Scotlyn, Knightess of the Dragon, by Deirdra Eden Coppell
Reviewed by Michele Ashman Bell

As Science Fiction/Fantasy books gain momentum, not only in the national market, but in LDS market as well, it’s nice to see LDS authors incorporate gospel values into their stories. Such is the case in the book Scotlyn, Knightess of the Dragon by Deirdra Eden Coppell.

The story is based on the events of the year 1189 A.D. and the crusade of King Richard. As a child, the author was fascinated with the customs, history and sports from medieval times. She, herself, has studied weaponry and even attends and competes in sword fighting tournaments.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that Coppell has written a magically captivating story that reads like a fairytale, a creation blending mythical flavor, medieval settings and fascinating characters.

Scotlyn begins with a prologue that takes place in the Spirit World, during the creation of the earth. Loosely it tells of the purpose of life and the great plan our Father has for us. With a spiritual tone set in motion, the book begins with the introduction of a cherubic, young lass who is playing with her brother and a friend near the woods. When wolves threaten their safety, she is separated from her brother and driven into the forest. There she is attacked by a wolf and dragged deep into the woods.

An old witch, living in the forest, catches sight of the wolf and the girl and desires to have the girl for herself, so she proceeds to free the lass by hitting the wolf with her crutch until he releases his catch and retreats into the trees.

The witch nurses the girl back to health and names her Scottie, since the girl is too traumatized to speak. The next few years of Scottie’s life are spent in service to the witch, who has recruited the help of a dwarf named Rubert to help her make a necklace with magical powers. However, for the necklace to be magical, it needs pixie dust. The witch captures a pixie, named Cassi, and keeps her in a cage where the witch gathers enough dust each month to make one link of the necklace at a time.

Scotti is unhappy living with the witch and decides she wants to escape. She has become secret friends with the little pixie and plans to free her also. She achieves this goal when she snatches a magical sleeping stone from the witch and puts it in her tea. The witch drinks the tea and falls into a deep sleep. Scottie knows this is her only chance to get away.

Taking the necklace, Scotti frees the pixie. Then Rubert the dwarf guides Scottie back to the village. She doesn’t find her family but ends up at the home of the Duchess who has three sons, but has always wanted a daughter. She takes in Scotti and allows the pixie and dwarf to stay with her.

Scotti and the youngest son become close friends and both practice the skills to become a knight. As Scotti grows she blessed to be a permanent part of the Duchess’s family, but sadly the Duchess’s health is poor. Her sons want to join King Richard and the Crusade – a noble, yet dangerous cause. Scotti worries about the Duchess and decides to give her the witch’s magical necklace to see if it can heal her, which it does.

For a brief time Scotti’s life is blessed and carefree, but things changes drastically when word comes that the brothers have been killed in battle. The devastation is too much for the queen and she soon dies. Scotti is also grief-stricken and decides the only way to deal with it is to join in the fight and accomplish her dream of becoming a knight. With Rubert and Cassi by her side she begins her journey.

Her honed skills and determination make Scotti a worthy opponent of any man who challenges her and as she fights, she gains respect and honor, and finally the distinct honor of being knighted Scotlyn, Lady Knightess.

The book continues with Scotlyn’s involvement with the fight against evil, which includes warriors of a mystical, dark force led by a Demon Lord. This evil Lord uses trickery to lure Scotlyn into his trap and Scotlyn nearly falls prey to him but she discovers who he is and what he represents and she confronts him. Many times Scotlyn comes close to death but the fight inside keeps her strong and valiant and she knows that she has a greater purpose and power inside of her that will help her in her fight against evil.

I am not an expert of this genre, but I enjoyed Scotlyn, Knightess of the Dragon, very much. Coppel has a lyrical writing style and paints a vivid, visual image of Scotlyn and her world. The fairytale quality resonated through the story and kept a magical feel woven into the plot and characters. I particularly liked Cassi, the pixie. She’s a feisty little creature who adds a bit of humor to the plot. The story is enchanting and Coppel writes with passion and purpose.

The book is self-published and only available in e-book form at Be aware that are quite a few errors and could use some fine-tuning. Coppel’s writing style has a much looser feel than dictated by most standards as points of view slip back and forth between characters, but somehow it works and isn’t hard to follow.

Be aware that the story also delves into the dark area of demons who are able to inhabit the bodies of the dead, which might catch the reader off guard. For kids who have read the Harry Potter series and other fantasy books this mostly likely won’t even jump out at them.

I did want to see Scotlyn show a stronger yearning to find her original family and perhaps see some closure in that regard, and I have to admit, I did want some kind of confrontation with the witch who had held her for so many years. The witch does make a brief appearance but nothing that allows Scotlyn to lay that chapter in her life to rest. Perhaps some of these issues will be resolved in future books, since this is the first book in a series with three more to follow.

Overall though, fans of this genre will enjoy this powerful and entertaining story, and for those who haven’t tried fantasy, might just discover the magical quality of stories like Scotlyn, Knightess of the Dragon.