Saturday, January 21, 2012
The Iron Maiden by Resa Nelson
A big thank you to Resa Nelson for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Stop by Monday for the blog tour!
I really enjoyed the second installment of Resa Nelson's Dragonslayer series. I love watching her characters grow and discover their inner strength. Despite a few flaws, I though The Iron Maiden improved on The Dragonslayer's Sword, and I can't wait to read the next in the series.
After facing her past and realizing her dragonslayer calling, Astrid has been keeping lizards from her hometown of Guell. She's relieved that she'll be able to go back to blacksmithing in the winter, when the lizards move south, but when her sword is stolen, she must leave Guell to get it back. Along the way she makes new friends as well as new enemies and learns that she has to truly make a choice about her path.
I thought The Iron Maiden had much better flow than The Dragonslayer's Sword. While reading the first book, I found it difficult to comprehend some of the characters' motives at times, but in this one I didn't have that problem. Everything seemed well-paced and nicely written. Resa Nelson writes the kind of books that make me want to keep reading, and the writing improvements in The Iron Maiden made me enjoy it even more than the previous book.
Margreet's story was quite compelling, but I was shocked at its ending. I wish there had been another way to work things out so that Astrid returned to Limru. I loved seeing Margreet remember the kind of person she used to be, especially when she brought back the old ritual for her village. What happened almost negated that transformation, though a later conversation between Astrid and Taddeo did make me feel a bit better.
A lot of this book was about the role of women in different societies. Most of it was pretty well-done, especially the contrast between the customs of Guell and the more southern lands. Astrid's shock at foreign cultures was entertaining and informative. However, the misogynistic Krysters' evil seemed a little over-the-top to me. I would have found it much more believable had they actually been trying to do good and gone in the wrong direction. Still, I definitely hated them, so that was certainly successful. I'm sure they'll come up in future books, and I hope Astrid teaches them a sound lesson.
I have to admit, I was most excited about the baby dragons/lizards. What can I say, I love dragons. I was disappointed that they didn't end up being a bigger part of the story, not to mention a little bemused that, after all the trouble Astrid went to to keep them, it didn't bother her at all to leave them later. But when they were in the story, they were absolutely adorable.
Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this book. I finished it in a morning (and a bit of afternoon), and enjoyed it a lot. I hope to see more of the relationship between dragon and dragonslayer as well as a reappearance of the dragonets in the next book.
The Iron Maiden is similar to:
Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
The Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey