The Iron Maiden
By: Resa Nelson
Publisher: Mundania Press
Publish Date: December 31, 2011
Format: eBook, 266pgs
Series: 2nd in Dragonslayer Series; 1st Book ~ The Dragonslayer's Sword
Recommendation: Definitely, great follow up to an enthralling world, keeping you curious about the dragons and dragonslayers.
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it's her duty. She'd rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve the protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer's sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn't a decision she can make just once. Instead, it's a decision she must make every day.
Don't move, Astrid told herself.
My Thoughts and Summary:
Astrid's been a dragonslayer only for a few months, but thanks to DiStephan's ghost she's learning and knows much of what to do. Astrid's making her rounds through the area as the lizards migrate south this time of year, and looking forward to a relaxing winter by her anvil pounding metal. Taddeo, a true dragon, visits Astrid telling her where to go, on the dragonslayer winter route, in order to restore her arm - the ghost arm that only those eating lizard blood and meat can see and she believes in. Finding late hatching lizard eggs, Astrid decides to do the one thing against what dragonslayers are to do, she keeps them. Once she's back to Guell and settling in, a merchant arrives looking for the current dragonslayer since DiStephan is dead. He claims to have always traveled with DiStephan south in safe passage. Astrid refused to go and wakes the next morning to find her first made dragonslaying sword that belong to her deceased lover and her only connection to him, Starlight, has been stolen. When she catches up to the thief, she finds she needs to travel on as someone forcefully took it from him as well. Astrid finds herself unknowingly following the Dragonslayer southern route for the winter.
Start right off with Astrid fighting with a lizard and seeing how smart they are. Early on in the book we have mentions of DiStephan and I remember the heartache I felt in the first book. Yet by the end of the book I'm not as heartbroken over DiStephan, and have hopes of more with Astrid.
This seems to be a journey of much more than wandering the country side for Astrid. She is on a journey learning more about herself and others that she would protect. She grows to learn who she is and what she is to do, either a blacksmith or a dragonslayer. Astrid has some guilty feelings for the losses she willingly let happen in Dragonslayer's Sword, but they were bad and need to happen for the world. Astrid makes a new friend and we see a journey of a woman who was abused, not knowingly, and raising to more in herself to find more in life which she lost long ago.
We get to see Norah, the young scared dragon again. Taddeo sends Norah to follow Astrid's scent to the dragonwell with the dragon set free from the long prison of stone. To drink from this well the dragon will heal in any way they are hurt or harmed. We get much more of Norah here. Getting to know Norah along with Astrid. She is such a scared girl, dragon, after the torment she lived yet has a good heart. Even the things she did to Astrid as a kid, cruel, were done with her good heart in mind. You have to read to understand that. I liked seeing Norah grow as a character as well. She is finding herself through her own journey as well.
We travel through the land in this story, spending time with new characters; Margreet, Gershon, and Vinchi. We watch the world unfold a touch more with mentions of the attacks by the Krystr (from first book) on people and much more.
We learn a touch more with the real dragons here. There is an unknown mysterious bond between dragon and dragonslayer. One created in a promise from long ago, now relating to Astrid and Norah. I'm liking this and want to know more about it and the history here.
I'm thinking the Krystr will come more into play in the future books along with the dragon link and real dragon existence. There are even the lizards that Astrid kept, I hope to see them again in the future. So much learned here in this book, yet so much I look forward to learning.
This series has captured my attention with the magic of the lizards and dragons and having grown more in the connection with the slayers. I've enjoyed reading this world created and do look forward to the next two books.
**I received this book from the author for an honest review.