9 February 2016

The Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinley

Image from Goodreads
Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.
It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
Aerin was that daughter.
But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin's destiny was greater than even she had dreamed--for she was to be the true hero who wouldn't wield the power of the Blue Sword...

I read this book because it was the first book in the first series nominated for the Flights of Fantasy Book Club hosted by Alexa Loves Reading. I'm not sure that I would necessarily have given this book a chance otherwise since the cover doesn't really appeal to me. To be honest that would have been a shame because it is a really good book. 

I liked the fairly unique take on dragons, there have been a lot of books recently where dragons in general have been either good or neutral. I don't think I've ever read a book where they're considered vermin and the profession of Dragon-hunting is considered shameful. It made the section with the red Dragon seem significantly more dangerous.

In terms of characters I felt that Aerin and Tor we're well rounded individuals, Galanna seemed to be all spite, Arlbeth was all benevolence although with something deeper there and Luthe made next to no impression at all. I do wonder whether that was due to me reading The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword in the wrong order. As an immortal Luthe is the only character likely to appear in The Blue Sword.

This book is definitely worth reading and I'll definitely be reading The Blue Sword, I'm not sure that this will prompt me to seek out Robin McKinley's other works though.

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