Dragonswood (Dragon's Keep Series #2)

Dragonswood (Dragon's Keep Series #2)

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803735040
Publisher: Dial
Publication date: 01/05/2012
Series: Dragon's Keep Series , #2
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Janet Lee Carey was born in New York and grew up in California. She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels, most notably her epic fantasy novels set on Wilde Island—Dragon's Keep, Dragonswood, and the upcoming In the Time of Dragon Moon. Janet lives near Seattle with her family where she writes and teaches writing workshops.

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.

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Dragonswood 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Jaime13 More than 1 year ago
When I read the synopsis for Dragonswood a few months back I really wanted to read this book! I thought fairies, dragons, and humans in a story set in for lack of a better word olden times sounded extremely interesting. Well my friends it was! I really liked this book I’m not going to say love or gush about it though. I didn’t feel a strong connection with Dragonswood like I have with some other books. The story was written very well and the details were extremely good I could imagine the spider webs in the trees and see the scales on the dragons. I also found the story to be pretty predictable but that didn’t stop me from reading. I didn’t figure everything out. I really enjoyed the strength of the MC Tess in a world where women were considered second class citizens only worth what their looks could gain their father’s in money or power; she stood out as an individual who wanted her own life her own way. That did get her into trouble but it also made her grow as a person. The love interest known as Garth Huntsman was very charming and sweet I didn’t fall head over heels for him and swoon like I do for the boys in other books. Oh well can’t fall for them all right? My absolute favorite part of this story was the dragons! I wish there would have been more parts with them in the book! I loved their wisdom and their humor and how even they liked the humans they still saw them as hairless worms. Lord Kahlil the ancient dragon was definitely my favorite! To end I chose a scene that I thought was cute and funny, it’s where Tess is trying to figure out if she can trust Garth Huntsman or not and she has climbed a tree to think. “Tess?” Garth’s head was thrown back to peer up at me in the branches.”Why scurry up a tree? The stew will be ready soon. Won’t you come down?” I gripped my knife. Why had I trusted him? I knew better than to trust a man. “You’re angry with me.” “No, I’m not.” “Don’t lie; I know anger when I see it.” He looked so small standing far below. Like a grounded blackbird. Seagull trotted up to him and whinnied. Garth patted her neck. “Now see, you have Seagull worried.” “Tell her I am happy up here in the tree.” “She is happy up there in the tree, Seagull.” I smiled a little. “Tell her I am tired of sudden anger, of punching fists, black eyes, cuts, and bruises.” “She is tired of sudden anger, fists—“ “Punching fists,” I corrected. “Of punching fists, black eyes, cuts, and bruises.” Seagull huffed and nodded. Garth and I laughed. “Will you come down now and have some dinner?” “You go ahead and eat. You must be famished.” I felt gnawing hunger but would not admit it. The man did not obey. Instead he climbed. My breath caught. What was he doing? Garth positioned himself on a thick branch across from me and slightly lower so his head was not quite as high as mine. “This is my tree,” I said. He poked a pinecone. “So you own it?” The rest of this scene had me cracking up! Dragonswood is out in stores now so if you want to read a good story with dragons and fairies I suggest you pick it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy 5.
precious_seraph More than 1 year ago
4.5 rounded up Tess was the daughter of the blacksmith living in Harrowtown, a small town in Wilde Island. She lived with constant pain and bruises given to her by her father. Because of this, she learned how to dodge fists, developed fast reflexes and feared and looked out for signs of anger in men. I found her easy to like. Tess was a girl who wanted freedom, love, respect and security. She was capable, independent, loyal and considerate. She was also talented when it came to drawing. But as a girl, she could never be an artist by profession. It was not allowed. The society and the rules that came with it bound the women ¿ they couldn¿t completely express their thoughts and follow their dreams. I cheered Tess on as she struggled to survive away from her home, with a burden on her shoulders. I was intrigued by her gift, fire-sight, which allowed her to glimpse the future through flame. Garth, the man that Tess kept seeing in her visions, was an intriguing character. He was a woodsman who lived and worked in Dragonswood. I found him compassionate and helpful when he offered Tess and her friends to stay at his lodge. But Garth was also mysterious. He kept secrets and was careful with his words. His relationship with Tess was an interesting one. Both of them were careful with their words, keeping secrets while falling for each other. The characters were very realistic for me. Each and every one of them had a good side and a bad side. No one was perfect and all of them, including Tess, made mistakes at some point in the novel. What really made me like her was how she tried to make up for her mistakes. She faced the consequences, the anger and hatred of her friends and the sadness instead of running away and making sure that she was safe. I admired her perseverance and her loyalty. Fey and dragons lived in Dragonswood, a sanctuary set up by Queen Rosalind to protect both races. But in Wilde Island, not everyone wanted Dragonswood to remain a sanctuary. The fey in this novel were the classic faeries. They didn¿t have the same concept of love, commitment and attachment like humans did. There was also a hierarchy in terms of magic. A child fey had to go through everything to learn magic and obtain power. The dragons were fascinating. They were wise, loyal and majestic creatures. I loved reading about their history, especially the ones related to the Pendragon royal family. Fey, dragon and man were all set to keep the sanctuary safe but some of them just wanted to fulfill the ancient prophecy. Tess was swept up in the middle of it all. Secret after secret unraveled and plan after plan was laid out before her. Would Tess do what she¿s destined to do or would she choose her own fate? Dragonswood was a well-thought and well-written novel. From the language to the culture to the fantasy, everything was perfect. The author dropped enough hints for the reader to get an idea of the story as a whole. The story was good, starting from Tess¿ point of view of her world before fanning out to the magical world of fey and dragons. But I was a little surprised with the somewhat sudden ending. Dragonswood is a fascinating and dramatic story with a strong heroine in a world of intrigue, danger and magic. It¿s a medieval fantasy treat for historical readers, fey fans, dragon fans and fantasy lovers. I highly recommend this!
