Dragonswood (Dragon's Keep Series #2)

Dragonswood (Dragon's Keep Series #2)

4.1 33
by Janet Lee Carey
     
 

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On Wilde Island, there is no peace between dragons, fairies, and humans.

Wilde Island is in an uproar over the recent death of its king. As the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans begins to fray, the royal witch hunter with a hidden agenda begins a vengeful quest to burn girls suspected of witchcraft before a new king is

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Overview

On Wilde Island, there is no peace between dragons, fairies, and humans.

Wilde Island is in an uproar over the recent death of its king. As the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans begins to fray, the royal witch hunter with a hidden agenda begins a vengeful quest to burn girls suspected of witchcraft before a new king is crowned..

Strong-willed Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet, wants more for herself than a husband and a house to keep. But in times like these wanting more can be dangerous. Accused of witchery, Tess and her two friends are forced to flee the violent witch hunter. As their pursuer draws ever closer they find shelter with a huntsman in the outskirts of the forbidden Dragonswood sanctuary. But staying with the mysterious huntsman poses risks of its own: Tess does not know how to handle the attraction she feels for him—or resist the elusive call that draws her deeper onto the heart of Dragonswood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
STARRED REVIEW  A dark fantasy illuminated by piercing flashes of hope builds upon the well-received Dragon’s Keep (2007), while standing complete on its own.

Tess has known little in her 17 years but brutality, grief and fear: the angry fists of her blacksmith father, the infant graves of her siblings and the ominous prophetic visions she sees in flames. As Wilde Island teeters toward political collapse and a vicious witch-hunter sets her sights on Tess, she and her friends flee into Dragonswood, the forbidden abode of dragons and the fey folk. Even as they find refuge with a secretive woodward, the fairies keep calling to Tess… as if they had a duty only she could fulfill. Despite the romantic cover and lush, poetic prose, this is no adventure for the squeamish. Tess does not shy away from graphic descriptions of beatings, torture and grisly violence—and subtler betrayals, manipulation and callous disregard—that leave her scarred in body and soul. Yet for all her mistrust, self-loathing and cringing expectation of blows, Tess reveals a surprising strength and unflinching loyalty. While she does not extend an unrealistic forgiveness, she finds the courage to work with her abusers towards a greater goal; her tentative, hesitant love for the one person who treats her with kindness and respect is both touching and achingly bittersweet.

Painful, cathartic and cautiously hopeful; a fairy tale for those who have given up on believing in them, but still yearn for happily ever after. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

STARRED REVIEW Gr 7 Up—Set on Wilde Island a generation after Dragon's Keep (Harcourt, 2007), this story continues with a perfectly crafted combination of history, mythology, and fantasy. King Pendragon has died, and while the island waits for his eldest son to return from the Crusades, the power-hungry Lord Sackmore is becoming more and more of a threat to the future king. When Lady Adela, the witch hunter, comes to their little town, Tess and her two friends stand accused. Through their wits and the unexpected assistance of a dragon, they escape and flee into Dragonswood, which, although forbidden, is safer than the certain death they face at home. The tenuous peace among the humans, dragons, and fairies on the island is being threatened, and Tess, Poppy, and Meg seem caught in the middle. Tess has been keeping her fire-sight visions secret and it turns out that she is not the only one with secrets to keep. When one of the king's woodwards takes them in and offers them shelter, Tess cannot deny her feelings for him, even as she fears him and suspects that he has secrets of his own. The political intrigue, mythology of Merlin, and romances that bloom are all uncovered with precise timing and will have readers racing toward the end and then going back to savor the events more slowly. The story is complexly satisfying on its own, but readers will want to go back for Dragon's Keep as well and will look forward to the future of Wilde Island. — Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA

The Dragonswood is off-limits, but Tess, who sees visions in firelight, is inexorably drawn there. Wrongly accused as witches, she and two friends escape into the forbidden heart of Wilde Island. There Tess meets an intriguing huntsman named Garth and discovers she is destined to be more than a blacksmith’s daughter. Paralleling Robin Hood, the island’s rightful heir is off fighting in the crusades, while a regent is doing his best to take over the throne. Humans, fairies, and dragons coexist in the lush setting (first introduced in Dragon’s Keep, 2007), which is so well drawn it practically serves as another character. As Franny Billingsley did in Chime (2011), Carey uses gorgeous, lyrical prose to illustrate a world of authentic period detail combined with fantastical elements. Although the supporting characters, especially the dragons, are well drawn, a first-person point of view keeps the focus squarely on Tess and her journey. This novel, a cross between fantasy and historical fiction, also has a touch of romance and will likely appeal to fans of many genres. — Charli Osborne

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Young Tess is accused of being a witch and she is tortured in an attempt to get her to confess to her powers. Tess does see visions in the fire, but she is not a witch. In her pain she reveals that she and her friends Meg and Poppy snuck into the dragon's sanctuary known as Dragonswood. Now she and her friends must quickly flee their homes in an effort to escape the irate townsfolk and the evil witch hunter. Their journey is barren, cold, and long. As the group is seeking shelter in a cave, they are discovered by a huntsman named Garth who offers to help them. Tess distrusts Garth but because she and her friends are desperate, she has no option but to accept Garth's assistance. While at the small cabin that Garth provides, Tess has more visions and a strong calling to travel north. She can no longer resist the urge. Will-o-wisps fly Tess towards a castle where she makes some shocking discoveries about her father, herself, and Garth. What's more, Tess plays a critical part in trying to protect Dragonswood and maintain the peaceful coexistence between humans, dragons, and fey folk. This fantasy adventure is extremely fast paced and well-written. Readers will be shocked to discover the true identity of several of the character's and will be surprised by the unsuspecting alliances that they form. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Set on Wilde Island a generation after Dragon's Keep (Harcourt, 2007), this story continues with a perfectly crafted combination of history, mythology, and fantasy. King Pendragon has died, and while the island waits for his eldest son to return from the Crusades, the power-hungry Lord Sackmore is becoming more and more of a threat to the future king. When Lady Adela, the witch hunter, comes to their little town, Tess and her two friends stand accused. Through their wits and the unexpected assistance of a dragon, they escape and flee into Dragonswood, which, although forbidden, is safer than the certain death they face at home. The tenuous peace among the humans, dragons, and fairies on the island is being threatened, and Tess, Poppy, and Meg seem caught in the middle. Tess has been keeping her fire-sight visions secret and it turns out that she is not the only one with secrets to keep. When one of the king's woodwards takes them in and offers them shelter, Tess cannot deny her feelings for him, even as she fears him and suspects that he has secrets of his own. The political intrigue, mythology of Merlin, and romances that bloom are all uncovered with precise timing and will have readers racing toward the end and then going back to savor the events more slowly. The story is complexly satisfying on its own, but readers will want to go back for Dragon's Keep as well and will look forward to the future of Wilde Island.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A dark fantasy illuminated by piercing flashes of hope builds upon the well-received Dragon's Keep (2007), while standing complete on its own. Tess has known little in her 17 years but brutality, grief and fear: the angry fists of her blacksmith father, the infant graves of her siblings and the ominous prophetic visions she sees in flames. As Wilde Island teeters toward political collapse and a vicious witch-hunter sets her sights on Tess, she and her friends flee into Dragonswood, the forbidden abode of dragons and the fey folk. Even as they find refuge with a secretive woodward, the fairies keep calling to Tess… as if they had a duty only she could fulfill. Despite the romantic cover and lush, poetic prose, this is no adventure for the squeamish. Tess does not shy away from graphic descriptions of beatings, torture and grisly violence--and subtler betrayals, manipulation and callous disregard--that leave her scarred in body and soul. Yet for all her mistrust, self-loathing and cringing expectation of blows, Tess reveals a surprising strength and unflinching loyalty. While she does not extend an unrealistic forgiveness, she finds the courage to work with her abusers towards a greater goal; her tentative, hesitant love for the one person who treats her with kindness and respect is both touching and achingly bittersweet. Painful, cathartic and cautiously hopeful; a fairy tale for those who have given up on believing in them, but still yearn for happily ever after. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101559680
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/05/2012
Series:
Dragon's Keep Series , #2
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
152,580
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Genevieve Gallagher

