Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide the secret, the Queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, so Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy to restore the family to their rightful throne.
But Rosalind’s flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. The dragon sees beauty in her talon where her mother saw only shame, and Rosalind finally understands what her mother has truly denied her.
Carey has written a stunning portrayal of the complex relationship between a mother and daughter in a lyrical novel sure to thrill readers who love fantasyand those who don’t.
About the Author
JANET LEE CAREY received the Mark Twain Award in 2005 for Wenny Has Wings. She lives near Seattle, Washington.
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By Carey, Janet Lee
Harcourt Children's BooksCopyright © 2007 Carey, Janet Lee
All right reserved.
The Queen's Knife
WILDE ISLAND AD 1145
MOTHER PULLED OUT HER KNIFE. We were alone in her solar.
"It's time," she said. "Give me your hand."
I drew back. "It's not yet Sunday eve."
"We're together, Rosalind, and the door's well locked."
"Tonight." Then softening her voice she said, "Come, Rosie, take off your gloves."
Her blade flashed in the firelight and sent a russet glow across the room. She was ready for the ritual. I dreaded it.
"Take yours off first."
Mother placed her knife on the table and bared her hands. Queen Gweneth's fingers were finely tapered as candles, her skin milky as the moon. It was a shame for her to wear golden gloves, but she'd donned them at my birth to protect me, and worn them ever since.
"Now you, Rosie."
I bit my lip as she removed my right glove. Pretty hand that never saw the sun; the skin was soft and creamy not unlike her own. Mother kissed it. Then taking my other hand in hers, she peeled away the left glove. None but Mother and myself knew what hid underneath.
My throat tightened as we looked at my fourth finger. The horny flesh. Blue-green and scaly as a lizard's hide. Claw of the beast with a black curving talon at the end.
I rubbed the scar at the base of my claw. A wound I'd made myself the night of Nell'switch burning. With her cunning craft Nell had lured folk into the woods and fed them to the dragon. Of this she was accused, and too she had a devil's mark on her back. I'd seen the mark myself before they burned her--it was nothing compared to mine.
With Cook's sharp knife I'd stolen to my room to try to cut off my cursed part. The wound was deep and the blood had drenched my kirtle before Mother caught me.
The queen was peering at my claw now, working her face to hold back a sickened sneer, but with all her trying, her lip still tightened. "The sorrow of it," she whispered. "That it should be your wedding finger."
"No man would marry me unless he was a leper."
"Rosie. Don't say such things."
"Then say it isn't true."
Mother pulled out her silver vial, sipped the poppy potion, and closed her eyes. The fire crackled. When the lines around her eyes and mouth grew smooth she capped the bottle and set her jaw. "Now."
I hid my hand behind my back. "It will hurt."
"I'll cut with care." Tugging my wrist close, she used her knife to peel the black talon as a fletcher sharpens an arrow.
Curled bits of hard black nail fell to the floor. Sparks flew and a trail of smoke rose as she trimmed the nail. It was a wonder we'd shaken our heads at. For what kind of talon hides a spark?
Scrape. Scrape. I closed my eyes and smelled the odor of ground bone and, stranger still, a scent of rusted metal. The stench filled me with shame.
I waited for her to finish, taking slow breaths to calm myself. Then I felt a sharp prick.
"Too close to the quick!" I drew back and blinked away the tears.
"Done," said Mother, sweeping the broken bits of nail into her hand and tossing them in the fire.
Gently now, she slid my golden gloves back on and put her cool hand on my cheek. "This secret is heavy between us," she said. "But don't cry, Rosie. I'll find a way to cure you. I swear it on my life."