Ebony100BookProject More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood. Lets see: - It’s from the young adult fantasy genre - It can be read as a stand-alone novel This was what I was looking for after an exhausting stretch of dystopias and PNRs. But, unfortunately, I couldn’t love Dragonswood completely. It seems I don’t know what I want. This book gave me the crazy awesome of fantasy – like dragons and witch hunts and prisoners in the tower – but the romance aspect was so drab it had me missing the arrogant heroes I normally don’t give the time of day. Here comes the smoulder The characters had a good rapport with one another, but the actual ‘love’ seemed kind of arbitrary. The scenes with the two love interests weren’t boring, but I didn’t get any sense of heat when they were together, and the resolution to the romance was very rushed. The connection Tess has with Meg and Poppy was one of the most enjoyable aspects, but as the novel progressed and the love interest hit the scene, their particular story arc seemed to fizzle out. What I Loved: The writing was quite good, and the central storyline was an interesting one. Overall, it was an enjoyable YA fantasy despite my few gripes. Also, the author mentions the main character having her period, which I find strangely endearing. I’m always glad when that aspect of being a woman is included – it feels like a slap of reality. YA novels that do mention it are usually from the fantasy/historical genre, or gritty contemporary fiction. I think it’s a bit silly how such a universal recurrence is so absent from teen lit, especially in cases where it would seem logical that the subject would at least cross the character’s mind. What Was Lacking: There was no explanation of one rather important factor – or if there was an explanation, it has slipped by me. It is a pivotal point that the royal family have dragon blood – suggesting a dragon somewhere in their heritage. I don’t understand how a dragon would make its way into the human gene pool – through mating? It seemed bizarre, like Dragonswood was suddenly being confused with a dragon/human erotica of the same name. However, I found out after reading this that there is a companion novel published a few years before, which I haven’t read, and it might have been explained therein. Still, it seems strange not to rehash it clearly in Dragonswood. Also, the resolution to the story left a lot to be desired, not in terms of loose ends, but just unsatisfying endings for characters I cared about, and who I thought the heroine cared about too. [Spoilers: skip over if you don't want to know some characters' fates I was upset that Tess was fairly apathetic towards her mother remaining with her abusive husband and having another child. If you had been beaten so severely by your father that your ear was deafened and permanently deformed, would you resign your mother and brother to a life of the same treatment? I was very let down by the characters self-interest when it came to that particular development.] Quote: “Even from behind, I knew the seated man was Garth. I'd seen him in chair, saddle, and by a campfire. I'd known him running with his hounds, grooming his horses, leaning back to look at the stars from the branches of a pine tree, hunched with concentration whittling a doll, carrying Alice through a storm, and even sparring with a dragon. A woman will know a man from all sides after that.” I won’t say don’t read this, but I will say that if you are a bit pickier with your fantasy you might prefer to wait for Seraphina in July 2012. Rachel Hartman takes similar ideas and just knocks it right out of the park.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was a little predictable in that she lists all she wants in a guy, and, shockingly, she finds a guy like that, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It has just the right amount of adventure.
