Hayley's Reviews > Dragon's Keep

Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: twilight-alternatives, ya, fanciful

I picked this up because the premise seemed cool -- a princess "cursed" with a dragon part -- and just as I suspected, the talon was a sort of metaphor for her sexuality and feminine mystery. It was kind of reminiscent of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" in some respects.

But there I'd have to say that the coolness ends. The villain, "Sir Magnus," is a generically priestly advisor, who smacks of largely of a eunuch. He's fat, and wears gloves like a queen: once again, ambiguous gender is coupled with evilness! Way to jump right back into the stereotypes that I'd think a quasi-feminist novel like this would want to avoid.

Princess Rosalind's lover is pretty lame too. Noble AND sensitive AND handsome and perfectly perfect, aka, perfectly boring. The hag Demetra is pretty generically witchy as well. It's sad, because you can see that the author TRIED to give her a little shade of grey, as the subject of witch trials came up... But it was just not executed properly.

That being said, at least it doesn't encourage shitty self esteem, unlike SOME young adult books for girls I know of.

I'd say, good try, Ms. Carey. But there's a reason this was in the sale section at Powells.
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