STARRED REVIEW Gr 7 Up—Set on Wilde Island a generation after Dragon's Keep (Harcourt, 2007), this story continues with a perfectly crafted combination of history, mythology, and fantasy. King Pendragon has died, and while the island waits for his eldest son to return from the Crusades, the power-hungry Lord Sackmore is becoming more and more of a threat to the future king. When Lady Adela, the witch hunter, comes to their little town, Tess and her two friends stand accused. Through their wits and the unexpected assistance of a dragon, they escape and flee into Dragonswood, which, although forbidden, is safer than the certain death they face at home. The tenuous peace among the humans, dragons, and fairies on the island is being threatened, and Tess, Poppy, and Meg seem caught in the middle. Tess has been keeping her fire-sight visions secret and it turns out that she is not the only one with secrets to keep. When one of the king's woodwards takes them in and offers them shelter, Tess cannot deny her feelings for him, even as she fears him and suspects that he has secrets of his own. The political intrigue, mythology of Merlin, and romances that bloom are all uncovered with precise timing and will have readers racing toward the end and then going back to savor the events more slowly. The story is complexly satisfying on its own, but readers will want to go back for Dragon's Keep as well and will look forward to the future of Wilde Island.
From the Publisher

STARRED REVIEW A dark fantasy illuminated by piercing flashes of hope builds upon the well-received Dragon’s Keep (2007), while standing complete on its own.

Tess has known little in her 17 years but brutality, grief and fear: the angry fists of her blacksmith father, the infant graves of her siblings and the ominous prophetic visions she sees in flames. As Wilde Island teeters toward political collapse and a vicious witch-hunter sets her sights on Tess, she and her friends flee into Dragonswood, the forbidden abode of dragons and the fey folk. Even as they find refuge with a secretive woodward, the fairies keep calling to Tess… as if they had a duty only she could fulfill. Despite the romantic cover and lush, poetic prose, this is no adventure for the squeamish. Tess does not shy away from graphic descriptions of beatings, torture and grisly violence—and subtler betrayals, manipulation and callous disregard—that leave her scarred in body and soul. Yet for all her mistrust, self-loathing and cringing expectation of blows, Tess reveals a surprising strength and unflinching loyalty. While she does not extend an unrealistic forgiveness, she finds the courage to work with her abusers towards a greater goal; her tentative, hesitant love for the one person who treats her with kindness and respect is both touching and achingly bittersweet.

Painful, cathartic and cautiously hopeful; a fairy tale for those who have given up on believing in them, but still yearn for happily ever after. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Charli Osborne

The Dragonswood is off-limits, but Tess, who sees visions in firelight, is inexorably drawn there. Wrongly accused as witches, she and two friends escape into the forbidden heart of Wilde Island. There Tess meets an intriguing huntsman named Garth and discovers she is destined to be more than a blacksmith’s daughter. Paralleling Robin Hood, the island’s rightful heir is off fighting in the crusades, while a regent is doing his best to take over the throne. Humans, fairies, and dragons coexist in the lush setting (first introduced in Dragon’s Keep, 2007), which is so well drawn it practically serves as another character. As Franny Billingsley did in Chime (2011), Carey uses gorgeous, lyrical prose to illustrate a world of authentic period detail combined with fantastical elements. Although the supporting characters, especially the dragons, are well drawn, a first-person point of view keeps the focus squarely on Tess and her journey. This novel, a cross between fantasy and historical fiction, also has a touch of romance and will likely appeal to fans of many genres.

Read More

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