Bumpity Boulevard Press (2022)
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views (04/2023)
When eleven-year-old Crown Prince Vlad of the Magenta Kingdom is sworn in as Judge of the Magenta Educational Royal Court for Youth, he never expects his first case will be against his friend. In “Rule Trouble: The Case of the Illegal Dragon” by Laurel Decher, Prince Magellan of the Saffron Kingdom is in possession of a baby dragon, which is against the law in all Seven Kingdoms. How will Vlad handle this situation without losing Magellan as his friend?
I absolutely loved this story for a few reasons. First, I loved the idea of the Seven Kingdoms existing and having their own legal system – which was ruled by younger children. That alone was a unique part of the story. Can you imagine allowing children to make the rules and legally upholding them, so the Seven Kingdoms ran cohesively? What a great idea the author came up with!
Second, this story focused on how Crown Prince Vlad’s first case was against his friend Prince Magellan because Magellan was in possession of a baby dragon. Dragons were against the rules because they eat too much and cost too much to maintain. Magellan was facing possible jail time for breaking such an important rule of the Seven Kingdoms. Was Vlad to overlook the rule so as not to lose Magellan as a friend? Or adhere to the rule and put Magellan in jail? This would be a tough decision for an adult to make, let alone a young child, but the author did a marvelous job basing the fourth book in the series on this troubling infraction Magellan made.
I also enjoyed just how vivid the characters were, but also what each kingdom looked like. This was a very creative story all the way around and Ms. Decher left nothing unturned or vague in this well-thought-out story. I could tell she took the time to develop her characters, kingdoms, and storyline so that even I, as an adult, felt riveted to my seat wondering what would happen next. I felt as if I was another character watching everything play out before my eyes.
I want to mention how adorable the author created the baby dragon, “Crk” to be. I couldn’t help falling in love with him and if it was at all feasible, I found myself wanting to adopt a baby dragon myself. I know children will feel the same way because he was just too irresistible not to fall in love with him.
I really enjoyed reading “Rule Trouble, The Case of the Illegal Dragon.” Although this is the fourth book in the Seven Kingdoms Fairy Tale series, you can read these stories out of order and never feel lost. The author diligently describes the characters and scenes so a reader can read this book out of sequence and follow along without any issues. It is recommended for ages 9-12 and I feel this is the perfect age range for children to really enjoy what the book has to offer them. I highly recommend this story!
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