05 December 2011

Future Release: Dragonswood

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Publication date: January 5, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books / Penguin

Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

I, Angie, the writer of this blog, am calling out Dragonswood as a must read for fantasy fans. I loved every minute of it. Dragonswood made me remember why fantasy is my favorite genre and has given me a kick in the pants to read more. Why did I ever stop? Oh yeah, because most YA authors stopped writing it (except for the rare few, of course). Dragonswood made me nostalgic for the high fantasies I read as a teenager.

Carey does a great job of synthesizing fantasy with historical elements: Great Britain in the twelfth century, princes, fairies, enchanted woods, and dragons. I really liked Tess's narration and felt for her as a character. It's easy to fall into the trap of writing a Mary Sue, especially in young adult literature, but the author was successful in avoiding this. Even Tess has her faults. I also loved the quiet romance in the story. It was a nice change from the heavy "I met you a minute ago and now we're in love forever" romances I've been reading recently. There was one draw back for me, though: I wasn't a big fan of Tess's friends. Meg was fine. It was Poppy who I had a problem with. For the majority of the book I found her to be pretty annoying and wanted to push her off an imaginary cliff. I'm speaking figuratively, I say imaginary because I don't actually want her harmed.

It's kind of an easy book to predict some of what happens as clues are dropped but that didn't detract from the story at all. I recommend this to fans of Tamora Pierce and, really, anyone who has been looking for a great new fantasy to tide them over until Kristin Cashore's new book. ;) Granted this one doesn't come out until January 5th, but I'm hoping you might be interested in it enough to add it to your TBR list and, of course, I'll be reminding everyone closer to its release date.

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