By: Resa Nelson
Publisher: Mundania Press
Publish Date: June 2008
Series: 1st in Dragonslayer series
Recommendation: Yes! A fantasy read that will keep you enthralled with wonder of the world and what new you learn of Astrid, the world, and secondary characters.
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover-the dragonslayer-disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning. Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?
When Astrid was eight years old, she was given to a child seller.
My Thoughts and Summary:
We meet Astrid as she is looking forward to her future, even after being given to the Child Seller and travels the land finding someone to buy her. To Astird it's better than where she came from, and what they did to her. Along the way he picks up another little girl, Mauri. Heading into Guell with both girls they come across a dragonslayer boy, DiStephan, and his father. Astrid is taken by the idea of a dragonslayer and thinks the boy is cute. This is the last town the Child Seller will attempt to shack Astrid, because of her marred face no one will take her, so she may die at the Child Sellers hand soon. The blacksmith, Temple, understands why Astrid is special, knowing what the scars are from, and is a strong person and takes her. Astrid is to stay inside the Smithery, where no one but Temple sees her, until she comes of age and can change her body to look as she wishes.
Over ten years later she's eighteen, loves being a blacksmith and realizes she loves DiStephan. However, eight months ago DiStephan did something that Astrid didn't approve of with a dragon. Sending him away, she didn't realize he'd not return. The town is left vulnerable until a new Dragon slayer arrives. However, the new Dragonslayer seems to take a liking to Astrid, creating issues for her; changing her body, and other things. But when a dragon shows up at her smithery one day, it's not good for her or her town...or is there something more here. When her town is then attacked by bandits and her past is drawn forth to Astrid, will she fight or hide from all of the world?
Astrid considers herself a monster, one people stare at and are scared of. As I went through the book I learned there is more behind the monster claim Astrid makes, other than just the scars all over her body. Her history is tied into this as well. Astrid was scarred by a dragon, chewed up and spit out. Astrid is physically and emotionally a scared character, from the time we meet her as a child. DiStephan, a very nice young man who helps Astrid, giving with the support of his father the name of someone who will take her if no other will. Someone they know. This being Temple.
Very Interesting!! People get to an age (maturity) and can change their bodies (allowed to do) to what they want. There are those who are strong enough to change others, which is NOT allowed to do, that can make the world dangerous. Astrid could hide her scars then. Then we have the Dragons. I really like the stories of the dragons in relation to the perception of others. Dragons see humans as small and weak, so people become so. But a few are strong enough to over come that forced change, hence they are Dragonslayers. The lore behind the dragons is interesting, and the ties it has with the storyline, really held me to the story to learn the way it works out.
This book is done in sections that highlights Astrids life, important pieces of her life. First we learn of her travel to Guell as a young girl. Then we jump to ten years later where Astrid is older, happy with life, and maybe even in love. We see times of when she learned to make a dragonslayers sword with her father-figure and mentor Temple.
In the first hundred pages I wasn't sure where the plot would lead. We meet Astrid and secondary characters. Grow attached and learn their life history leading to where they are now. This set up made me curious to Astrids scary past and scars and the ability to change ones skin, and to see the dragons as well. After that all falls apart and Astrid learns secrets of her past, her heritage, and of the true dragons.
I'm not one for metal yielding. I don't know much about how to do it, but Resa had to have taken great effort and time to learn it to describe it so detailed for me to understand what to do.
This story is of the birth of a dragonslayer. This story struck me as an adventure in love, not love of lovers but the love when you are where you belong and finding your way there. The love of friends and family, other than blood related. Being accepted by yourself for who you are and others accepting you as well. Feeling comfortable in your own skin. This adventure we take with Astrid as she is sold a few times, tries to fit in with her scars, hides who she is along with her scars of her scary past. A journey through life and love. A love for self and acceptance ~ with others and in ones eyes.
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I read this book for an honest review from the author, for tour.