Review: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Title: Dragon Slippers

Author: Jessica Day George

Publishing Information:  March 20th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Series Information: The first in the Dragon Slipper series

Format: Hardcover, 324 pages

Source: Bought for my personal library

Recommended For: Fans of Patricia C. Wrede, Merrie Haskell, and dragon books of all kinds.

True, when Creel’s aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it’s Creel who talks her way out of the dragon’s clutches. And it’s Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king’s city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession. But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom…or destroy it.

Creel and her brother are taken in by their aunt and uncle after their parents die, unfortunately for Creel, their aunt doesn’t think much of Creel and her prospects. Instead of acting as a loving aunt should, Creel’s caregiver decides to drop Creel off near a dragon’s lair. It is her hope that the dragon will abduct Creel and in turn, attract an adventurous heir of some type of fortune that will then provide for Creel and her entire family.

Creel does, in fact, get picked up by a dragon but what follows is not the experience that she expected. Instead of meeting a ferocious dragon and being forced to sit and wait to be rescued, Creel rescues herself and manages to talk the dragon into giving her a piece of his hoard. No, not gold, silly human, why would all dragons collect them same thing? You see, a dragon’s hoard is representative of the dragon’s hobby, and this particular dragon collected shoes. Creel heads to the kingdom’s capitol with a new pair of beautiful, unique, and powerful blue slippers, and manages to find work in a dress shop, using skills her mother taught her before she died. What happens next is a series of fantastical adventures that leads Creel to form a lifelong bond with a dragon and the beginnings of a romance with a rather sweet prince.

It is no mystery to any of my readers that I love dragons. Give me a book with a friendly dragon or even better, a friendship between a human and a dragon and I am sold. This series was actually recommended to me from one of my fellow librarians because she knew how much I enjoyed The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. Though Creel was less snarky than Cimorene, they were both headstrong and fabulous. The secondary characters were just as lovely and interesting, I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear that I thoroughly enjoyed Prince Luka. It was the dragons, however, that really brought my interest from simply liking this book to loving it. I love how thoroughly Jessica Day George described these characters; she has a knack for bringing personalities off the page. As I mentioned prior, each dragon has a different type of hoard, Shardas, Creel’s best friend, collects glass, and his cousin Feniul is extremely unique as he collects dogs, try and picture that because I promise it is as adorable and funny as it sounds.

Shelf Talker: While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. Admittedly, there is one scene in particular that had me tearing up as if my heart was breaking, that is the depth of friendship and loyalty that manifests between the characters. As I turned the last page I was smiling with glee and desperately hoping for more from these characters. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.

On the Same Page: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Title: The Goose Girl

Author: Shannon Hale

Publishing Information:  May 13th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Adventure

Series Information: First in The Books of Bayern series

Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Source: Gifted for my personal library from Amy

Recommended For: Fans of Jessica Day George, Patricia C. Wrede, strong heroines, and sweet romances

Related Reviews: Brittany’s Review and Amy’s Post on Quotes

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

This was Amy’s choice for our On the Same Page feature, and a few years ago she even bought it for me (before we were best friends) when she had me for Secret Santa! So it is no question that she LOVES this book, and therefore I knew that I would love it as well. Well, friends, love it I did. I adored Ani and her strength, but I also loved that she was unsure about herself and her abilities. She was very real to me, and I love it when that happens. I could honestly go on and on about this book, but as we try and change it up for our On the Same Page posts I thought I would share a read alike guide with you instead of a traditional review!

So, if you liked The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, try…


Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George – While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.



Entwined by Heather Dixon – This story follows Azalea and her sisters, they live with their mother and father and their favorite thing in the world is to dance. Unfortunately, their mother dies giving birth to their youngest sister and the palace goes under a period of mourning, in which no dancing is allowed. Azalea finds out some information regarding the secret passages in their castle and they discover a magical wood beyond their castle that contains a dancing glen, taken care of by a man who only goes by the name Keeper. Then, evil comes to the castle and there is an epic battle and all of these love pairings come about in a non-obvious way and it was so sweet and refreshing from the immediate I-have-to-have-you-now that comes in most YA romance novels. Also? I cried. This alone makes me like this book because it was so unexpected. The relationship between the girls and their father is even better than the romantic relationships in the book, which is rare and beautiful.

Continue reading

Review: A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin

10664113Title: A Dance With Dragons

Author: George R. R. Martin

Publishing Information: July 12, 2011 by Bantam

Genre: Adult, Epic Fantasy

Series information: Book 5 in A Song of Ice and Fire

Format: Kindle, 1016 pages

Source: Bought for my personal library

Recommended For: Anyone who enjoys fantasy. Seriously. Read this series.

