Having become exhausted of reading the increasingly predictable adventures of the Famous Five and (for me) the increasingly tedious tales of Harry Potter (I'm sorry, but I really can't warm to him) I insisted that we read this book at bedtime as it looked a bit different and I liked the sound of it. The urchin was not happy about this as she wanted more of the usual stuff, but after the first reading session she was hooked and she absolutely loved it. So much so, getting her to go to bed was particularly easy as she knew she'd be getting more of the book and by near the end she was asking to go to bed a bit earlier so that we had more reading time. For me that meant more time to myself later on, but the best thing was it also got her to read more for herself than most books do. Oh, and I enjoyed the story too so a winner all round. We've subsequently let others borrow the book and everyone else seems to love it too.
Once you've read the beginning you can't stop. No turning back for neither son (10 years) or mother (50 years). It's adventurous, but without the violence and extreme scary factor from Hiccup "how to train your dragon series".