AcesMommy More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey is a wondrously compelling and enchanted tale of magical realms, dragons, and life's unforeseen destiny. A journey (through pages) I did not regret! I was taken aback when I realized that Dragonswood was written in a medieval/historical scene. I'm so use to reading the paranormal, urban fantasy and dystopian genres that are coming out these days that it was kind of nice to take a break. It usually takes a lot of convincing for me to enjoy fantasy/medieval era books, but I can say that this read was quite pleasant. I enjoyed connecting with Tess, trying to understand how hard it was in those times - to step out of the roles of a 'women'. Tess is a very likable character and impulsively voices out her opinions, but later paying for doing so with cuts and bruises. She is forced to do what is expected of her. And when a woman is seen to WANT or TRY to be an individual she is titled a witch and is sent to burn at the stake. The story can be predictable at times but the adventure was still entertaining. There wasn't really that much romance going on, which again was okay for me because I needed a break from the lovey dovey. The characters are well developed even the minor ones. I really liked how Janet wrote a tale that mingles human and fey with human and dragon - it's very creative! I kept thinking about The Season of The Witch mixed with Dragon Heart with a dash of classic fairy-tales. It's kind of hard to describe - Dragonswood is a great whimsical sit down and chill, perfect for a rainy day kind of read! *ready the popcorn* The ending is adorable! It sounds like there will be a sequel, and that there will be more action. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of Jackrun!
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hunted as witches because they had visited the Dragonswood, Tess and her friends find refuge with a mysterious woodsman. When he is arrested, Tess know she must trust him and try to sve him, as he has trusted and svaed her.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got an advanced reading copy of this book to review through the Librarything Early Reviewer's program. This was an absolutely stunning book. I loved it from page one and couldn't put it down, I was sad when I finished it because I wanted to read more. This is the second book written by Carey that takes place in this world, but the story is a separate story from the first book (Dragon's Keep) and stand very well on it's own. I never read the first book but now I really want to.Tess is a blacksmith's daughter in a small town. Tess is drawn to the Dragonswood forest (which she is forbidden to enter) and occasionally has visions of the future when she looks into fire. Her father is abusive and Tess flees to the woods at night to escape him. When a noblewoman arrives in town Tess is intrigued but not concerned; that is until Tess and her friends are accused of witchcraft and forced to flee. The adventure will lead Tess deep into Dragonswood and into intrigue and adventure beyond her wildest imagination.I loved this book. The book kind of goes through two phases the first part has a very medieval feel to it with witch hunts and humanity living somewhat in misery and fear of the unknown; there is the occasional appearance by a wondrous dragon but they aren't a huge part of the story. As Tess spends time with Garth and her friends in Dragonswood the tone of the story changes. The story becomes more about magic, intrigue between magical races, and prophecies. I loved both parts of the story and enjoyed the classical fantasy feel to this story; it really reminded me of Robin McKinely's The Hero and the Crown.Tess is a plucky young girl; she is strong and not afraid to stand up for herself. I admired her, although she comes off as a bit standoffish at points, you can really tell that she has used that armor to protect her from her abusive father. I love how Tess has decided on what type of man she would want to marry. Then as the story progresses and she spends time with Garth she occasionally makes a mental note of how he matches up with some aspect on her list. Garth is a wonderful character; caring,mysterious, and tough in his own right he is a perfect match for Tess and loved watching learn about each other and slowly fall in love with each other.Tess's two friends are also wonderful characters. You can't help but feel for Tess's friend who is a young mother and loves her husband but is forced to flee him; I was drawn in to that story as well. Tess's other friend is cursed with a beauty that blinds and captivates men and she also has an excellent and engaging side story.The writing was wonderfully done, the descriptions are beautiful and writing flows nicely. I enjoyed the writing style a lot and found the story to be incredible engaging. The book wraps everything up nicely with an epilogue that shows how things end up for all of the characters involved. There are perfect measures of happiness, heartbreak, humor, and adventure in this story.Overall I absolutely adored this book. It was a wonderful medieval fantasy with dragons, fairies, witch hunts, love, adventure, humor, and magic. It reminded me a lot of McKinely's The Hero and the Crown, so fans of that book should definitely check this out. This isn't your typical fantasy about a plucky young girl who wants to buck tradition to make it on her own, this story is about so much more. It completely captured my heart and was incredibly well written and engaging. So what are you waiting for?! Go read it now!