I made it! I read all 5 of the published books in A Song of Ice and Fire series! I FEEL SO ACCOMPLISHED!! Not only did I read them all (that’s around 5,000 pages) in TEN MONTHS! All while reading other books, working full time…and ya know LIVING LIFE! Also…I got a bit behind during Christmas, but I was determined. I made A Dance With Dragons my LAST READ OF THE YEAR and I literally read 57% of the book in five days. FIVE. *collapses* I feel accomplished, sure, but I also have quite the epic book hangover, and I miss those characters that were such a huge part of my life for almost a full year! Let’s get into the quickie review (no spoilers!)

I had a lot of feels over this book…here are some of my updates via Goodreads:


So, as you can see I had many emotions while reading this one. I didn’t love Stannis, to be honest, he is kind of a jerk and I just want him to lighten up a bit. The Reek bits broke my heart to pieces, I was rooting for him throughout which was quite a change in perception for me. We didn’t see much of Cersei but for someone so “crazy” she does know how to play her part well to get what she wants, I respect that! We got to see a lot of Jon Snow in this one and his struggles with his vows and his love for his family, it was really quite tragic and heartfelt.

There were many parts of A Dance With Dragons that shocked me. For the most part these moments were not like the other books where something comes out of the blue (except at the end, which we will get to) but a lot of intrigue and things that came together from the other books that really surprised me. I am unsure how to feel about Dany’s part in A Dance With Dragons, I love her but I am not sure that she is moving forward in the best way for her cause. Arya’s plot is coming along nicely, I am actually very invested where she is going, as well as Bran’s – which surprised me as prior to this novel they were falling a bit flat for me. There was a part (as you can see from above, it is near the end) that really gave me some feels. George R.R. Martin leaves the readers with quite an epic cliff hanger and honestly I went through so many stages of emotion. I was first SHOCKED and UPSET that this thing potentially happens..and then I was ANGRY. So angry. Honestly, who does this guy think he is? Just leaving his readers stranded at the edge like this with no end and answer in sight? Looking back I am still pretty angry and I think that is helping me cope with the potential devastation that will come if the THING that maybe happened actually happens.

All of that being said, I can’t WAIT for the next book (I see what you’re doing there, GRRM) and I am left with an epic book hangover that can only be cured by endless hours on forums dedicated to A Song of Ice and Fire.

“Women do not forget. Women do not forgive.”


Review: Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde

Title: Dragon’s Bait

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

Publishing Information: September 1, 1992 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons, Romance

Series information: Standalone

Format: Paperback, 196 pages

Source: Bought for my personal collection

Recommended For: Fans of dragons of any kind, Patricia C. Wrede, and uppity women

Let me tell you a little story about this novel…I was on one of my monthly trips to The Book Barn and I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found the entire Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede for a very low price. As I was checking out, the cashier said to me “Oh, you like Patricia C. Wrede? You should try this book, it’s a similar read,” and she handed me Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde. I was skeptical. I try not to be, but..well, I am a librarian and I tend to get a bit of a chip on my shoulder when people offer me readalike suggestions. This is what I DO for a living, people. I took the book from her hand and read the first line,

Fifteen-year-old Alys is not a witch. But that doesn’t matter–the villagers think she is and have staked her out on a hillside as a sacrifice to the local dragon. It’s late, it’s cold, and it’s raining, and Alys can think of only one thing–revenge. But first she’s got to escape, and even if she does, how can one girl possibly take on an entire town alone? Then the dragon arrives–a dragon that could quite possibly be the perfect ally. . . .”

Now there really isn’t much more that you could put in that first line to hook me…”Alys,” Hi my name is AlysSA. “Staked out to be sacrificed to the local dragon,” I WANT A LOCAL DRAGON. “REVENGE,” HAVE YOU MET ME?! PERFECT ALLY IS SAID DRAGON?! SIGN ME UP RIGHT NOW. I snatched the book up quickly with an indifferent “Thanks..” despite laughing maniacally on the inside.

So the book review, right, let’s get to it…

Dragon’s Bait reminded me what it was like reading some of my all time favorite books for the first time. The plot was simplistic and it was a quick read, in fact I read it in one sitting and felt refreshed after its completion. I like Alys a lot, I found her to be strong, but believable in her feelings and actions. She has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that it is only maidens that are sacrificed, and that certain men are able to swoop in and take control of her life because she is a woman. She questions, loves deeply, and keeps promises; I like that in my heroines.  I liked Selendrile, I especially liked him when he was talking about revenge,

“That’s very kind of you,” she said bitterly, for she no longer believed in kindness. “And you’re willing to do this…why? Because you’re fond of helping others?”

