Friday, November 25, 2011
by Rebecca Barnhouse
companion to The Coming of the Dragon
Publication date: March 27, 2012
Sixteen-year-old Hild has always been a favorite of her uncle, king of the Shylfings. So when she protects her cousin the crown prince from a murderous traitor, she expects the king to be grateful. Instead, she is unjustly accused of treachery herself.
As punishment, her uncle sends Hild far away to the heir of the enemy king, Beowulf, to try to weave peace between the two kingdoms. She must leave her home and everyone she loves. On the long and perilous journey, Hild soon discovers that fatigue and rough terrain are the least of her worries. Something is following her and her small band of guards—some kind of foul creature that tales say lurks in the fens. Will Hild have to face the monster? Or does it offer her the perfect chance to escape the destiny she never chose? (description from Amazon.com)
I thought that Hild was a very brave and honorable character. She is accused of great treachery and banished from her home, yet she still does what she knows is right and saves the lives of those who do not care for her. She manages to earn their respect and love. As she becomes resigned to the fact that she cannot change her fate, she chooses to embrace it and the good that it will mean someday to her new people.
I really enjoyed the slightly magical adventure that is Hild's journey to her new kingdom. I would be very interested to read a sequel, though, to see how things progress as Hild becomes Queen. I also want to go back at some point to read the story of the dragon that destroys what is to become her new home.
This reminded me in a lot of ways of Megan Whalen Turner or Shannon Hales' books, though not quite as standout. More of a way to ease into this specific type of historical fantasy.
Full disclosure: ARC received to review for VOYA