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood is a smooth, luscious fantasy filled to the brim with dragons, fey, and secrets. Janet Lee Carey carries the reader through the Dragonswood right along with Tess. Though there isn¿t anything that makes Dragonswood particularly stand out amongst other fantasy novels, it does have its own charm. Carey¿s take on the fey is innovative, and the incorporation of dragons is fairly unique, as far as YA novels go. One would expect Dragonswood to be a bit of a wild ride, but in reality it comes off as rather mild. This could be attributed to Janet Lee Carey¿s writing style, which adapts the formality of the Medieval era. Somehow the intense scenes seem a bit out of reach, and it¿s difficult to become fully engaged with the story. Tess is a stubborn, headstrong young woman who is likable enough, but again, rather mild. Her narration makes her out to be a bit reserved, but occasionally we get a glimpse of her reckless side (especially toward the end of the novel). Garth, the huntsman Tess and her friends take up with, is actually more fun than Tess! He is full of secrets, but he doesn¿t shy away from Tess too much because of them. Garth isn¿t dark and brooding, which is refreshing. Other characters of note are the dragons, who are wise and all-powerful but not without senses of humor. Dragonswood is full of surprises, political intrigue, and magic, which makes it a perfect read for any fantasy fan. The story may seem a bit slow for some readers, but things pick up a bit towards the end. Janet Lee Carey brings classic fantasy to YA with Dragonswood, and though the story felt a bit mild to me, it is still a well-written and enjoyable book.
resugo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought Carey did a fantastic job creating this world with fairies and dragons and humans, and had a very compelling story arch. I thought it was well written and had a nice flow. However, I also thought it lacked a spark of life. I never found myself enthralled by the characaters or the story, or compelled to keep reading. When I put the book down, I didn't really think about until I picked it up again (and I'm someone who tends to obsess about a book while reading it and after finishing it). The romance was also rather drab. I can't really put my finger on why I felt this way, but I did.
ABookwormsHaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of dragons; this is a pretty well-known fact. So I saw this book and immediately had to have it. While the dragons are not the main focus of the story, they still play a large role in it and I loved seeing Janet¿s take on how dragons would be in this world.Dragonswood follows the life of Tess. She lives with her mother and abusive father and longs for something more. She is not quite sure what she is missing, but knows she is not happy with her life now. She also wants to meet a man that can love her without hitting her. Tess is an easy character to love, but she has a hard road ahead of her. One day she gets accused of witchcraft and is tortured for information about others like her. While under the cruelty of the witch hunter she inadvertently gives up the names of her two best friends and they will soon be hunted down as well. The three of them are forced to flee the city they have grown up in and seek shelter elsewhere. One of Tess¿s most admirably qualities is her fierce loyalty. She did not mean to turn her friends in, but not that she has endangered them she will do everything she can to help them become safe again.Her two friends, Poppy and Meg, were good to Tess and helped out when they could, but I did not love them as much as I might have been meant too. They were whiny at times and that is the one quality that bothers me the most. Poppy was also just downright rude to Tess at times. Her arrogance and cruel comments irked me and I just wanted to shout at her to be quiet. Meg was not mean, but she was very self-absorbed at times. I don¿t know how Tess remained so humble and loyal with the kind of people she was surrounded with, but it made me love her all the more. She always thought of others before herself and it made her a great leading character.As for the fantasy world, it was amazing! Janet painted a gorgeous picture of a world where dragons are spotted often and humans have been known to mingle with fairies. It was absolutely magical and I wanted to dive right into the pages so I could see it all for myself. There is another book set in this same world, Dragon¿s Keep, but I have not read it yet. I know it came out before this one, but I was not at all confused reading them out of order. They are not part of a series, but some events that took place in Dragon¿s Keep were mentioned in this book. I will be looking into that book now that I have read this one, but you can read them in any order without it making a difference.The romance in this book was subtle and always in the background, but I liked it that way. The plot did not need the romance to be featured at all times to be addicting. The story and the events that took place in Dragonswood kept me glued to the pages and the sweet, slow building romance was just a bonus! The guy Tess is interested in, Garth, is an honorable man and takes Tess and her friends in when he could have easily turned them in to the witch hunter. He takes care of them and the subtle hints that he was starting to care for Tess were so cute. I loved watching their relationship grow and develop from being strangers to two people who cared very much.Overall, I really enjoyed getting to know Tess and her world in Dragonswood. I soaked up every detail of this world and loved getting lost in it. The road was not easy and there were many moments where my heart ached for Tess and the challenges she faced, but I would not change on minute of it. This book is a must read for any fantasy lovers!
titania86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood is a good fantasy novel. Tess is a wonderful protagonist and my heart breaks for her and her situation at the beginning of the novel. The witch burnings and crazy witch hunters really gave spice, emotion, drama, and adventure. I wish more teen novels would take this high fantasy route because the dragons, witches, and fairies are so nice to read about to counteract all the werewolves and vampires. As it neared the end, I think the story lost focus and went a little downhill for me. The ending seemed to say that Tess's story is over, but I would definitely read the next book in the series if there was one.
