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Book review: ‘Slayers: Friends and Traitors’ is a dragon-slaying, romantic adventure

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 5:02 p.m. MDT

"Slayers: Friends and Traitors" is a young adult novel by C.J. Hill. (Macmillan)

"SLAYERS: Friends and Traitors," by C.J. Hill, Feiwel and Friends, $16.99, 390 pages (ages 12 and up)

Tori is a member of a mysterious group of teens training to be dragon slayers. They gather each summer at a top-secret camp to master dragon-slaying skills. Unfortunately, Tori hasn’t meshed well with her other dragon-slaying peers. Her wealthy background has made her the target of teasing. Despite her novice standing, Tori manages to persevere.

When slayer summer camp ends Tori assumes her life will return to normal. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Her boyfriend unexpectedly initiates a break-up and her politician father decides to run for president of the United States. But then the worst happens: Tori becomes convinced that a new batch of deadly dragons have hatched. At first it seems as though Tori has a tenuous handle on things, but then betrayal comes from a trusted friend and the world of dragon slayers falls into a tailspin.

“Slayers: Friends and Traitors” is the sequel to Hill’s “Slayers.” Well-written, with an excellent mix of action and love, the second book can be read without its predecessor. However, with writing as captivating as Hill’s, reading one book without the other is not advisable.

Hill has taken dragons, super powers and two boys vying for one girl and managed to make a believable, highly entertaining novel. While its ending has finality, looking forward to Book 3 can be a forgone conclusion.

“Slayers: Friends and Traitors” has clean language. Its action scenes are not overly violent and the romance does not go beyond kissing.

It is easy to see why “Slayers: Friends and Traitors” has found itself a 2013 Whitney Award finalist in the young adult speculative category. While Janette Rallison has written many romantic comedy novels, Hill is the pen name for her action-writing alter-ego. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rallison lives in Chandler, Ariz., with her husband and five children.

Elizabeth Reid has bachelor degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She blogs at gelatoandchocolate.blogspot.com.

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