i knew that i was in for a treat when i picked up handbook for dragon slayers. when we’re introduced to the heroine we quickly find out that she2.5/5
i knew that i was in for a treat when i picked up handbook for dragon slayers. when we’re introduced to the heroine we quickly find out that she has a deformity that stamps her an outcast making the people around her sign against the evil eye. mathilda is the princess of alder brook and a half orphan. when the story begins her protective mother is currently abroad. standing or walking for too long shows its effect on her lame foot and she needs to rest and massage it.
this is why she likes to read books and has high aspirations to go down in history as a famous writer if nothing else than to prove the people wrong about being a living curse roaming the earth. tilda is tired of her endless, repetitive duties and responsibilites that comes with being a princess and just wants to leave everything behind and start somewhere afresh.
as chance would have it her handmaiden judith and friend parz decide to slay a dragon. tilda plans to do something no has done before: write a handbook for dragon slayers. of course, things don’t exactly go as planned an she accidentally thwarts the wild hunt by freeing their silver and copper horses, befriending dragons, getting imprisoned by a bluebeard-like character who has his own hidden agenda … all the while saving alder brook from her greedy relatives.
what can i say? i liked tilda well enough, though i have to admit that i probably would not have picked this up if it weren’t for merrie haskell’s wonderful debut the princess curse which won me over with a wonderful heroine. tilda is a bit dull when compared to the princess curse‘s shining heroine reveka. but i have to admit that i am a sucker for dark fairy tales with hades-persephone touch and a dash of twelve dancing princesses. also, the villain in handbook for dragon slayers was not as multilayered as in princess curse and i like my characters grey not black and white.
as it is, the handbook for dragon slayers is a book that does its job by being adventurous and i should think appealing to both genders.
part of me will always be impressed by cassandra rose clarke’s novels and “the mad scientist’s daughter” will forever and ever occupy a part of my he
part of me will always be impressed by cassandra rose clarke’s novels and “the mad scientist’s daughter” will forever and ever occupy a part of my heart.
so, let’s get to the book, now, shall we?
set in the same world as “the assassin’s curse” our heroine hanna, is the daughter of a former pirate and fisherman but with aspirations to be a proper witch. under the tutelage of kolure, one very grouchy fisherman, who is following his own agenda she has to push through all kinds of obstacles including saving herself, help a non-human boy, prevent evil to spread and find a way back.
after the first few chapters you can already see some character similarities between hanna and ananna. a little ignorance, a pinch of anger and the always underlying ambition to make their dreams come true. scrolling through other reviews both the goodreads and non-goodreads variety, makes me realize that most people thought that “the wizard’s promise” lacked a special something and they wanted this hole to be filled. more worldbuilding, a greater level of characterization, tense action or at least less repetitiveness and focus on some daily activities.
in some ways i certainly did too, because as a reader i tend to expect more of an author whose books made it to my all-time-favorite shelf and keep their level of awesomeness to increase with every new book, which is strictly speaking doing both the author and me a disservice.
and you know what?
i’ve read too many bad books and this is definitely not one of them. i have this niggling feeling that after reading the not-yet-released sequel that my mind shall be appeased and that is quite enough for me, till cassandra rose clarke releases her next adult novel.
this e-arc has been kindly proved by strange chemistry through netgalley!
for all the books i've dropped left and right, --some of them historical romances that i didn't even bother to put on the "dropped" shelf-- i sh2.25/5
for all the books i've dropped left and right, --some of them historical romances that i didn't even bother to put on the "dropped" shelf-- i should be walking the walk of shame..
stolen magic is one of the few i've actually been able to read cover to cover, despite the ridiculous unicorn-virgin aspect of it and a one-dimensional villain. now, leaving those complaints aside, there were some good scenes too that kept me reading till the very end, like this one where the heroine (rightfully!) opposes the decision to wed the book's hero:
What kind of life did she want?
More than anything, she wanted to be strong. It was good to be protected, but even better would be the ability to defend herself against a villain like Drayton without aid. That meant learning how to use the tantalizing magical abilities that seemed to be part of her. She wanted to be a woman equal to a man, which seemed possible among the Guardians if Lady Bethany was typical.
Next to safety, she wanted to belong somewhere—to be part of a circle of family and friends. Though she had been welcomed into the Guardians by Falconer and Lady Bethany, she still yearned to find the family that had produced her. She wanted a home where she was accepted by right of blood, not by charity.
If Falconer was right that her magical power made her a desirable bride in Guardian circles, did that mean that marriage between them might someday be seen as a reasonable match? Perhaps. But not now—she felt that in her bones. To accept Lady Bethany’s suggestion would be to lose her chance to find strength and equality.
If they were ever to wed—and privately she admitted that the idea was . . . appealing—it must be after she became a woman secure in herself and her power. She might never be Falconer’s equal, but she must be her best self, or she would always be humble and unsure around him.
and here we go with the next fairy tale .. i did not even notice how much i like reading picture books until recently when i checked out my bookshelve
and here we go with the next fairy tale .. i did not even notice how much i like reading picture books until recently when i checked out my bookshelves. this edition retold by laurel long & jacqueline k. ogburn and illustrated by laurel long was particularly difficult to acquire and it was only a used one at that (grr)!
the author's note states the following:
this grimm's fairy tale is also known as "the singing, springing lark. [..] the story combines "beauty & the beast" and "east of the sun, west of the moon." our retelling condenses the action, but we chose to follow the dramatic spirit of the ending of "east of the sun, west of the moon" in our treatment of the villain.
plot: a merchant promised his three daughters to bring home gifts. pearls for the first, gold for the second and a singing lark for the youngest of the three. when he stumbles upon a castle's garden with a singing lark, he immediately climbs the tree to fetch the bird and instead ends up bargaining with the lion that he may keep the lark and his life but must give up whoever greets him first at home. of course, the youngest daughter then has to go to the lion. they spend time together, fall in love and marry. she discovers that he is in fact a prince who has been cursed because he refused to marry the wicked enchantress. not only is he a lion by day and a human by night, but if a ray of candlelight touches him, he becomes a dove, forced to fly across the world for seven years. the lady is the actual hero/ine of the story for it is she who rescues the prince (hee). [ side note: neither the lion/prince nor the lady are given actual names ]
the book is richly illustrated with a lot of ornaments. the attention and love to detail that went into it, are apparent with a single glance. the illustrations are very dark and moody with bright splashes of color. the lady & the lion has an abstract feel to it, you will know what i mean when you take a look at them. the characters are bleh, but what it lacks in characterization and heart, it makes up in breathtakingly gorgeous pictures. it also seems as though its setting is somewhere in persia or northern india.