Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.
Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn't expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races - dragon, human, and fairy.
So...based upon that summary, one would assume that Dragonswood would be full of adventure, preferably the "exciting, romantic" kind. Is it? Not really. It pains me to say that because I was fervently hoping that it would suddenly wow me. However, each page failed to bring that spark that I've come to expect from anything I read. You know the feeling. It's a quickness of breath, an irresistible need to read more and more, a fanatic search in the shelves of your local bookstore for the next in a series.
True book lovers know what I'm trying to say. We all have this addiction to literature in our veins and we're always looking for our next fix.
Dragonswood failed to satisfy my craving. I'm not saying that it's a bad book. It has its moments and I think that Janet Lee Carey is a good writer. But...
It could have been so much more. Personally, I feel that Dragonswood would have been much better suited as a series so that Carey could really explore the vastness of the world she crammed into only 407 pages. When you throw fairies, dragons, witches, and the historical Pendragons into a story, you need to have a LOT of room to allow those separate entities to breath and move about.
Take Saberhagen's The First Swords series for example. (Actually, there are tons of examples I could list.)
The entire novel was rushed. From the very beginning, I didn't feel like I got a good grasp of the pace. Things happen boom, boom, boom, putting Tess in situations that don't feel real. I actually said at one point, "This doesn't feel real." Out loud.
That's about the point that I stopped reading and didn't pick the book up again until a few days later. I was close to giving up entirely. And that doesn't happen very often guys. I like to give all books a chance. So I kept reading.
I'm not going to say this book is one of the best I've read this year. But I can't say it's the worst. It has its moments (is it sad that I can't think of one to mention?) and a lot of potential. But that's about it.
If you're feeling like you want to give Dragonswood a chance despite my review, then I say more power to you. Who knows? Maybe it's just me and the book is really awesome. I certainly hope that's the case.
Until next time...