Princess Ivory (Ivy) is not the picture of a proper princess. Raised by her nursemaid, Tildy, after her mother died in childbirth and her fairy godmother disappeared, Ivy prefers archery over music lessons. She’d rather pick flowers with her friends Rose, and Clarinda, daughters of kitchen maids, than learn how to embroidery, and she would rather read in the castle’s dusty library than practice elocution and etiquette. Shortly before her fourteenth birthday, Ivy finds out about the Dragon Treaty: a time-honored tradition that decrees that all princesses of Arendale are to be imprisoned in a tower guarded by a dragon until a prince slays the dragon, marries the princess, and becomes the new king. As upsetting as her pending imprisonment is, Ivy is horrified when Romil, a haughty, arrogant, and greedy Prince from Glacia sails in to fufill the requirements of the treaty. When Ivy discovers that Prince Romil plans to kill both her and her father, and end the ban on hunting dragons, she realizes that it is up to her to save the kingdom. With the help of Elridge, the faint-hearted dragon sent to guard her (a job that will no doubt end in his death), she goes on a quest to find her fairy godmother and stop Romil’s evil plan.
While I like vampires, werewolves, and faeries, dragons have always been my favorite mythological creatures. The lore that surrounds them is fascinating. In my twenties, I read every book in the Pern series by McCaffrey, which added fuel to my passion because riding a dragon just has to the coolest thing ever! Well, Dawn Lairamore has successful rekindled my enthusiasm over dragons with her debut novel Ivy’s Ever After.
I was first drawn to Lairamore’s book by the cover. What’s not to love? A young girls atop a beautiful dragon flying over castle walls definitely screams adventure. Once I began reading, the story Lairamores’s characterization took over and held me spell-bound. Told in fairy-tale format, it is clear that Lairamore knows how to write. She easily set up credibility in the story with vivid and detailed descriptions of Arendale and all its inhabitants. Ivy’s character was extremely well-developed and I immediately related to her feisty personality.
Elridge, the dragon is also a wonderful character. Smaller than most dragons, he is a total misfit compared to his kindred. He has no fire, and is timid, but because of his size he is a very good flyer. One of my favorite scenes is when Ivy decides to climb out of the tower to warn her father of Prince Romil’s plan and is saved by Elridge. The two form an immediate bond and together they courageously embark on a quest to save Arendale and the dragons. The only flaw (and it was a small one) that I noticed was Lairmore’s sentence structure was often too complex, and I occasionally had to stop and reread to make sure I understood the thought.
Ivy’s Ever After is a delightful new fairy-tale that evokes a sense of whimsy. Both Ivy and Elridge overcome their conflicts on their quest to save Arendale and together they save each other. I highly recommend this imaginative and exciting adventure to anyone who loves fantasy and happily ever after.
Book Source: Copy sent by Blue Slip Media Publishers