Copyright 2007 by Janet Lee Carey
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Excerpted from Dragon's Keep by Carey, Janet Lee Copyright © 2007 by Carey, Janet Lee. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Wormwood & Poppy
1 The Queen’s Knife 5
2 The Sacred Finger Bone 8
3 The Stolen Child 11
4 Dragonstone 16
5 Dragonslayers 24
6 Pilgrimage 32
7 The Kiss 42
8 Angel’s Betrayal 47
9 Flying as in a Dream 53
10 Friend and Fowl 61
11 Diviner Eggs 69
12 Witch’s Hollow 77
13 The Hag 84
14 Punishment 92
15 Her Spirit Unbound 98
16 The Listing Ship 113
17 Demon Fire 125
18 The Shell 136
19 If Wolves Should Come 147
20 Twine Unraveled 154
21 Taken 163
22 Burningstone 170
23 The Breaking 177
24 Knight’s Folly 185
25 The Bargain 192
26 A Language Lesson 203
27 Hissstory 208
28 Strange Treasure 218
29 Flight 226
30 The Scales 235
31 The Hunt 238
32 The Messenger 244
33 The Takings of the Storm 249
34 Lord Faul 258
35 Voice in the Falls 263
36 Discovered 269
37 Witch Trial 273
38 The Devil’s Footpath 287
39 Blood Proof 294
40 Talon 297
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rosalind's fate was written in the stars, read by Merlin, some 600 years before she was born. A direct descendant of the Pendragon line, her ancestor, Evaine, was the younger sister of King Arthur. Evaine married an outlaw and was banished to Wilde Island and erased from family history, setting Rosalind's destiny in motion. Three things are said of the twenty-first queen of Wilde Island; "She shall redeem the name Pendragon. End war with the wave of her hand. And restore the glory of Wilde Island."
Rosalind knows the prophecy well. She has been groomed for it her entire life. The way her mother sees it, England is in the midst of a civil war and Rosalind will marry Prince Henry, future king of England, thereby fulfilling all aspects of the prophecy. There are just a few problems. Having never met the Prince, what if he and Rosalind don't get along? Not that the Queen of England has officially contacted them yet, though it is assumed she is aware of the prophecy. With the recent dragon attacks on Wilde Island their military force is depleted, and may not be much help to England. Oh, and there's the little matter of Rosalind's ring finger. Instead of a finger it's a dragon's claw. So far she and her mother have hidden it behind golden gloves, but that won't work when Rosie is married. They MUST find a cure soon. A cure that is made harder to find due to the fact that the healers are never told what the exact problem is. Things are beginning to look bleak.
When an envoy from England comes to visit Wilde Island, things may be looking up a little. Especially since they've managed to slay the dragon that has been harassing the Island forever. It doesn't hurt that the one who killed the dragon is a handsome boy around Rosalind's age. At least in Rosalind's opinion, but her mother might not see it the same. Not that it's a concern for long. What should be one of the most triumphant moments in their history turns horrifying when the dragon's mate returns to punish the people, and takes a special interest in Rosalind. Before long, Rosalind's life will never be the same, and it doesn't look like the prophecy could ever possibly be fulfilled.
There is so much more to this book than I can tell you here! So many more levels and layers to the story. If I tried to fit it all in it would not only ruin the story, but end up nearly as long as the book! The relationships between the characters are so multi-leveled and very realistic. Rosalind may be a Princess with a dragon's claw in a faraway time and place, but her relationship with her mother is something you could see in anyone's life. Her desire to be normal and accepted are the same things everyone experiences as a teenager. So while the circumstances aren't something we experience every day, the people in them, and their reactions to them, are completely realistic and easy to relate to.
Part fairy tale, part mythology, part legend, all around fantastic! Read it! You'll be glad you did.
Throughout my lifetime I have had the pleasure of reading several books and indulging myself in the worlds several authors had been able to paint with only their words. This book has infinite meaning to me, for it has -and still to this day- keeps me thinking about the characters, their personalities, the situation, and the lessons learned. It has a permanent spot in my soul, wedged in a place where I always find myself thinking back to. I will be forever grateful to the author, for sparking this love, this ache in my soul that resigns there and always will for literature, and all the beautiful art created by authors everywhere.
I had to read it for a reading compitition and I found it surprisingly very good.
