities to the human world: young dragons must attend school and undergo the same challenges that any human child might. I think this is what I find so captivating, Julia Suzuki has created a world of fantasy with an original mythology but has kept it grounded and relevant to children.
Yoshiko is a fantastic hero character, just like any child he has his fair share of flaws when he begins his journey – he’s self-conscious, self-pitying and has unusual physical attributes, all of which open him up to bullying from the spiteful Igorr. But as the story unfolds, so does Yoshiko’s character. His hard work and determination improve his abilities and confidence, and bring out the courage that was hiding inside him. Yoshiko is a wonderful role model and the story is peppered with important messages for children and, as an adult who loves a good story, I certainly appreciated them too! The book is packed with other well-formed and engaging characters from the overgrown bully Gandar and his terrorised but equally nasty son, Igorr, to the wise old recluse, Guya, who is definitely my favourite character. Everyone you will find in life, you will find within the pages of Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms and I think that is what is at least partly at the heart of this book: it’s a fantastic exploration of character. Each of the seven dragon clans have different character traits and flaws but this story is about finding the cure for those flaws and overcoming them. It’s about identifying why a character behaves the way they do and not judging them based on their flaws but based on what they have been through and what they have achieved, looking at what they can do rather than what they can’t.
Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms is simply a wonderful story filled with subtly delivered lessons on life which you really cannot stop learning. That’s why, if this were a film, I would give it a U certificate because it is meant for everyone and has something to give to everyone who reads it, whatever your age. I have been thoroughly charmed and fallen in love with Yoshiko and the Land of Dragor and I cannot wait for the next book – especially if it is in the same beautiful hardback format as the first!