Author: Resa Nelson
Series: The Dragonslayer #1
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: review copy provided by the author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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?
I just finished reading The Dragonslayer's Sword and I have to say I'm very tempted to go back and read it again.
I'm going to be honest here. I was completely out of my comfort zone with this book. First of all, I don't think I've read a lot of books with medieval themes. So I didn't really knew what to expect. Also, I know nothing about blacksmiths. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Ms. Nelson managed to combine the fantasy details with the historical details. Another thing I loved was how the author described the process of sword making and how she made it sound somewhat easy. Of course, I know it's not easy, but it didn't sound like something impossible to learn.
I also loved the new take on shapeshifters and dragons. It was refreshing, because it's so unlike any other fantasy novel I've read, it's different and new. I liked that a lot, because I didn't feel like I knew what the dragons or shapeshifters would be like.
In this book we watch the heroine, Astrid, grow up and become an amazing woman. Despite her childhood, she manages to move on with the help of DiStephan, the dragonslayer, and her best friend, Mauri. Most of the book is told from her perspective, but at the end, we get to see some of the scenes told from the perspectives of other characters and I liked that.
I have to say, one of the things I loved most about this book was the balance in it. The descriptions weren't too big or too short for me, the action scenes were great and the dialogues were well written and they had the perfect length. The book also fast-paced and I loved that. There wasn't a moment when I felt that the story was in one scene or place more than it should.
The only thing I was hoping was to be inside other character's perspective a little more. There is one scene with Astrid and some other blacksmiths when Astrid realized how she was truly seen by those men and it makes her more confident in herself and in who she is, so I think it would've helped her more to see things from another angle.
I think this was a great start for a series and I'm very curious what happens next, in The Iron Maiden