I recently read the book Dragons Keep by Janet Lee Carey and i have to say that it was an amazing book and you wont waste any money when buying it!!!!!! The book was so good that it took me two days to read because i couldnt put it down and i loved turning every page!!! I think thag Janet Lee Carey deserves a huge round of appluase!!!!!!!! Please report back to me when you have finished reading the book. The way you can let me know that the review is from someone who read mine is to title the headline for the review is: Brfybm1. Thx for reading!!!!!!!!!!!
I liked the book, choppy and misbegotten beginning and all. However, she was as fatal to her characters as Martin. Don't become attached to anyone and you'll like this story just fine.
This book is about a princess named Rosalind. When Rosalind was born, she was born with a dragon¿s claw instead of a ring finger on her left hand. This is because her mother wanted a baby for so long, but she couldn¿t get a baby. So one day, Rosalind¿s mother went to a witch and drank a dragon¿s egg which quickened her womb. Because of the dragon¿s egg, Rosalind has been cursed with the claw. There is a prophecy made by Merlin, Bright Fire, Dragon¿s Fire, Broken Sword, One Black Talon Ends the War. This prophecy is about Rosalind. When Rosalind is about 16, a dragon kidnaps her and forces Rosalind to become a maid and watch after the dragon pips. Not long after being kidnapped, Rosalind realizes that the dragon is her dragon father. Without him, Rosalind would have never been born. During the year Rosalind is gone, both her mother and father die. She comes back to take her rightful place as queen but she must fight for it and is nearly hung. The prophecy does become true. The dragon pips come back to visit and kiss her claw in front of the whole kingdom, Rosalind¿s husband breaks his sword. The war between humans and dragons is finally over.This was a really good book. Rosalind was a strong girl, nobody ever realized she had a dragon¿s claw, even her own father didn¿t know. I couldn¿t believe it when I found out the dragon was her father in a way. That would shock anybody. Rosalind was brave when she had to live with the dragons for a year. It was horrible when her father dragon, Lord Faul, died. His death was because he cried and the tears put out the inner fire in a dragon. Rosalind lost two fathers in a few months. That must have been devastating. I suggest this book to anybody who likes dragons and medieval times.
In this there is a girl who has a dragon's finger on her wedding finger. She has to wear gloves at all times and only her mother knows. Her mother has to wear gloves too because she doesn't want anyone to know. Banished from their rightful throne, they govern Wilde Islands. But when a wild dragon keeps haunting them. Princess Rosalind has to live through Merlin's prophecy has well. The prophecy says that Princess Rosalind will restore the throne to its rightful heir. When a dragon kidnaps Rosalind she thinks the prophecy will never be completed. In secret Rosalind starts to make a diary accounting her life with the dragons and how she has to take care of the dragon's children. So, when the dragon dies and Rosalind is given a chance to go to her home once more. She takes it. What she doesn't know is what is awaiting for her.........
We all know what it¿s like to grow up with expectations that you will somehow be great (okay fine, some of us more than others) and Carey¿s heroine suffers more than others due to Merlin¿s visions 600 years prior to her birth. She is supposed to be great ¿ save the world great ¿ and her mother is determined that she live up to the predictions. Never mind the fact that she is born with one claw (a dragon talon) on one hand due to Mama dearest stealing (and slurping) a dragon egg to quicken her aging womb. The fact that dragons are the scourge of their people and if it were to be found out that the Great Princess who will do Great Things is almost a dragon herself (hey, one day a talon, the next day fire, these dragons are pesky!) there will be pandemonium (and exile, maybe death?) is a source of great trouble to the Mother. So she removes anyone who knows of her daughter¿s minor¿flaw. It¿s quite obvious that the Queen Mama is unhinged (what with drinking poppy provided by a vile Mage (who is a villain)). Then lots of things happen, the Princess falls in love with a dragon slayer (the irony kills me) and she is kidnapped by the male dragon whose mate the dragon slayer¿s dad killed. Anyway¿ that¿s how it goes. I felt that for a book that wasn¿t too long, it was really comprehensive. I appreciate the fact that she tries to show that things aren¿t always black and white ¿ dragons aren¿t always bad and come on, humans are nowhere near saints). There is a possibility for interspecies peace and true love might have a chance of working out. I liked it.
