Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
Hardcover, 407 pgs.
Published Jan. 5th, 2012 by 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.
When I heard the description of this book I was immediately drawn to it. But then I saw reviews saying it was mediocre. This worried me a bit. But I still bought the book. And I’m so glad I did! The book pulled me in immediately and it kept me entranced the entire way through. And while parts of the middle were slower, they still held my attention and I was still eager to continue reading.
I really liked Tess. She felt real to me. She was brave and and strong and extremely loyal, but she still made mistakes, still gave in under pressure (aka torture) and that just made her all the more real. She never seemed predictable to me as I saw her struggling with her feelings for different things and I loved being surprised by some of her decisions.
The romance- I loved it for the most part. I felt the connection between the two but yet there wasn’t any instant love. They grew to care for each other as they got to know the other. As she learned what a kind, gentle and loyal person he was. As he watched her go through trial after trial but still work to repair her mistakes. And I loved any and all interaction between them but I wanted more. I wanted to see them together more and really feel that connection. I felt like we only got a touch of what it could have been. However it was still great!
I loved the world created. The medieval villages, the sanctuary filled with faeries, dragons and other mythical beings. I loved the magic and the way everything worked. The connections between the humans, the fae, the dragons, the royalty. It was all fantastic! The storyline was also amazing and while I was able to predict some things other things I never saw coming.
Overall I really enjoyed everything but at the same time I kind of see what people mean about how it had potential to be totally epically amazingly awesome and how it didn’t quite reach that. But I went into it expecting it to fall a bit flat and it didn’t really. It’s mostly looking back I see where it could have been just a bit more, but really, I’m not disappointed. This was a highly enjoyable read and I recommend it to all fantasy readers, especially those who enjoy fantasy but have a hard time with the lengthy descriptions and longer volumes. This was most definitely a lighter epic fantasy. I also look forward to reading the authors previous work, Dragons Keep.