Series: Wilde Island Chronicles #1
Published by Dial Books on January 5th 2012
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, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth and Tess soon are at the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that could bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy.
Dragons! One mythical creature that I definitely do not get enough of. Add in the promise of a fantasy and I was sold.
Dragonswood is a compelling mixture of mythical creatures, sweet romance, and a wonderful cast of characters. I flew through this read like it was nothing.
The story starts off with witches. Yes, witches. An element that I really had not foreseen being a part of the novel. But it added a nice layer nonetheless. Tess, our main character, through a strange turn of events has been convicted of being a witch during one of the numerous witch hunts. To be honest, in the beginning, I was kinda confused how this was suppose to play into the overall book. Yes, it gets Tess on her journey. But witches… dragons… I for the life of me had the hardest time trying to make the connection. It was not until the end of the novel that all the pieces fully came together that everything made sense.
In a way, I liked that. Readers are given little breadcrumbs of the overall picture throughout the book. Constantly left guessing as to the final outcome. And I was almost completely wrong on all of my guesses. Go figure.
Tess was really interesting main character. Instead of hoping for advantageous marriage like most girls in her situation would, she has other ideas. She wants to draw… read… be independent. A girl ahead of her time. The additional girls, Meg and Poppy, were a nice foil for Tess. What she lacked, the other girls provided.
The crowning jewel of Dragonswood is its world. Not quite historical… not completely fantasy. From fey to dragons to hybrids, the world that Janet Lee Carey created was was definitely an interesting mix.
Dragonswood is an engaging fantasy book from beginning to end. Once I began this enchanting book I was lost. It was definitely one of those do not disturb me while I am reading this type book. The ending suggests that this may not be the last that we have seen of this world. And I am excited with all the possibilities.
A few years ago I picked up another book by Janet Lee Carey called Dragon's Keep. Sadly, I never have gotten around to reading it. The funny thing? These two books are companion novels. Guess I know what I will be reading next.
I was excited to start this one, as Kate had read it before me and loved it. Also, I've been reading some depressing novels for my YA literature class and figured this would give me a nice break from those types of reads.
Dragonswood blew me away. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but I loved the world it was set in instantly. Also, Tess is the type of character that is believable. She's slightly unsure of herself, but grows stronger throughout the novel. Her guilt of betraying her friends under torture plays throughout the novel and her mistrusting of men also guides the novel. A romance sparks between her and Garth, the man who has helped them hide from being discovered, but she is uncertain of him even though her feelings for him are apparent.
I love the creatures and characters of this world. It's so magical and definitely high fantasy, a genre I miss often and always love. This is definitely a world I hope Carey continues writing. I will have to pick up the companion novel Dragon's Keep soon.
A novel that lovers of high fantasy will enjoy greatly.