A little too much "Game of Thrones" action for young children
As a parent, a former educator, and therapist, I have real concerns about this series, and about this book in particular. I love Chris Colfer and was excited to share him with my daughter. She is in the 3rd grade, but reads at a 5th-grade level and some of her friends had read this series already. Just because a kid CAN read these books does not mean that they SHOULD. The implied sexual references and occasional swears do not bother me as much as scenes like this one from chapter 26: The General Marquis shoots two men in the foot with his pistol. As they moan and cry out in agony, the reader realizes that the General did this so they couldn't run away from the dragon, "the camp heard the colonel and captain scream as they were eaten alive." Beloved characters ARE killed off, know this. Some children have a hard time with these sorts of events. There is a lot of talk about various means of execution- being burned alive, beheaded, etc. A LOT of gunfire. At one point an entire herd of helpful unicorns are killed by the dragon. A lot of talk about bodies, corpses, death. So just know these things before allowing your child to read the books. The fairy tales are classic, and obviously had a lot of disturbing material in them as well. It's just never been presented with as much gore and brutality as is found in these books. I still love Chris Colfer, and I would give these books 5 stars if he removed these little snippets of darkness that permeate the plotlines. The stories would still be awesome without it!