by Janet Lee Carey, (Harcourt, 2007)
The first time I saw this book mentioned was on Miss Erin's blog. I was struck by the outstanding cover (I continue to be fascinated by the job book designers do) and frankly, anything with "dragon" in the title is automatically interesting to me.
After I finished reading it, I emailed some junior high librarian friends and suggested they seriously consider putting it on their next order. Click here: Mackin customers / Follett customers
One of them emailed me this week to point out that School Library Journal has agreed with me and has given the book a "starred" review. In Wall Street lingo, that is a "buy" signal.
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Rosalind's mother believes Merlin's prophecy from centuries earlier that stated her daughter would "... redeem the name Pendragon. End war with the wave of her hand. And restore the glory of Wilde Island." She goes to great lengths to have a child and will protect her daughter's future, no matter what it takes.
As the future twenty-first queen of Wilde Island, Rosalind is prepared to marry an English prince when the time comes and re-integrate her family line with the English court. Her branch of the royal family tree was outlawed by King Arthur hundreds of years earlier. There is just one little problem. Instead of a ring finger on her left hand, she has a dragon claw. Only her mother and Rosalind know about her hand and her mother devises a fashion of wearing gloves to hide the "disfigurement" because even a princess might be taken for a witch if the secret got out.
This is a story of obsession in many ways. In her efforts to see her daughter gain the throne, Rosalind's mother will do anything, not unlike the headline-making "cheerleader mom."
Rosalind is obsessed by what she perceives as a physical flaw and desperately endures "cures" from physicians, who are not allowed to know her specific ailment, in hopes of fixing it. This echoes news stories today about the growing number of young adults seeking cosmetic surgery.
Carey's plotting is complex and riveting. Her characters are real and compelling.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Harcourt for remembering my request at TLA and sending it to me.
Interview with Janet Lee Carey at Cynsations
Janet Lee Carey Website