“The real dragon haunted my head and heart.”
What makes Dragon's Keep work for me is its approach: a medieval fantasy written more like historical fantasy than high fantasy. Yet it has that sliver of magic and magical creatures (dragons, of course) to spice up the lyrical story. In other words, the author avoids over-doing the chosen one approach, and instead creates very believable characters in a believable world.
I wasn't sure I would like this 12th century-esque story, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would recommend this woman-of-steel protagonist for teen readers who aren't sure whether they like fantasy. They should give this strong female lead a try. I enjoyed it, and I'm a picky reader; I've stopped reading even some very popular books because they've been clones of existing work, presented unbelievable characters and situations, or did not do a good job world-building.
This does a very good job of sticking with the heroine's struggle in the British Isles. This is a great fantasy story about birth defects for teens. I liked Princess Rosalind and how she grew and changed while dealing with dragons. The story was well written and thought provoking while not getting too hung up on the inheritance and succession questions it leads into. There were parts that were a bit disjointed, especially when talking about Rosalind's secret and how far her mother goes to keep it from the populace of the Isle. I liked the overall story of the rulers here. The relationships between mothers and daughters is well presented and how Rosalind defines herself by that relationship is at the heart of this story. There is violence and some of it is slightly graphic but it shows how deep parental love can go.
The time the teenage girl spends with the dragons was a bit jarring and could have been better written. Her reception back at the castle, while expected, was implausible. It seems like those that have been around Rosalind her whole life could have been more tolerant instead of trusting a usurper that was established as no one liking him before.
This was the first princess story by Janet Lee Carey I read, and I'm looking forward to getting to know her other books. There is a sequel to this book , Dragonswood that continues the prophecy which I'm going to pick up as soon as I can. This is a good world filled with unconditional love, and I am looking forward to visiting it again.