Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey

Main Character: Princess Rosalind
Location: Off the coast of England
Time period: 12th Century
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Dragons, Fairy Tales

Dragon's Keep is a lovely little dragon fantasy set in an actual historical period--the English civil war between Queen Matilde and King Stephen. The setting is an island apparently off the coast of England and ruled by descendants of the Pendragons--the royal house of Arthur. The book can be divided into three parts. The first part takes place in the castle where Rosalind leads a pampered and privileged life. The second is in the dragon's keep, where Rosie, renamed Briar by the dragon, cares for the four baby dragons in exchange for the dragon's promise that he will not prey upon her people. And in the third, Briar Rose, freed from her pledge to the dragon, returns to claim her throne and fulfill Merlin's prophecy.

The first two parts were so detailed and rich that the ending feels a bit abrupt, but it is satisfying. A nice addition to dragon fantasy, and to the growing collection of original fairy tales being written for teens.

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