Banished to Wilde Island, a disgraced splinter of the English royal family rules in constant fear of bandits and man-eating dragons. Merlin foretold the prophecy that the twenty-first queen of Wilde Island would restore glory to the family name and Wilde Island, as well as end a war. Therefore, the twentieth queen is desperately ruthless in making her daughter Rosalind, the future twenty-first queen, as perfect as she can be.But there is one major problem. Rosie had been born with a dragon¿s claw instead of a normal finger on her left hand. Horrified from her daughter¿s birth, the queen makes Rosie wear golden gloves all the time, so no one finds out about her shameful secret, a secret so terrible that, if known by anyone else but the two of them, would surely mean the end of Rosie¿s social acceptance. The queen will do anything in order to ensure that Rosie¿s secret remains that way¿even murder.However, Rosie¿s dragon claw has a lot more to do with the prophecy than anyone thinks. It becomes a sort of empathic connection between her and the last few remaining dragons in the world. It also saves her life when she is taken by the dragon Lord Faul to Dragon¿s Keep in order to play nursemaid to his children. There, Rosie is subjected to the most disgusting of chores, and she grows to be almost as wild as the dragons, and learns a few startling things about herself as well. Maybe Merlin¿s prophecy is not exactly as everyone has interpreted it for six centuries. Maybe her dual dragon and human blood can help her save herself and her people.DRAGON¿S KEEP is a fairly satisfying light fantasy read. I would have liked more about Rosie¿s relationships between other people, such as her best friend, Kit, or her love, Kye. But overall DRAGON¿S KEEP is a good choice for middle school fantasy lovers.
This review was originally posted on my review blog : Falling Off The Shelf.Princess Rosalind has lived her life in shame of the dragon claw she was born with. Every day she must don her golden gloves to hide her mark in order to be seen as the rightful heir to the throne of Wilde Island. Her mother, Queen Gweneth, is the only living soul who has seen the claw upon Rosie's finger, and she wishes to keep it that way. She will do anything in her power to keep the throne to Wilde Island safe, as well as the shame of the hideous claw from prying eyes.Rosalind is captured by a fearsome dragon, and whisked away to Dragon's Keep. There she learns that her hideous claw is beautiful in the eyes of the dragon's, and for the first time in her life feels as though it may not be a curse, but a sign of a new fate. Rosalind barters for the safety of her people, while also building a bridge between her world and theirs. It is all she can think of that will keep both her people, and herself, alive.The first thing that attracted me to this novel was the cover. I found it both disturbing and beautiful at the same time, which was a wonderful depiction of the feelings portrayed by the characters in this book. I love how the dragon in the background is transfixed by the claw upon the princess's hand. What one sees as something hideous, can obviously be seen as something beautiful in someone else's eyes.Rosalind's character seemed as though she was genuinely kind-hearted, and would do anything for those around her. While she watched people within her town throw hatred towards the dragons, she found it in her heart to love them, despite her cursed hand. Would her townspeople still love her with the mark of a dragon? Would they accept her for what she was, or burn her at the stake for being disfigured? I personally had to find out, and was thrilled with the outcome of the story.Another thing I loved about this book, was the language it was written in. There was nothing modern about the writing of this book, and this is what made it even better. The way the words were written only made the story come to life even more. It was a wonderful fairy tale that I would recommend to those who love stories filled with princesses, and dragons.
I absolutely loved this book. It's a great tale about a girl who was born with a dragon's talon and how she overcomes the idea of being misformed and unites a nation.
Princess Rosiland and her mother hide that fact that she was born with one dragon talon. They are ashamed of this deformity and try every kind of healer to fix it before she is old enough to marry. She is forced to always wear gloves and her mom will do anything to keep this secret. Princess Rosiland is meant to fulfill a prophesy Merlin declared long ago. Her life turns out much different than what her and her mother planned after she is stolen by a dragon, and in the process she learns a lot about herself and her destiny. A great book overall, an exciting story and beautiful descriptions. This story helps teenagers realize they do not need to be ashamed of their differences. Rosiland grew up with a heavy prophesy weighing on her, which blinded her at times, but I think she comes into her own and becomes a strong woman. Of course, by the end of the book she has to. I defiantly recommend.
