REVIEW: The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen
Every time something goes missing from the village, Sir Violet makes his way to the dragon’s cave and negotiates the item’s return. It’s annoying, but at least the dragon is polite.
But when the dragon hoards a person, that’s a step too far. Sir Violet storms off to the mountainside to escort the baker home, only to find a more complex mystery—a quest that leads him far beyond the cave. Accompanied by the missing baker’s wife and the dragon himself, the dutiful village knight embarks on his greatest adventure yet.
The Dragon of Ynys is an inclusive fairy tale for all ages.
“This is the fairy tale I wish I could have had as a child. Now I’ve written it for all of us.” – author Minerva Cerridwen
A Note From the Publisher
The Dragon of Ynys was first published in May 2018 under a now-closed publisher. Sensitivity issues were identified in the 2018 edition, which the author and a new publication team strove to resolve for this 2020 edition with a team of editors and sensitivity readers. It was important to ensure that the trans characters’ voices were centered, and to challenge the mistakes characters made without eliminating their flaws. We hope you will enjoy the 2020 edition of The Dragon of Ynys. As with all our titles, content notes are available at atthisarts.com/content.
Dear Minerva Cerridwen,
I think I vaguely remember seeing this book offered by the former publishing house but I’m delighted to get to read a sensitivity read version. Thank you and Atthis Arts for going the extra mile here. “The Dragon of Ynys” is a book that can be read and enjoyed by adults as well as children. I also liked the message that making mistakes doesn’t mean you are a bad person or incapable of change. Spiders in general though, yeah, I’m not much of a fan.
What might seem a generic story about a small village that has to deal with a dragon with hoarding issues soon turns into something more. By the time that the missing baker is found and returns home, a whole new system of communication – mainly started to share stories of inclusion and self affirmation – is begun. I won’t spoil it too much but remember that the spiders in the story are heavily involved with this.
Something that I was reminded of is not to judge too quickly just based on titles or descriptions. Mayors are now often women and even dragons can become lonely at times. Manners are always appropriate so don’t wait ten years to introduce yourself. Bearded men can have great taste in dresses. Men can proudly answer to the name Violet. Dragons are sensitive about having villagers show up even if said villagers are not carrying pitchforks and torches. And if you’re going to head out on a quest, leave a note so your loved ones won’t worry about where you are.
There are a lot of changes and new ideas for characters to acknowledge and assimilate and perhaps the pace of acceptance is a wee bit quick but it is a novella and meant to be read by all ages. I wish there had been more fantasy elements besides just a dragon and the spiders. Some of the dialog also felt too contemporary and … well, not fantasy story “period.” A few of the characters seemed to be little but their genderqueer identity. But the lessons of inclusivity and acceptance are front and center of this story and seeing representation of genderqueer people is important. B