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Talon Paperback – 2 Aug 2007
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"'A remarkable achievement' Lloyd Alexander"
'A remarkable achievement' Lloyd AlexanderSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Talon follows Rose as the problem with a dragon escalates. No matter who gets sent to fight the dragon, it's never killed. As the attacks increase, events lead Rose closer to discovering how she received her claw. It's a tense journey, with loss and betrayal happening at every few chapters. I failed in predicting the end of the book.
This book gets five stars, yet I do have a small grumble. Sometimes dialogue for two different people sat in the same paragraph. This made it a little difficult to figure out who was speaking. Also, the blurb on the back cover intimated Rose was kidnapped by the dragon quite early on. It doesn't happen for at least 160 pages! (I peeked ahead). The build up leading to this is brilliant, and thoroughly enjoyable. I just expected it to happen quite a bit sooner than it did.
Themes in this book: definitely the theme of friendship, and caring for others. Rose puts herself out to help people, a characteristic which is a good role model. It deals with betrayal from people who Rose loved: the horror at finding out close acquaintances partook in questionable acts under the belief they could help her. It also looks at kindness, the kindness that can exist in a person who appears cold and evil.
Rosalind knows the prophecy well. She has been groomed for it her entire life. The way her mother sees it, England is in the midst of a civil war and Rosalind will marry Prince Henry, future king of England, thereby fulfilling all aspects of the prophecy. There are just a few problems. Having never met the Prince, what if he and Rosalind don't get along? Not that the Queen of England has officially contacted them yet, though it is assumed she is aware of the prophecy. With the recent dragon attacks on Wilde Island their military force is depleted, and may not be much help to England. Oh, and there's the little matter of Rosalind's ring finger. Instead of a finger it's a dragon's claw. So far she and her mother have hidden it behind golden gloves, but that won't work when Rosie is married. They MUST find a cure soon. A cure that is made harder to find due to the fact that the healers are never told what the exact problem is. Things are beginning to look bleak.
When an envoy from England comes to visit Wilde Island, things may be looking up a little. Especially since they've managed to slay the dragon that has been harassing the Island forever. It doesn't hurt that the one who killed the dragon is a handsome boy around Rosalind's age. At least in Rosalind's opinion, but her mother might not see it the same. Not that it's a concern for long. What should be one of the most triumphant moments in their history turns horrifying when the dragon's mate returns to punish the people, and takes a special interest in Rosalind. Before long, Rosalind's life will never be the same, and it doesn't look like the prophecy could ever possibly be fulfilled.
There is so much more to this book than I can tell you here! So many more levels and layers to the story. If I tried to fit it all in it would not only ruin the story, but end up nearly as long as the book! The relationships between the characters are so multi-leveled and very realistic. Rosalind may be a Princess with a dragon's claw in a faraway time and place, but her relationship with her mother is something you could see in anyone's life. Her desire to be normal and accepted are the same things everyone experiences as a teenager. So while the circumstances aren't something we experience every day, the people in them, and their reactions to them, are completely realistic and easy to relate to.
Part fairy tale, part mythology, part legend, all around fantastic! Read it! You'll be glad you did.
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