Darien and the Lost Paints of Telinoria

Darien and the Lost Paints of Telinoria


Book - 2014
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A young girl named Darien uses magic paints to travel to another world and goes on a quest to rescue dragons from a wicked king.
Publisher: Onalaska, Wisconsin : Windhill Books, 2014.
ISBN: 9780984482863
Characteristics: 189 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Kunce, Craig - Illustrator


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Jan 22, 2015

Darien is a creative ten year old who is restricted by her parents from daydreaming and any creative pursuits. On a summer day, when the regular babysitter doesn't show, Miss Mildred, the neighbor steps in. She lets Darien use paints from a very special box. The painting comes alive and Darien appears in another world with dragons. The dragons are being killed for their scales which can be turned into gold. The dragons have been split up by their argument over dragons of different colors mating causing them to no longer be a strong unit. Darien sneaks into the castle to rescue two kidnapped dragons.

This book is illustrated with pencil drawings throughout. The drawings are mostly of objects and add interest to the story.

When I saw the title and cover of this book I was very intrigued by these paints and what they could do. Unfortunately, I could not get into the story because of the writing itself. I felt like the author broke every rule of good writing that exists. A lot of repetition occurred of the words "I guess," "really," "also," "anyway," and "so." There were run on sentences. The dragons were supposed to speak with an accent and yet spoke with the same voice as Darien: "I'm not sure you will fit in with the humans here, but I guess we can figure that out later."

Characters are a huge part of a successful book and I felt this area was lacking. Darien is a depressed and creative little girl, a disappointment to her parents, who single handedly rescues the dragons. This characterization doesn't work for me. What about Darien makes her strong enough for this task? For a majority of the story, Darien is the only character. She spends quite a bit of time describing her surroundings and what she is doing as well as talking to herself. There is a lack of dialogue throughout the book. More characters would have made this story move faster. Instead it moved very slowly because of the singular voice. And the advice to writers of "Show don't tell" would go a long way here.

Also, we never learn why Miss Mildred has these paints, who the mysterious two people Darien runs into are, and why the paints behave as they do. I had more questions than answers at the end of the book. There will be a sequel to this book which I am sure will answer some questions.

I wanted so much to like this book, but there were too many holes as well as a lack of characters, characterization and dialogue. This is Jeanna Kunce's first book. Kudos to every author who finishes a story to the point of publication.


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