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TPG Reviews: How To Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell

September 28, 2014

Short, sweet, heartwarming and hilarious. A genuine treat.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as “the Dragon Whisperer” … but it wasn’t always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and becomes a hero!


How to Train Your Dragon is the first of Cressida Cowel’s highly successful Hiccup series, which would later spawn the movie of the same name. I’d been meaning to start reading these books for quite some time before I actually did, and I’m very glad that I finally did so. Intelligent, witty and quick to read, this is a book that can easily be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Movie Toothless, along with  movie</em Hiccup

Movie Toothless, along with movie Hiccup

I should probably mention at this point that this book resembles the Dreamworks adaption very little. Toothless, for instance, is tiny in this…and he can talk…and is actually a colossal jerk. All dragons talk, for that matter, though only Hiccup can understand them or talk back. Plus, dragons are working with Vikings right from the beginning…sorta. And furthermore…well, you get the idea.

Basically, this is a completely different story than the movies or the TV series, and is really best treated accordingly.

Book Hiccup and book Toothless. No, really.

Book Hiccup and book Toothless. No, really.

That being said…this really is a fantastic book, and one that I would recommend to anyone regardless of age. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion, and at the same time found myself feeling for Hiccup at each and every turn. Cowel’s writing style is both witty and engaging, and is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

I should probably point out that the Kindle version has rather small text, owing to its pdf format. This wasn’t a problem for me, but should probably be kept in mind if you’d prefer to zoom-in with your ebooks. Of course, you can easily get around this by buying a hard copy instead.

If you’re looking for something for your kids to read, then this book is ideal. If you’re looking for something for yourself to read…this book is also ideal. Highly recommended, whatever your age.

Final rating: 9/10

(And feel free to check this out too if you have some time to kill. Best piece of fan fiction I’ve ever come across. Not that I’m becoming a fanboy for this series or anything…)


From → Reviews

  1. It’s been a while since I read the book, but I do remember highly enjoying it. The second book was really good, too, though I haven’t read the third one yet.

    • I read the third one quite recently, actually. I ended up liking it at least as much as I liked the first two (which, needless to say, is a lot), so it’s certainly worth picking up when you have time to spare.

      I gather the series becomes quite dark later on, incidentally. Should be interesting.

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