suz.haugland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood is a dark alluring powerfully epic high fantasy filled with wonderfully delicious hidden secrets, intrigue, and enchanting mystical realms that will leave readers breathless. From the start, it is deeply compelling and masterfully written, filled with wonderfully developed characters and dangerous action-packed trials facing them. Carey exudes stunning world building skills and introduces a unique spin on fulfilled prophecies. It is a lively mystical tale unlike any other that has come before it. Vastly fascinating and cleverly suspenseful, with the perfect harmonious blend of paranormal and fantasy. Tess, the heroine, finds herself at a cross roads with fate and faces the question of how to shoulder the destiny that lies ahead of her and how to survive the outcome that may befall. The world surrounding Tess visions becomes desperate, as they keep showing a mysterious man wielding a sword. This raises many questions as to who he is and what part he has to play in this epic battle. Carey's characters are brightly vivid with a twinge of darkness and beautifully developed, while still possessing hidden flaws of their own. Tess, for example, is a strong and loyal heroine and friend, yet even she will falter a bit in the way of betraying her friends to a degree. It paints the perfect portrait of not being perfect, yet still possessing likable and desirable characteristics that readers will find appealing. The romance between Tess and Garth is wildly daring and is exquisitely heart pounding, fueled by a strong magnetic attraction that builds and builds, pulling towards destiny and each other. It is handled in such a truly magical and splendid way, that readers will fall hopelessly in love with these two. It's just so natural and pleasing. Dragonswood is an action-packed, highly intense story that will leave readers clamoring for more of the fantasy and the developing mythos as unpredicted twists and turns become more and more evident in the journey. It is such a riveting fantastical story that will surely hook readers. Fans of Scott Tracey's Witch Eyes, Amber Argyle's Witch Song, or even the intriguing writing style of Tamora Pierce will be sure to enjoy this novel. Readers will definitely not want to miss out on this high epic tale of fantasy, filled with talking dragons who's status as lords are vastly important to the mythos and magical realms in which they live in or precarious little faeries they'll be introduced to along the journey. It is sure to remind them, that it's not necessarily the destination that makes the story worth telling, but the journey along the way.
Abibliophobic1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will start off saying that I really needed this book to ¿wow¿ me. Last week, I tried starting Matched by Ally Condie and I could only get through about fifty pages before stopping. I was thoroughly disappointed because of all of the great things I¿ve heard about Matched. For some reason, I just wasn¿t drawn into the story and I wasn¿t a huge fan. That being said, I decided to start Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey with very high hopes¿Dragonswood tells the story of a young girl named Tess who lives on Wilde Island, where there are kings, dragons, knights and even fairies. In a time when the relationship between humans, dragons and the fey are beginning to strain, Tess finds herself in the middle of a power struggle between the three races. When an overzealous witch hunter tries her as a witch, even Tess¿s power to see the future can¿t help save her or her friends.Overall, I did like this book. It reminded me of reading the fantasy novels that I loved as a kid, but I can¿t say that I got my ¿wow¿ that I was hoping for. I felt like the first two hundred pages or so could have been condensed into one hundred pages and that the latter part of the book should have been stretched out. I was often bored at times during the beginning of the book, waiting for the plot to pick up. Once things got exciting, I felt like information was thrown together too quickly and details that should have been hammered out a little more were left unrefined.There were some aspects of the book that I really liked. First and foremost, I loved the setting. With the backdrop of 1100¿s Europe, Carey was able to paint such a clear picture of the landscape in which the story took place I was completely immersed in the ancient cities, castles and mystical forests full of fairies.I also really liked the main character, Tess, and her love interest, Garth. I felt that Carey brought a reality to Tess in that she was imperfect and didn¿t do what was right all the time. She wasn¿t the most beautiful, she had no talent for healing or comforting the sick and she even ratted out her friends as possible witches. While we all might say we¿d never sell our friends out to an evil witch hunter, who¿s to say what you¿d do or say while you were being tortured? I thought that Tess brought a real honesty to the story and she was somewhat atypical to the heroines we¿re seeing in a lot of today¿s fiction. Garth, too, was an interesting character, especially in his interactions with Tess. While you figure out from the beginning that he will end up being her love interest (no shockers there, as he¿s the only other non-married man in the story) he chastises her for her betrayal of her best friends. Instead of comforting her and telling her it could have been anyone¿s mistake, he takes her to make up for her grave fault and rebukes her apologies.While Dragonswood didn¿t blow me away like I had hoped, I still enjoyed reading this book. It was a good break from stories that bring mystical creatures into modern times.5 out of 10