“I’m fond of revenge,” the dragon answered.

Sign me up.

I am a little torn in a way because on the whole, I really enjoyed Dragon’s Bait. It was a story about a strong heroine, and a DRAGON, how could I not love it? However I didn’t entirely love the ending and the way that Alys did a bit of a character change in the way that she gave up her vengeful thoughts and decided to take the blame for basically ALL OF THE THINGS. Sigh. I suppose I can understand how she has MORALS and realizes that revenge is not nice, but to give up completely just seems a bit weak. C’mon Alys, pull yourself together! Then there is the romance…I was totally on board for that. I mean, he’s a dragon, who is also a man. A dragon-man, if you will. How can you resist, amiright? Alys does a pretty good job, though. I mean, Selendrile isn’t really the NICEST guy (I obvs love him) and he broods a lot (*fans self*) but he is also kind of demeaning, and I don’t really have time for that sort of thing. So when things get all sorted out in the village, Alys decides to follow him into the sunset, and for once in my life, I didn’t approve. I am not saying that she shouldn’t have stayed with him, because…see above: dragon-man, but it seemed as if she was doing so just because she didn’t really have much else going for her.  So as you can see, I am conflicted. What’s a fellow uppity woman to do? Personally, I decided to take this book and not look too deeply into the parts that made my feminist and English major bits all eye twitchy. If you can take a minute and think, “I would really love to read a quick novel about a strong gal, a handsome man who is also a ruthless dragon, and their escapades,” then pick up this novel immediately. I can’t completely agree with the woman at The Book Barn, my love for Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles far surpasses my enjoyment of Dragon’s Bait, but it is a good pick for any lover of dragon tales.

Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

6984678Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R. R. Martin

Publishing Information: August 1, 1996 by Bantam

Genre: Adult, Epic Fantasy, Adventure

Series information: Book one in A Song of Ice and Fire

Format: Hardcover, 790 pages

Source: Purchased for my e-Reader

Recommended For: Fans of high fantasy novels and readers who don’t mind picking their jaw up off the floor.

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

As you may know, I am reading the entire Song of Ice and Fire series for an amazing read along. This book is MASSIVE and is filled with ALL THE THINGS so I don’t want to even come close to spoiling ANYTHING. Therefore, instead of a traditional review I am going to just provide you with my THOUGHTS on the book, the characters, and the epicness that is this series.

*I am just going to say before we begin that I KNOW that I am not on the same page as everyone for the most part. I usually love the villains, and dislike the characters everyone else loves. *shrugs* I’m a Slytherin so one can only assume that I would be a Lannister as well.

I am a huge fan of the TV show Game of Thrones, and I was worried that I would be bored by the first book because I heard that it was so well done that the book and show were extremely alike. I’m not going to lie to you, HBO did an amazing job with season one of the show, and they were very alike. However, I am so relieved and thrilled to tell you that the book was so much better. I absolutely adored the way that the reader was able to get into the character’s minds and know what they were going through. I especially felt this way about Sansa, who I had a very hard time liking in the show. As I neared the end of the novel, I really felt for Sansa and I was surprised at the strength that she was able to show, I will definitely look at her differently while watching the show from now on.

Speaking of amazing characters, I LOVE DAENERYS. She is amazing in the book and the show and I WILL NOT SPOIL but WOW does she turn into a BAMF. Tyrion is fantastic, I love how witty and strong he is despite his disabilities. I also love Jon Snow with a deep burning in my being. Also Ghost. I can’t even. *dies*

I actually really like Cersei in the show, I know, I KNOW, she is appalling and “evil” but I don’t care I think she is strong and awesome (creeptastic elements aside), and I was kind of sad that we didn’t see her as much as we do in the show. Eddard is, of course, loyal and amazing. Arya, pigheaded and strong, yet she still bothered me, though not as much as she does on screen. Catelyn kind of annoyed me, I know she is supposed to be strong, and she totally is, but for the most part I was questioning everything that she did. Also I was happy to see that I enjoyed Bran more in the novel, I think this was largely because of ALL OF THE DIREWOLVES, YO!! I hope to see a lot of growth with his character in the future novels.

Anywho, in terms of plot, WE HAS IT. So many things happened and even though I knew most of them were coming I was still like “sayyy whaaa” at a lot of parts. I am absolutely giddy to see where things go. Many friends who have read the series in its entirety have told me on more than one occasion to not get too attached to the characters, and to be quite honest, I am equally excited and so scared to continue on. I will positively have hysterics if something happens to Ghost one of the direwolves.

In short, I loved the book.

Winter is coming, you guys, and I can’t wait for it.


Recommend A…(7)

“Recommend A…” is a weekly meme, posted every Monday, hosted over on Chick Loves Lit. It’s a quick, fun and unique way to recommend a book that you love!

Recommend A…Book You Read This Year!! 

My choice this week is Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

I loved the plot twists and the introduction of the fae into the already dragon ridden world that Tess lives in. It was interesting to see how strong Tess was when she was given everything she thought she wanted and how she weighed it against what it would cost her. I also adored the love story of this novel. It was not instantaneous which always makes me very happy but it was gradual and heartbreaking and strong and most importantly, it was believable. I wanted more from this love, though the author provided just enough to make it beautiful and lasting in my mind.


Review: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

Title: Dealing with Dragons

Publishing Information: September 18, 1990 by Sandpiper

Format: Hardcover, 212 pages

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart…and bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon…and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.

Title: Searching For Dragons

Publishing Information: November 1, 2002 by Sandpiper

Format: Hardcover, 242 pages

Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper, meets her match in the not-quite-kingly Mendanbar. With the aid of a broken-down magic carpet and a leaky magical sword, the two tackle a series of dragon-nappings.

Title: Calling on Dragons

Publishing Information: March 1, 2003 by Sandpiper

Format: Hardcover, 244 pages

Those wicked wizards are back–and they’ve become very smart. (Sort of.) They intend to take over the Enchanted Forest once and for all…unless Cimorene finds a way to stop them. And some people think being queen is easy.

Title: Talking to Dragons

Publishing Information: March 1, 2003 by Sandpiper

Format: Hardcover, 255 pages

One day, Daystar’s mom, Cimorene, hands him a magic sword and kicks him out of the house. Daystar doesn’t know what he is supposed to do with the magic sword, but knowing Cimorene, he’s sure it must involve a dragon or two!

The characters in these books are hilarious and awesome. Cimorene is tired of being a princess, so she decides to move in with dragons and fight off her own knights who try to rescue her. As a teen (okay and still today) this was awesome to me, I would have loved to live with dragons and have a hidden dragon treasure room full of old books! Morwen is the no nonsense witch with a house full of cats that only she can understand – except they really talk back to her, not to be confused with people like me who only pretend to have conversations with their cats. Moving on, there are of course, dragons!! Sweet ones, scary ones, allergic ones and some who have rather abrasive attitudes but overall they are big-hearted and highly entertaining.

I absolutely loved this series growing up, it was one of the first series I read as a teen and Patricia C. Wrede and Mercedes Lackey are two of the authors who really started my obsession for reading. These stories are light and fun and filled with everything a fairy tale needs. Patricia C. Wrede is an author who set the standards high for me as a teen and I still use these books as a basis when I am reading authors new to me with related stories, such as, Dragonswood or Seraphina and it is rare that I fall in love with an author’s work as much as I loved these books.Though these books may seem a little juvenile as an adult reader I still love them. The stories are entertaining and every time I read them I still find myself excited to see what will happen next. I still go back and read these books at least once a year and they still entertain me as they did years ago. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in a not so ordinary princess tale filled with dragons, friendships, strong characters and a few sweet romances.

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina

Author: Rachel Hartman

Publishing Information: July 10, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series information: Book 1 in a planned series

Format: Hardcover, 451 pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher

Recommended For: Readers looking for a very new fantasy tale rich with dragons, court intrigue, and excellent romance.

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

I’m going to have to leave the summary up to Goodreads at this point because this book isn’t published until July 10, 2012 and I really don’t want to ruin it for anyone. I am SO grateful to have received an ARC from Random House via Netgalley! This review was hard for me to write because the book was so amazing I didn’t know how to approach the book to do it justice. So I decided to break it down as much as I could with no spoilers!! So here we go…

The world:

The world Rachel Hartman created was beautifully imaginative. I was honestly awed by the way she molded everything together. Seraphina is walking the line between two very distinct societies and social classes. Everything from the description of the clothing down to each dragon scale described was stunning. I was immediately captured and had no trouble imagining the world in which Seraphina lived.

The characters:

I loved the characters though I do have to say that there were quite a few to keep track of and I did find myself getting a tad confused at times trying to keep everyone straight. First, Seraphina is extremely headstrong, independent and intelligent. I was very impressed by her character because she felt very real for me. Her feelings (or lack of) toward her dead mother really touched me and made me appreciate and understand her in a magnificent way. I loved the way Seraphina grew throughout the novel and came to trust those around her as she was wary to do her whole life. Prince Lucian Kiggs was so loveable to me. He played the “Prince Charming” character wonderfully and I basically fell in love with him from the start. He was extremely devoted to his family and his duty but also torn in his affection for the mysterious Seraphina. Orma may have been my favorite character. I simply loved him. He seemed tactless, rude and uncaring in the beginning and still, he won my heart. As the story progressed I could see how much Seraphina meant to him and it reminded me of Karou and Brimstone’s heartfelt relationship from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The secondary characters (found in Seraphina’s head and elsewhere) were so fun and interesting, I only wish we had learned more about them. Let’s not forget about the DRAGONS!!! They were gorgeous, mean, loving, and intricate and not at all like dragons I have read about before.

The plot:

Unfortunately I can’t go into too much detail here but I loved the story throughout. I loved the interwoven themes and relationships. It was mysterious, romantic, fantastical and all things amazing. The romance in the novel was not at all instantaneous and fake. It progressed slowly through the novel and grew in a real way. Finally, I was so happy with the ending of this book. Things were tied up in a nice way so that the immediate threat was handled but not in a way that left the reader wondering what had just happened. However, I have to be honest and say that once I turned the last page I immediately wondered (and researched) if there was a sequel in the works, and it looks like there is!

I honestly can’t say enough about this book, from the breathtaking cover to the last page I was completely enthralled. Though I am lucky enough to have an ARC of this book I have already pre-ordered the hardcover edition.

“A thousand regrets I’ve had in love,
A thousand times I’ve longed to change the past.
I know, my love, there is no going back.
No undoing of our thousand burdens.
We must go on despite our heavy hearts.
A thousand regrets I’ve had in love, but I shall never regret you.”

Review: Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

Title: Dragonswood

Author: Janet Lee Carey

Publishing Information: January 5, 2012 by Dial

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Series information: Book 2 in the Wilde Island Chronicles

Format: Hardcover, 407 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fantasy lovers who are looking for a novel that focuses on relationships of all kinds growing in a land rich in fantastical elements.

Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt. Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn’t expect to be accused of witchcraft.

Surprisingly enough, this story started out not with dragons but with witches. Tess lives with her abusive father and meek mother in a small town that becomes overthrown by witch hunters. Unfortunately, Tess is convicted of being a witch by some villagers and is forced to succumb to tests to prove her innocence. Through a dramatic turn of events, Tess escapes and goes into hiding taking her two best friends with her.

Soon after, the three girls are found hiding in a cave by a mysterious man. A man whom Tess has been having visions about for some time. Though her visions didn’t provide much insight as to who this man was or why he lives secluded in an old hunting lodge belonging to the late king. Tess and her friends are left with no choice but to put their fate into this man’s hands but Tess becomes determined to learn more about him and his dark past and they become bound as Tess learns more about herself as well.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I was intrigued in the way witchcraft was brought into the storyline and I really enjoyed the way the author tied it up with the fae story and the background of Tess and her visions.

Tess was a very strong character, she was brave and she didn’t want to be married off like other girls her age but wanted to draw, be independent and be able to run off into the woods whenever she wished, without a question from a man in her life. I liked that she had flaws to her character and wasn’t a perfect female lead, it made her more likeable. Garth was so likeable that I think I fell in love with him as soon as he was introduced. He reminded me of some of the male leads in Juliet Marillier’s books, specifically Red from Daughter of the Forest. He was calm, cool, collected but also so strong and willing to fight for what was right. The secondary characters were also wonderful contrasts for Tess, her friends started off as girls who wanted nothing more than to be married off and taken care of. Once they were all thrown into danger these girls changed and their strengths came out.

I loved the plot twists and the introduction of the fae into the already dragon ridden world that Tess lives in. It was interesting to see how strong Tess was when she was given everything she thought she wanted and how she weighed it against what it would cost her. I also adored the love story of this novel. It was not instantaneous which always makes me very happy but it was gradual and heartbreaking and strong and most importantly, it was believable. I wanted more from this love, though the author provided just enough to make it beautiful and lasting in my mind.

I liked this book significantly more than Dragon’s Keep and I recommend it to fantasy lovers who are looking for a novel that focuses on relationships of all kinds growing in a land rich in fantastical elements.

In the enchanted Woodland wild,

The Prince shall wed a Fairy child,

Dragon, Human, and Fairy,

Their union will be bound by three.

And when these lovers intertwine,

Three races in one child combine.

Dragon, Fey, and Humankind

Bound in one bloodline.