I haven’t read a book in this series in a while (I was waiting for the book to come out in paperback, but finally I got impatient), but unlike some other series that end up a little disappointing after some time away, this book is as strong as any in the How to Train Your Dragon series.
It follows the same formula as all the other books–Hiccup and his comrades fall in on some life-threatening bad luck against one of their many archenemies and he must not only help them escape but also return to Burke to save his father in time. What I like about this book in particular is it broadens the world we have already come to know. We meet the Wanderers (specifically, American Natives) who have been captured as slaves, giving larger life to the size of the world we’ve gotten to know. We learn that there is a place where the Vikings sacrifice people to the Sky Dragons.
The book remains just as clever and funny as always. I am continuously impressed by the continued funniness of the series (Norbert the Nutjob wants to found Nutjobland for example) while also keeping to the heart. I like that Hiccup has really embraced his fate as the future leader but that he intends to change things when he does. Toothless had a rather small part in this book as compared to others (though he was still essential to helping them escape) and that was perhaps the only thing I might have liked changed. It might soon be time for Hiccup to have a love interest (maybe Camicazi, maybe someone else). Not something deep and intense, just a tiny crush or something. I can only imagine how funny Hiccup would mess things up trying to impress her.