Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review : Dragonswood By: Janet Lee Carey

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, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.

Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn't expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy.

My Review:

Tess is an abused and troubled young woman that has sworn never to marry because of her father's treatment of her and her mother.  He is extremely abusive and has even broken her arm in his attempt to punish her.  Tess often escapes into Dragonswood to be alone and heal, even though it is forbidden.  Luckily for her she has two very good friends to help ease her loneliness.  But one day a visitor comes into town on a one of her renowned witch hunts.  Tess's father, still heavy with grief over the lose of yet another child curses the mid-wife as a witch.  The midwife in turn redirects the curse to his daughter Tess.  Then Tess's adventure begins.

She is taken prisoner and tortured.  Lady Adela tries to get her to confess to her crimes but Tess has done nothing wrong.  She begins torturing her in earnest and Tess confesses to climbing the wall into Dragonswood with her two friends and names them.  She has just sentenced her friends to share her fate.  She cannot allow this to happen.  She struggles for a way to warn them before they do the water test and comes up blank.  She is tossed into the water and manages to struggle free from one of her bindings.  Luckily after a little dragon intervention, Tess survives and escapes with her two best friends.  But even though they have their lives, the have lost everything else and neither trusts Tess to keep them from harm.  Amazingly enough, this is still just the beginning.

We later learn deep secrets about Tess and one of her best friends.  They are whisked away to the magical fairy lands and back to the royal castle.  Tess's adventure comes full circle and she is left with  a horrible choice to make.  Can she push her feelings aside to save the man she loves?  This was an interesting story and definitely an unusual take on the Pendragons.  I enjoyed the twist but my favorite  characters were the dragons.  The very unusual in this book, but vastly entertaining.  I wish they had been a bigger part of the story as a whole.  All in all it was a very good read!!

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