I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.
Henrietta The Dragon Slayer
Author: Beth Barany
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Five Kingdoms
Publisher: Firewolf Books
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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?
The cover gives just enough info to let me know the MC is a kick-ass girl, a win in my book. The book description poses a lot of questions that I want answered, but I mostly wanted to read the book based on the last sentence of the description. Can she? Will she?I was intrigued when I read the book description, and I was not disappointed.
We are introduced to Henrietta, the main character from page one. By the end of the third chapter we are introduced to the main group of characters, the problem, and have enough questions to keep me reading.
The pacing was just right, and matched each scene to a T. The fight scenes adrenalized me and the riding horseback was calming. Through twist and turns, my questions were answered and more were posed.
What Barany did in this book that is unique, is she made the character’s own conscious the villain. Henrietta plays with a lot of back and forth on what she should do, what she can do, how others perceive her, and the struggles she experiences being a female dragon slayer. This world is definitely run by men, and Henrietta gives a good kick to the male-dominated world. The question of “What is the right way?” is in many of her thoughts and actions, as well as presented by the other characters.
Each character learns and grows as the book progresses. Henrietta and Franc grow, I think, the most and I can’t wait to see how that relationship grows in the next book.
The characters were all well-developed, each one with their own personality. Jaxter was perhaps my favorite character, as his background was mostly hidden even though he was the most open. There was humor and sorrow, anger, and annoyances (Franc!) and I felt connected with each one.
The book definitely ended on a good note, what book doesn’t? And I am salivating for the next one.
AND this one will be joining Number The Stars in my daughter’s future library, I can guarantee that one.