Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Aerin is not like a normal princess.  Her mother was a foreigner rumored to be a witch.  Her father, the King, indulges her in activities he feels are safe.  So she's allowed to rehabilitate his old war horse and to learn to use swords.  He can't foresee where this will lead her...

Open Road Media and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

I love grand adventures, especially those with dragons in them.  I prefer friendly dragons but that's not what the dragons in this tale are.

Aerin eventually gets the old war horse well enough she can ride him again.  People avoid her because they think she has powers of persuasion. (How else would her mother have captured the King's attention?)  She doesn't get along with many and really only has her father and his second for friends.  When she visits her father's library, she finds a book with a recipe for a salve that can protect you against fire.  She spends countless hours working on how much of what to use to make it be so.  When she accomplishes it and tests it successfully, she has a new goal.  Now she's going to be a dragon slayer...

Most dragons were small, almost vermin.  They are dangerous, usually have a mate, and you die easily enough from a miscalculation in their speed and talents.  Aerin learns that in her first fight with them, but she succeeds.  As she goes on, she learns more each time.

When her father is gathering his troops to go off to war, a weary man arrives at the castle with the news the big old dragon everyone was hoping was dead has appeared again.  He's even more deadly than before.  The King tells him they're off to war and can't do anything about it until he gets back.  However, he wouldn't let Aerin go with him, so she soon heads off on another dragon hunt.

I was a bit uncomfortable with the way the author set up Aerin's love interests.  Being in love with two men is not normal to me.  While how Ms. McKinley handled it was interesting, it just seemed like something that wasn't needed in this story.  You read it and tell me what you think.  I did enjoy reading the tale and can recommend it, I just found that part odd.

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