To my great joy, Robin McKinley's new novel Dragonhaven is in paperback and affordable; McKinley, author of Beauty, Spindle's End, and Sunshine, is one of the most skilled and crafty writers of fantasy on the market...and one of our finest retellers of fairy tales. If I were at home and had a copy of her Spindle's End handy, I would type in the first paragraph from it and you could see what I mean. I will have to do so later. In this post, though, I am celebrating my chance to read Dragonhaven, with the promise of a review when I have finished. Here is a bit of the back cover copy:
Jake lives with his scientist father at the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies in Smokehill National Park--home to about two hundred of the remaining Draco australiensis, which is extinct in the wild. But dragon conservation is controversial. Detractors say dragons are much too dangerous and should be destroyed. Supporters say there is no record of them doing anything more threatening than eating sheep and they must be protected.
Just when I thought it would be a while yet before another Anne McCaffrey or Elizabeth Kerner appeared on the scene to give us an altogether fresh take on the dragon, here is this book with its marvelous premise. Bless the finders of new ideas, of new directions for old tales. Whether this novel turns out to be ecological fable or epic tale or both or something different entirely, I am delighted to pluck it from the shelf and turn to the first page.
If you have read McKinley's novel (I am coming a bit late to it after all) and have a thought or two, post a comment here....