Dragon attacks are a fact of life on Wilde Island. Warning bells ring, sounding alarm when one swoops down to scorch and gobble up those too slow to reach cover, and more than a few good knights and peasants have lost their lives trying to slay the dragon. A six-hundred year old prophecy foretells that the twenty-first queen of Wilde Island shall bring peace, redeem the Pendragon name, and restore the island's lost glory. For Queen Gweneth, the twentieth queen, the prophecy means her daughter is destined to wed England's Prince Henry. She will accept no other possibility, and is willing to go to any lengths to see her ambition come true. For Princess Rosalind, born with a dragon's claw on one hand, the prophecy seems more of a curse. No healer's potion or witch's brew, bleeding, leeching or other effort has had the slightest effect on the talon she bears.When a dragon slayer comes to the island and the dragon is roused, only Rosie's flaw and a desperate bargain will save her and Wilde Island from the dragon's wrath.Not at all what I expected. Very readable, and although I figured out who the "villain" was early on, and the ending was a bit abrupt and slightly lacking in depth, a very good fantasy. Creative and definitely worth reading.
My expectations when I brought home this book were far from the reality of it. I thought it was going to be an exciting adventure-type story with magic and dragons. Yes, there is some adventure...and lots of dragons. Yet it was more soft spoken than I expected, people were passive when I'm used to action. This is not to say it was bad. It was actually quite good. I'm not into historical fiction, but this is written in the manner of most historical novels, so the characters' actions did not feel false to me. Really this is just a long winded way to say that my expectations were trampled, but pleasantly.
Merlin¿s prophecy said that the twenty-first queen of Wilde Island would end war. But when the Princess Rosalind is born, she has a dragon¿s talon in the place of one finger. If the people knew she¿d be branded as a witch and killed, so her mother hides the horrible flaw under golden gloves and hopes to find a way to heal her. No healing works, however, and the princess¿ fate seems tied to dragons. The story is rooted in traditional tales and legends, but it is a completely new and absorbing fantasy.
A big romantic adventure that doesn't play too well on audio. While the narrator does a fine job with characters (portraying a growly and terrifying dragon among other creatures), and reads with real emotions, her narrative style seemed repetitive and unvarying during most of the storytelling. Still the plot, the setting, the extremely delightful heroine all make for a fine story.
Princess Rosalind is born to restore the Pendragon dynasty, but a secret birth defect is a clue to the forces responsible for her birth, and those shaping her true destiny. Loved it.
This book should be right up my alley. but I just could not get into the characters at all. The book is just too slow paced for me. I figured everything out early and then just kind of had to wait the story out. Overall, a good concept that just did not make it in the end.
Princess Rosalind has a secret she's been forced to keep all her life. She was born with a dragon's talon in place of her left ring finger. Her mother has taken her to healer after healer, but no one's been able to help. Rosalind fears she'll never find a husband. And life is made all the more complicated by the dragons that keep attacking the town. Also, there is a prophecy that Rosalind will be the queen who will stop the wars... but all that seems impossible. Rosalind wasn't the spunky heroine I wanted her to be. I think my own expectations lead to me not liking the book as well as I might have. Rosalind was much more of a damsel in distress than I feel the story called for. It all worked out in the end and there were a couple of twists I didn't see coming, but it would have been a much different book if Rosalind was more proactive and less of a wuss.
Excellent series I wish more from Arthur. Great writing. Thanks
Rose goes through quite a turn. A dragon captures her and she learns the dragon's ways. I think this is a truly awesome story. If you love dragons, is a tween/young teen you would enjoy this!
This book sucks
The book was amazing!!!!!But there were alot of sad parts. However the good and happy parts out numerbed the sad and upseting parts.