From childhood, Aerin had been haunted by the story of her mother-a "witchwoman" who enspelled the king and then died in childbirth, leaving behind a newborn daughter and an heirless land. Left to her own devices, Aerin grew up wild, doing her best to live up to her reputation as the disappointment of the realm. But little did the young princess know the long-dormant powers of her mother would wield their own destiny, and leave Aerin with a duty to her scornful homeland that she couldn't refuse.
I probably should have read this book as a handheld rather than as an audiobook. It took me a bit to get used to and tolerate the narrator. She had a sing-song voice that worked in parts of the book and not so much in others. I like Robin McKinley's writing and the narrator wasn't the worst I've heard, so I kept listening. I'm glad I did, as the story is a good fairy tale of magic, princesses, dragons and dragonslayers, and lost crowns.
I liked that Aerin didn't try to fit in, just made her way through the life that she led. She had few friends and those were her father the king of Damar, her maidservant, her cousin the crown prince, and the warhorse her father retired to pasture after a severe injury. Life seemed to pick up for Aerin when she decided to work with the warhorse, read a book on a recipe for protecting one from dragon fire. Off she went to try it out and soon found herself to be a dragonslayer.
Yes, there were some drawn out passages, but the rest of the story worked wonderfully. I could easily empathize with Aerin's lot in life. The perfect recipe for a fairy tale.
Four dragonslayer beans....