How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock II (translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell). I finished it today for two reasons:
A) So I could write two more reviews in one day
B) Because I like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III books, they are funny.
Hiccup’s adventures always start on a strange note. This one is no different. They are attending the annual Inter-Tribal Friendly Swimming Race. Hiccup is freezing (and has the “ticking thing” tied to his wrist), and Fishlegs has armbands because he can’t swim at all. Not a good thing, especially seeing as he’s been entered in a swimming competition. They are on the West Beach of the Murderous Mountains (home to Madguts the Murderous’s tribe). To quote the book: “The Murderous Tribe did not often receive visitors. Prehaps it was their uncomfortable habit of sacrificing unwelcome intruders to the Sky Dragons at the point of Mount Murderous that kept people at bay”. So why in the world would the Hairy Hooligan Tribe and the Bog-Burglars be invited there by the Murderous tribe?
Who knows, but no matter what the reason is, Hiccup is in for one of the many adventures of his life (I can’t say “adventure of his life” now can I? He’s had lots!). In one of the previous books (which I happened to review), Hiccup went on the Quest for the Potato, but ended up just going to “visit” Norbert the Nutjob, he didn’t have to go to America (that supposedly imaginary country). It turns out that “fate” has other plans for him. Not only does he get kidnapped by Norbert, but Fishlegs and Camicazi get kidnapped too! All by Norbert of course, but the fact…… Okay, sorry, but I forget what fact remained for that sentence. Sorry. Anyway, Hiccup doesn’t get killed only because he is the only one able to understand the “ticking thing”.
One day, Hiccup accidentally falls into the place where Norbert the Nutjob and the Hysterics (or maybe that’s spelled Histerics….) keep the slaves. The slaves are Wanderers, and of course, the old granny immediately starts cursing Hiccup and going “we’re all dooooomed” etc. etc., which can get rather irritating after awhile. Hiccup could only think of her as another “fruitcake”. XD Someone who is, basically, insane. If you think I was trying to insult your intelligence with that, rest assured, I wasn’t. I just had to say it. 😉
So they are sailing to America (that wonderful imaginary country). Oh yes, did I neglect to mention that Hiccup promised he’d free the Wanderers, and that “old granny fruitcake” put the slave mark on the side of his head, where his helmet could hide it? Anyone with a slave mark becomes an outcast among Vikings, and they certainly couldn’t ever become a chief, like Hiccup is destined to be. So he’ll either have to keep it a secret (because it can’t be removed), or the Viking’s will have to accept it and act as if it’s nonexistent.
Unfortunately, the Doomfang does not appear in this story, a dragon that was thought to be a purely mythical one is in it though. If I reveal more about it, like when it finally attacked them and what happened during that encounter, I would be giving away too much of the story, and that would spoil the book for you. I hope this review inspires you to read it, because it is a very amusing book with very amusing illustrations.