August 8, 2013

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:31 pm by suebe2

Handbook for Dragon Slayers
by Merrie Haskell
Harper

More than anything, Princess Tilda, short for Matilda, longs to write a book.  She gets to do some copy work and other clerical tasks for Alder Brook, their holding, but parchment is dear.  She’ll never find enough for her dream to come true, even if she can find the time, but with her mother traveling someone has to see to the business of Alder Brook even if that someone is a Princess with a lame foot, a Princess that her people do not love.

Most days Tilda would be content if they just liked her.  But when she hobbles by on her crutch she sees people making signs to ward off evil. How can she ever lead them?

Her only friends are Judith, her maid servant, and Parz, a handsome young squire who is learning to be a dragon slayer.  He loves her for her library.  When they catch some time together, she tells him all she has read about dragons for Parz is training to become a dragon slayer.

When Tilda receives word that her mother has been injured and will not be returning home any time soon, she is worried but suspects nothing until she too is kidnapped by her cousin.  He is determined to rob the two women of their home and only has to keep them away for several weeks to be successful.  He’s not counting on the resourceful princess and her two friends.

I can’t say much more about the plot without giving the entire thing away.  Fantasy readers will love the details about the dragons and the spirits of the Wild Hunt as well as the ability of certain people to take on other shapes, even the shapes of dragons.

Before the story is over, a maidservant has managed to teach a princess and a squire about loyalty and determination, a squire has taught a princess what it takes to connect with her people, and a princess teaches her two friends, would-be-dragon-slayers that not all dragons are a problem to be solved with sword and shield, which is also the topic of her very own book.

In my opinion this is Haskell’s best book yet.

–SueBE

 

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