Book Recommendation – The Dragon of Og by Rumer Godden

The Dragon on Og’ by Rumer Godden, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes

Set in Scotland, this quirky tale is very much about a dragon and its mystery and magic, but even more so about Angus Og and his young wife, Matilda. Angus Og is as stubborn as an ox and as fierce as a dragon in battle, but he has a soft spot when it comes to his wife. He’s pleased when he inherits new lands and a castle from his uncle and Matilda quickly transforms the smelly dank halls into a comfortable home. There really isn’t much Matilda cannot do. Angus Og is less pleased about the resident dragon who eats a bullock every couple of weeks. When Matilda befriends the lonely dragon a battle of wills over the dragon’s fate ensues.

Godden writes with her tongue firmly in her cheek, blending legend, history, and fiction. It’s a charming story aimed at a younger audience but it will bring a smile to anyone who appreciates the dynamics of married life.

This book was a fabulous charity shop find and came with a mysterious photo, torn in half, that I assume was used as a bookmark. It’s beautifully illustrated and a treat to page through. A good start to the reading-year.

‘She had embroidered a red cushion for Angus Og’s great chair but she would not let him tear his meat with his hands; he had to cut it with his horn-handled knife as did all who sat at table in the great hall, “And you will please not throw your bones over your shoulder on to the floor for the dogs,” said Matilda.
“How will the poor things eat?” roared Angus Og.
[…]
For the first time in his life Angus Og felt what it was like to wear slippers.
“Isn’t it comfortable?” asked Matilda.
It was wonderfully comfortable. “But it doesn’t become me,” growled Angus Og.
“It does,” said Matilda and, indeed… as he sat in his great chair by the fire, he looked a different man with a smile in his eyes and a soft look on his face… and [he] pulled the ears of his
favourite wolf-hound Brag, but gently, gently.’

*

Thank you for visiting the Wild Library blog. You’ll find more book recommendations and reviews on my Reading List.

Happy reading,

Chantelle

6 thoughts on “Book Recommendation – The Dragon of Og by Rumer Godden

          • She does! And, as you see, I’m open to exploring them 🙂

            As for ‘Brede’, I wanted to read a book about monastic life. This is, of course, fiction, but it seems very well-researched.
            In the beginning, I was a bit confused by the (relatively) large number of characters and the peculiarities of the narrative… It tends to focus on ideas rather than on events, so that one paragraph might contain the opinions of a number of principal characters which they voiced over time, – typically, I think, we learn the characters’ opinions more gradually as we progress through the story.
            So at some point, I went back to the beginning and wrote out everybody’s names and characteristics, and it went much better from then on 🙂
            I am enjoying the book now, but I must say that at least two events described here were very sad, so some of the chapters were practically depressing.
            I have about 100 pages (of about 500) left… But right now I’d say you’d probably like it, because, well, each of these characters has a story 🙂

            Like

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