Walsh plunges us into adventure with twelve-year-old Stan, his best friend Marvin, and older brother who are driven to steal gold from a dragon. As a result, Stan's brother is killed, and Stan and Marvin are banished from town for inciting the dragon to burn it.
With the help of the mayor's daughter, a wizard, a thief, and others, the boys find themselves not only hoping for redemption but striving to find a magical emerald before an evil wizard finds and uses it for world domination. There are booby traps, an army of goblins, and a curse to overcome before our heroes can attain victory.
A strong entry and exit from chapters keeps the reader engaged. Characters are interesting and distinct from one another. This is clearly a children's novel with youthful and energetic writing. The descriptions of emotion and action are vivid.
Nevertheless the story is published too soon. Problems abound with punctuation, grammar, redundancy, inappropriate words, logic, and typos. The writing is often naive.
With proof reading and editing, however, this entertaining story can become outstanding. A satisfying ending leaves an opening for a sequel.
(review of free book)