Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: Dragonswood

Synopsis:Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

My Review: It's been a good long while since I've read a good old fashioned fantasy novel.  I discovered I missed them greatly.  There really need to be more dragon's in books as far as I'm concerned.  I have to say though I was greatly confused about the setting of this book.  I thought this was AU until there was mention of England and King Richard the Lion Heart.  I had one of those O.O moments while reading.  But I rolled with it.  Didn't matter much in the end. 

Tess's story starts off with a good old fashioned witch-hunt.  Gotta love killing innocent girls right? What was even more disturbing was the fact that the witch hunts were being led by a woman.  I don't think I've ever come across that. Ever.  Definitely threw me for a loop, that's for sure.  When Tess is captured, she is tortured into giving up her "conspirators".  Not meaning to condemn her friends, she answer's a question that ends up implicating her friends in witch craft.  Tess is able to escape her captors and flees with her friends to the safety of Dragonswood. 

Though Tess saved them, they still cannot entirely forgive her for uprooting them from their lives.  She is guilt ridden for giving them up, and will do anything to get their lives back in order.  Tess was extremely protective of her two friends, to the point of severe distrust of anyone else.  She always expects someone to betray them, never believing in the kindness of others.  Tess has had a rough life, being physically beaten by her father and trying to protect her mother from the same fate.  She doesn't believe in the kindness of men, and expects a quick temper more than anything else. 

When they meet Garth, a Woodsman of Dragonswood, she recognizes him from the visions she's been having.  Mistaking him for someone that means them harm, Tess immediately does not trust him.  It is only out of sheer desperation that she allows him to take her and her friend's in.  However, as she spends more time in his company and gets to know him, the harder she falls. 

The pacing of this novel was just wonderfully done.  A lot happens, but none of it felt rushed.  It combined dragons, faeries, and humans all together in a great ratio.  Every species got it's own little spotlight.  I have to say, the plot was totally predictable up to a certain extent.  Whenever there is a prophecy involved it's always just a dead giveaway.  And Garth's whole secret identity. Dude, I knew from the first time they sang the little song.  Wish it hadn't been THAT obvious. Despite the predictability of the plot, I still really enjoyed it. 

One thing that I absolutely loved about this book was the love story. Hallelujah I found another perfectly paced "falling in love" scenario in a book that was totally realistic and wonderfully done.  They kissed once! On the very last page! Granted I have nothing against a good make out session, but it was just nice to see it done.  I loved both Garth and Tess.  They made an excellent couple.  Plus I loved how Tess wasn't super gorgeous.  She had her own little quirks, but she was a beautiful person and that's all that really matters.  ^.^

The epilogue just left me wanting more though! I was like "ah! now what's gonna happen!" I hope this story continues on in the form of Tess's son.  That would be cool.  Can't wait to see if there will be more to the story.