Candacemom2two on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I heard the description of this book I was immediately drawn to it. But then I saw reviews saying it was mediocre. This worried me a bit. But I still bought the book. And I'm so glad I did! The book pulled me in immediately and it kept me entranced the entire way through. And while parts of the middle were slower, they still held my attention and I was still eager to continue reading. I really liked Tess. She felt real to me. She was brave and and strong and extremely loyal, but she still made mistakes, still gave in under pressure (aka torture) and that just made her all the more real. She never seemed predictable to me as I saw her struggling with her feelings for different things and I loved being surprised by some of her decisions. The romance- I loved it for the most part. I felt the connection between the two but yet there wasn't any instant love. They grew to care for each other as they got to know the other. As she learned what a kind, gentle and loyal person he was. As he watched her go through trial after trial but still work to repair her mistakes. And I loved any and all interaction between them but I wanted more. I wanted to see them together more and really feel that connection. I felt like we only got a touch of what it could have been. However it was still great! I loved the world created. The medieval villages, the sanctuary filled with faeries, dragons and other mythical beings. I loved the magic and the way everything worked. The connections between the humans, the fae, the dragons, the royalty. It was all fantastic! The storyline was also amazing and while I was able to predict some things other things I never saw coming. Overall I really enjoyed everything but at the same time I kind of see what people mean about how it had potential to be totally epically amazingly awesome and how it didn't quite reach that. But I went into it expecting it to fall a bit flat and it didn't really. It's mostly looking back I see where it could have been just a bit more, but really, I'm not disappointed. This was a highly enjoyable read and I recommend it to all fantasy readers, especially those who enjoy fantasy but have a hard time with the lengthy descriptions and longer volumes. This was most definitely a lighter epic fantasy. I also look forward to reading the authors previous work, Dragons Keep.
iShanella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood, on Wilde Island, is a sanctuary for dragons and fey. Janet Lee Carey, continues the tale of Dragons and humans (with a bit of Fey) that she started in Dragon¿s Keep. Several years after the events of Dragon¿s Keep, we are introduced to Tess, a blacksmith¿s daughter, who is accused of being a witch. The adventure starts right away and keeps you gripped until the end. Tess and her friends friends are on the run when they meet Garth Huntsman, a stranger who helps them hide from the witch-hunters. Tess is suspicious of the stranger - with good reason - but has to work with him as she tries her best to keep her friends from trouble and repay them for disrupting their quiet lives. Dragonswood is a fast moving story, you did not have to read Dragon¿s Keep (which I thought was a little slow) to understand Dragonswood, Janet Lee Carey did a wonderful job of explaining the necessary pieces so the reader understands the history. The characters - human, fey and dragons - are very three dimensional and makes the reader care about what happens to them. Though a lot happened, I never felt as though it was too fast or overwhelming. The story was well paced and exciting. The mystery - though I guessed a little of what was going on - was intriguing enough to keep me engaged. Garth and Tess, the two main characters, were lovable and relatable. I enjoyed the way Janet handled their growth and their personal ¿big reveals¿. This book is for all the adventurers out there, go forth and read!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For Tess, scoldings and beatings are frequent; joys are few and fleeting. Drawing and running free in Dragonswood - although frowned upon, are two things she can't bear to live without. Unfortunately, those habits are enough to condemn her when the witch hunter arrives in her small village.Picking up two generations after Dragon's Keep, Dragonswood is the story of Tess, a young blacksmith's daughter. It is also the continued story of Wilde Island. Set in the time of King Edward and Prince John, the island faces a similar situation - the king has died and Prince Arden, the heir, is away on crusade. Unlike Prince John, however, Prince Arden's younger brother Bion has been careful to avoid taking on a ruler's responsibilities. But the island is still strife-riddled, burdened with new taxes by the king's regent and uneasy due to a witch-hunter's ruthless searches. The regent and many in the population covet the forest preserve that Queen Rosalind set aside years before for the fey and the dragons. With the king's absence, the wall and the laws that protect Dragonswood are weakening, and war between the two sides threatens. The fey have a prophecy - the prince shall wed a fairy child, and dragon, human and fey shall live at peace. But prophecies seldom play out as one expects...Carey's writing is reminiscent of Robin McKinley's - subtle, easily read, cleverly plotted, and peopled with well-fleshed out characters. Very enjoyable.
