Monday, February 14, 2011

Review Comparison: Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey

Review Comparison: Dragon's Keep

Review Comparison is a new feature I'm trying out where I am pulling out the pros and cons of the featured book mentioned in my review and other bloggers' reviews. Please let me know how you like this new feature and if you have any suggestions on how to make it better. Do you prefer this as a separate post, or in the same post like the first review comparison? I'm still playing around with the format.

Click for my original review: 

The following bloggers kindly allowed me to include their reviews in this feature: 

Please click on the links to read their full reviews.  



Every reviewer noted the beautiful writing, though three of the four also mentioned the slow pacing (particularly in the first half). All cited an emotional response evoked by the book, though feelings are mixed about the characters, romance, and ending.  


  • Writing is beautiful, even poetic (Violet Crush) 
  • “Beautiful writing style” (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Loved the “language it was written in” (Falling Off the Shelf)
  • Beautifully written (Small Review)


  • Took a while to connect with the main character (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Main character seemed genuinely kind-hearted (Falling Off the Shelf)
  • Evocative, well-developed characters (Small Review)


  •  Second half is amazing (Violet Crush)
  •  Has everything a fairy tale should have (Violet Crush)
  • “A wonderful fairy tale” (Falling Off the Shelf)
  • “Filled with a rich history” (Bewitched Bookworms) 
  • “Heart wrenching moments that made me cry” (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Tragic, “I even cried at one point” (Small Review)
  • “Extremely unique story” (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Beautiful and intense, but dark, book (Wands and Worlds
  • Dreary (Small Review)
  • Good plot twists and revelations (Wands and Worlds)
  • “Thought-provoking” (Wands and Worlds)
  • “Strong story, exciting, and enjoyable” (Wands and Worlds)


  • First half is a little slow (Violet Crush)
  • “Story dragged at times” (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Slow pacing (Small Review)


  • “Love story was sorely lacking” (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • Overly-convenient, poorly developed romance (Small Review)


  • Fitting, dramatic, and happy ending (Violet Crush)
  • Thrilled with the outcome (Falling Off the Shelf)
  • Rushed ending (Bewitched Bookworms)
  • The issues were solved in a way that left a “strong psychological impact” (Wands and Worlds)
  • Predictable (Small Review)


  1. Love the review comparison idea. It helps give an even better picture if this book is something I want to read :)

  2. Once again, I love this feature. I love the work that it must take, and it really is helpful.

  3. This is a great idea, and I think it helps to give a good overall picture of the book. Thanks for including me!

  4. I like the way you did this review comparison. Now, how did you pick the other reviews? Did you look for similar reviews or did you all review the same book or was it just random? But I like this format.


  5. Nic, Glad to hear! That's exactly what I was hoping to accomplish.

    Alison, I'm so happy you like this feature and find it helpful :) I'll be asking for new submissions for another book on Wednesday.

    Sheila, You're very welcome, and thank you for allowing me to include your review!

    Buried in Books, I try to look for features most of the reviewers mention (like the beautiful writing, or slow pacing), but I also try to show a range of positive and negative reactions.

  6. This is a very cool idea, I like being able to have a variety of opinions all in one place so you can see what everyone liked and didn't like at the same time. Normally I read a review and then maybe a week later I read another one and forget what the one before said, so this is a nice way to get a feel for the book from a lot of different people:)

  7. That's a really good and clever feature!
    I will check it out, everytime you post!

  8. I do enjoy the comparison feature a bunch! Its much easier to read as a stand alone post with a link to the review at the beginning. I'd be curious to see the average rating of all the blogs participating.

  9. I haven't read this book, and right now I am in the middle of reading Deadly! So I can't check to see if the format works. Based on the idea, I think it'd be awesome, and would be good if they were all in the same post. Let me finish up with Deadly and I'll come back and read through. Though, I'm kinda bummed at the lower rating!

  10. What a neat idea, I like the way you pulled together quotes from all the reviews.

  11. Great idea! I loved reading all of the reviews, and so glad that you included mine! Looking forward to more of this feature from you in the future :)

  12. I'm undecided about whether to have separate posts. On the one hand, I saw your link to the original review and thought I missed it (you know, since I am a stalker and read everything you ever post), and then had to go back and read it after I had partially read the comparison post. On the other hand, having them in the same post makes for one pretty long post. I guess the former is better than the latter?

    This book sounds cool, but the pacing issue is a bit of a turn-off for me. Will have to think on it.

  13. I really love that you do this review comparison. How you keep track of other blogs' review of a book is hard work (I think) but you do it like it's just a piece of cake. Way to go!

    And about True Confessions, yeah I was so surprised that there was a second book and I bugged the bookstore people here to get me a copy since they don't have it in stock anymore.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  14. Oh, and by the way, I thought of giving Harry Potter a try, and I might just pick a month this year when I will be reading only Harry Potter books. I would have to get all seven of them first, though. :D

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  15. Freaking brilliant idea for a feature. I love seeing an honest comparison that examines multiple elements of the books.

    Oh, the cleverness of you.

  16. Again, love this feature and the time it took to bring this all together. I think a single post with your review would be better but then again it's your blog, whatever is convenient for you.

  17. The review comparison is a great idea. Love the multiple points of view.

  18. Jenny, Thanks! I do the same thing. I also like giving people a chance to read positive reviews for a book I might not have liked as much. I don’t want people to write it off completely just because it didn’t work for me.

    Yiota, Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy it :)

    Gina, I’m happy to hear that! Good idea about the ratings. Not all reviewers use them or they use different ratings, so I’ll have to think about how I’ll display them. Thanks for the food for thought!

    Peep, If you’re reading and enjoying Deadly then you’ll probably like it in the end as well, so don’t worry about my rating :) There isn’t any WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! ending or anything like that. I look forward to your feedback :)

    Madigan, Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this feature.

    Jenni, Thank you! Thank you again for letting me include your review. :)

  19. Logan, Aw, your stalker comment made my day :) It does make for a really long post, especially when the comparison is longer like this one (Deadly’s was shorter). I’m still toying around with how to present this. I’m thinking like you that the former is better than the latter, but I’m not completely sure yet. The pacing was slow, but I have a very low tolerance for slower paced books. I am happy overall that I read it.

    Nina, I’m so glad you do! Thank you for your kind words! I hope you can get your hands on a copy of the sequel soon. I hate waiting for books. I’m so impatient, especially when it’s a series :) Good luck with Harry Potter!

    Missie, Thank you! You are always so sweet :)

    Violet Crush, Thank you, and thank you for your feedback. I like the idea of the comparison in the same post, but it does get very long. I don’t want to turn people off! I know I’m often intimidated by long posts.

    Abigail, Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

  20. This is a fabulous feature! It's really sounding like Dragons Keep got the same sort of reviews as Dragonswood and I really enjoyed Dragonswood. I'll have to give it a try and hopefully the not-so-good things don't bother me much. Going in prepared often helps as well. Thanks for linking me to this post!


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