Author: Beth Barany
Publisher: Firewolf Books
Published: June 7, 2011
Source: Received from the author
in exchange for an honest review
Read: November 15-18, 2012
In A Few Words: Adventurous
My Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads: Add This Book to Your TBR Shelf
Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can't stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?
Henrietta is a very private, solitary person. So she isn't too happy when she has to go on a quest to save her dying mentor and suddenly she has this very unique group of people tagging along. She thinks they'll just get in her way. And, some of the time, they do. But over time, she learns to love them all, in her own way. She opens up bit by bit and lets them in to her heart.
Henrietta is a very snarky, sarcastic character, which I enjoyed. She reminds me of the way that I wish I could be, if I weren't worried about what other people would think of me. She says what she thinks and doesn't spare feelings. Sometimes this really isn't appropriate, like the time she thinks that Paulette should snap out of it after losing her family. But a lot of the time Henrietta's manner is direct and to the point. I think this is what keeps the story moving along nicely. Henrietta is all about action and moving along, so this story rarely drags, if at all.
The magical touches are also really well done in the book. They're subtle and not overly flashy. It's just the right balance to keep you interested but not too much as to make you want to cringe. Since I'm really partial to characters who are witches, I would really like to see a spin off book with more of Paulette's story. Paulette, as a character does really well to bring out Henrietta's softer, more nurturing side. Plus Paulette has a bit of fire to her, literally and figuratively, so her character holds up really well on its' own.
It's nice to watch the growth of character on both Henrietta and Paulette's parts. Henrietta helps Paulette become more mature and causes her to think before she acts a little bit more. Paulette shows Henrietta that it's okay to care for people and to let them in.
There's also a tiny bit of a romance in the book between Henrietta and Franc. Definitely not insta-love which I appreciate. Their relationship really doesn't develop romantically until toward the end of the book so you're left wondering what will happen to them.
This is a standalone book but I think that it could work as a series as well.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes adventures with a strong female character and magic.