rywn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dragonswood is about a girl named Tess who sees vision of the future when looking into the fires. After her baby brother¿s death, accusations cause Tess to be accused as a witch. Tortured, and with her death imminent, Tess is forced to flee her home. Along with Tess are her two best friends, whom have no choice but to come with her on the journey. The girls are forced to hide, and eventually stumble upon the Dragonswood guardian Garth. Garth is the man Tess has seen in her visions, and she is as afraid as she is drawn to him initially. Soon, Garth and Tess begin a quest to help Tess make amends for some of the wrongs she has done, and Tess quickly discovers that Garth is exactly the type of man she has looked for. She soon learns however, the man she¿s falling in love with is not all that he seems, and that the problems of the Kingdom are closer to her then she ever thought¿ Dragonswood is a story that I really wanted to like, however I could never quite fall in love with the way I¿d planned to. Tess never really connects to her powers and becomes the strong character I'd been looking for. There were many moments where I would¿ve liked her to fight more, and stand up for herself only to see that she was being pushed around once again. Garth is a much more interesting character, with just the right amount of mystery applied to him. Despite this, much of his character was predictable, and it was without shock when I discovered what he had been up to. Tess¿s friends seemed to act as more of a distraction than anything else, and I usually found them more annoying than endearing.I found the story frustrating, with the first part focusing on Tess¿s flight from her village, and the latter half focusing on the ancient prophecy. I wish the story would¿ve been longer in some ways, with concerns occurring within the kingdom making more of an impact to the characters in the beginning. I found much of the ending to be completely infuriating ¿ characters who I¿d spent much of the book hating with a passion are essentially ¿forgiven¿ and rewarded and not punished as the truly should have been. Dragonswood pushes too hard for the perfect 'happily ever after' for all it's characters.
Lauren_W on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ExcellentDragonwood is the first book in a promising new series by Janet Lee Carey. The setting is Wilde Island, a place somewhere between Ireland and England, apparently in the time around the Crusades: Think Robin Hood. There the resemblance to our world ends, because on Wilde Island, dragons and fairies have gathered in a sort of preserve (the Dragonswood) under the sanction of the human king.Our story is about a girl named Tess, who has visions when she looks into fire. To escape her abusive home life, she often escapes into the Dragonswood to be alone. She and her two friends are together when a witch-hunter comes to town. What happens to Tess is terrifying, and exciting as she embarks on a journey to save herself and her friends, not knowing the larger implications her survival has to the world around her. The book completes itself which I vastly appreciated, but there are enough lingering questions and undeveloped characters to make me just as eager for the next book. I enjoyed the take on fairies. I especially enjoyed the dragons. Tess is flawed, but not unlikable. As I continued with her throughout the story, I liked her more and more. Some of the background characters could have used more flesh and props, but that¿s only a lingering wish. The story stood well enough without. Highly recommended.
Kristi_TheBookFaery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
THE FAERYS VIEWDragonswood by Janet Lee Carey was an absolute delight to read. I spent the entire day reading it and then late into the night until I sighed in contentment at the last page. This doesn¿t mean that I don¿t foresee a sequel in the future, though! I absolutely Loved this novel!Tess lives with her mother and blacksmith father in the small village of Harrowton on Wilde Island, the year is 1192. Tess¿s life is one of physical & emotional abuse by her drunken father. The only time she can get away from the oppressiveness of her home is to steal into the nearby Dragonswood which is illegal. Nobody is allowed into Dragonswood which is a sanctuary for the Dragons and the fey. The late Queen Rosalind deemed it a sanctuary and it is surrounded by a wall and patrolled by Woodward¿s who are favored and live in Dragonswood itself. The surrounding villages are in chaos and hungry for the meat that Dragonswood holds but not because of their lack of entrance into the woods but because of the evil Lord Sackmore who is in charge of the realm since the King died but has his own nefarious plans to carry out while waiting for Prince Arden to return from the Crusades and come claim the throne. There is a younger prince, Prince Bion, but for him to step up and take control would seem as if he were trying to usurp he¿s brothers birthright. It is said that all of Pendragon Castle¿s heirs have dragon scales somewhere on their bodies, making them special.And then there¿s the ancient prophecyIn the enchanted Woodland wild,The Prince shall wed a Fairy child,Dragon, Human, and Fairy,Their union will be bound by three.And when these lovers intertwine,Three races in one child combine.Dragon, Fey, and HumankindBound in one bloodlineTess¿s mother has had one stillbirth after another and it¿s the day after Tess loses her little brother Adam when Lady Adela rides in with all her knights. At first in awe of the woman who rides like a man and runs her own life without a man to tell her what to do, it isn¿t long before Lady Adela stirs up the crowd to point out potential witches. Lady Adela had been abducted by witches who hobbled her and put out her eye years back, since then she has been on a vendetta against them. The Queen had the Fey make her a glass eye which is said to have magical powers. When she turns that eye on Tess the story begins.Forced to flee with her two best friends, Meg-married at 14 years old and mother to 3 year old Alice and Poppy, gorgeous with the power to hold men¿s attention. Their journey through Dragonswood is difficult and frightening. Tess has a secret power, she sees visions in fire and when the 3 girls come across the man in the visions she is at first very frightened-he¿s a Woodward. Garth the Woodward or Garth Huntsman as he likes to be called is of course gorgeous and also kind-hearted. He offers the girls shelter and does much more to help them. Tess is of course drawn to him and on occasion she feels his affection for her. Tess is frightened because she keeps hearing voices telling her to go North and she feels compelled to go but not before she makes things right with her friends.Dragonswood is full of the mystical yet still a wondrous historical novel. I grew to love each character as they were so well defined; each with a distinctive personality and voice. The world building was spectacular; I could picture myself traveling through Dragonswood and beyond in all its fantastic glory. Told in Tess¿s perspective, I never felt like I didn¿t know what the other girls where thinking yet the mysteries and sub-plots were excellent and surprising. An amazing and captivating book that gets a One-Sit-Read from me, I¿ll definitely read it again and I will recommend this book to everyone I know. I really would dislike to see anyone miss out on this gem.THE FAERY SAYS MY WINGS CARRIED ME FAR FAR AWAY!
jakehlyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Janet Lee Carey's Dragonswood is a delightful traditional fantasy! Carey's novel is fast-paced and plot driven with a satisfying ending. References of her previous work, Dragonskeep, coupled with my my enjoyment reading Dragonswood have encouraged me to seek out her other novels. Good fantasy fun!
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm going to start of saying I LOVE the cover. It definitely caught my attention. Tess Grew up in a home where her and her mother were beaten by her father. She has always been drawn to the Dragonswood even though she was forbidden to enter it. When she is accused of being a witch it starts a dangerous and suspenseful time on the run with her 2 closest friends where she learns things she never would have though possible.DRAGONSWOOD has some great characters and character development. The plot had a few slow points that tended to be a bit frustrating but so much happens in the book that I had no issues getting swept up in the story once things got moving again. The book is filled with mystical creatures which includes both Dragons and Fairies as well as other things. The mystery, adventure and surprises were plentiful. I would have liked some more action though. The romance was frustrating and filled with tension but Tess and Garth complemented each other perfectly. The Huntsman Garth is full of mystery and surprises all in his own. Tess has to make some touch decisions but has some great help in the people around her. Overall DRAGONSWOOD was a nice read and I would recommend it to fantasy lovers.
_Lily_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this one. Working on a full in-depth review that is spoiler free. Will have the full review posted very soon. So please be patient with me and Stay tuned.
TValeros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey is a wondrously compelling and enchanted tale of magical realms, dragons, and life's unforeseen destiny. A journey (through pages) I did not regret! I was taken aback when I realized that Dragonswood was written in a medieval/historical scene. I'm so use to reading the paranormal, urban fantasy and dystopian genres that are coming out these days that it was kind of nice to take a break. It usually takes a lot of convincing for me to enjoy fantasy/medieval era books, but I can say that this read was quite pleasant. I enjoyed connecting with Tess, trying to understand how hard it was in those times - to step out of the roles of a 'women'. Tess is a very likable character and impulsively voices out her opinions, but later paying for doing so with cuts and bruises. She is forced to do what is expected of her. And when a woman is seen to WANT or TRY to be an individual she is titled a witch and is sent to burn at the stake. The story can be predictable at times but the adventure was still entertaining. There wasn't really that much romance going on, which again was okay for me because I needed a break from the lovey dovey. The characters are well developed even the minor ones. I really liked how Janet wrote a tale that mingles human and fey with human and dragon - it's very creative! I kept thinking about The Season of The Witch mixed with Dragon Heart with a dash of classic fairy-tales. It's kind of hard to describe - Dragonswood is a great whimsical sit down and chill, perfect for a rainy day kind of read! *ready the popcorn* The ending is adorable! It sounds like there will be a sequel, and that there will be more action. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of Jackrun!
ljldml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WOW, wonderful, fantabulous, unique and amazing. Get the idea? The was a fantastic book. It contained dragons (always a favorite of mine) Fey (fairies) and humans. Not just any humans but descendants of Arthur Pendragon...remember him? King Arthur? Witchhunts, crusades and wonderful characters made this a compelling book to read. I couldn't wait to finish to find out what happens to Tess, but it was bittersweet when I turned the last page. I realized I didn't want it to end. Back to Tess, she is the main character. A young girl accused of witchcraft, arrested and tortured. Throughout the book we are introduced to many other amazing characters. Tess's two friends, Poppy and Meg are understandably angry when they find out she mentioned their names while being tortured and they escape and run with her. I don't want to give anymore of the book away. It flows in a natural progression. The characters were rich and full of life. I wasn't too impressed with the fey or their way of life, but we cannot all be the same. The dragons were more majestic than I could have imagined. The descriptions were rich and colorful.Overall, a very well written and enjoyable book!5 stars!