Doesn t know whether she s ruing it or not But "we as readers know the fact that she is ruing it There is a road trip involved a journey to the "as readers know the fact that she is ruing it There is a road trip involved a journey to the city of the kingdom I m happy to say that this part of the book merited 5 stars It was truly a hardcore experience to accompany these people You could feel each ache and sympathise with each complaint Most of which came from Gareth some nobody whom the King sent to persuade Jenny and John especially to kill the dragon in their realmI m being a tad unfair when I ave the book 3 stars Most of you readers and you women will like the book a lot But I decided to Building for the Arts: The Strategic Design of Cultural Facilities give the book 3 stars because it s not rereading material This is my first book of the author so naturally I m curious about her other works But she blew the climax big time There s too much mind battlesoing on for me to like and try to reread it So now you know 35 stars though not sure if I should round up for the subversive narrative and character driven writing style because I feel like I should judge this book by the standards of the time period in which it was written the 80s and not judge it by what I normally likeprefer in high fantasy books written much later in the 90s and beyondEven though it s called Dragonsbane and the Dragonsbane is a knight named John Aversin the whole story is told from the perspective of his mageborn partner Jenny It s through her that we see and come to understand this Medieval Scotland inspired world the magic within it and the dragons And it s through her that we see the hardship of the mageborn and we see who holds the true power in this story and in this worldAs for John he s not only a knight but a country knight and a pig farmer too which comes much to the surprise of Gareth the crown prince when he comes seeking the Dragonsbane to slay the dragon John is not at all what he expected and all the hopes and dreams he had of the Dragonsbane as a noble knight in shiny armor are shattered upon their first meeting It s uite funny I laughed all the way through that first scene of them together and afterward every time John speaks there s cause for snickeringJohn and Jenny have been together for awhile they have two sons and have slain a dragon together All in all they ve been through a lot together and there s a sense of ease strength and security in their relationship the kind that can withhold all kinds of storm together You don
T Often See This Kind often see this kind lasting bond in enre fiction and it s yet another thing that sets it apart from other of its kind Although neither John nor Jenny is what we expect of a knight and mage Gareth the crown prince is exactly what we expect of a sheltered inexperienced starry eyed young prince At least in the beginning of the story he s like that After meeting John and Jenny he comes face to face with the reality of his dragon problem and rows up uickly And then he accompanies them on their uest to slay the dragon and Casuistry and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning grows up some so that by the end of the uest there isn t that much of that starry eyed young prince left in him for which I wasrateful because that Charlestown Blues guy was annoying especially when looked at from Jenny s perspectiveThe only weak link in this story that I could find is the man eater antagonist Zyerne She s a bit too muahahahaha for my taste I prefer villains to be subtle and to withhold information instead of flaunting it Unfortunately Zyerne is definitely in the flaunt it camp There s not much depth or complexity to her and I wished there had been layers or sides or personality Something toive her purpose than just being the force of darkness out to Charlestown Blues: Selected Poems, a Bilingual Edition get our heroes I liked this book a lot upon first finishing it than I do now But now Now that I ve some time to process the story as a whole my interest and enjoyment of it is waning I think it s the combination of the slow pace it took over half the book for me toet into the story and characters and Zyerne s shallow characterization that kept me from being fully engaged But since this is the first book of the series I understand the necessity of the slow pace and Building the South Side gradual world building effort Barbara Hambly had put in to lay theroundwork for the rest of the seriesOne of my favorite scene is Gareth meeting John for the first time and realizing he s the Dragonsbane Still Gareth had not spoken Aversin interpreting his silence and the look on his face with his usual fiendish accuracy said I d show you my dragon slaying scars to prove it but they re placed where I can t exhibit em in publicIt said worlds for Gareth s courtly breeding and Jenny supposed the peculiar stoicism of courtiers that even laboring under the shock of his life and the pain of a wounded arm he swept into a very creditable salaam of Bright College Years greeting When he straightened up again he adjusted the set of his cloak with a kind of sorry hauteur pushed his be. E feat againWith them touard them on the haunted trip south went Jenny Waynest a half taught sorceress and mother of Aversin's sonsBut at the decadent Court nothing was as expected Rebellion threatened the land Zyerne a sorceress of seemingly unlimited power held the King under. Nt spectacles a little firmly up onto the bridge of his nose "And Said In A "said in a that was shake but oddly determined My lord Dragonsbane I have ridden here on errantry from the south with a message for you from the King Uriens of Belmarie He seemed to Chicagos Urban Nature gather strength from these words settling into the heraldic sonority of his ballad snatch ofolden swords and bright plumes in spite of the smell of the pigsty and the thin cold rain that had begun to patter downMy lord Aversin I have been sent to bring you south A dragon has come and laid waste the city of the Cezanne and Provence: The Painter in His Culture gnomes in the Deep of Ylferdun it lairs there now fifteen miles from the King s city of Bel The Kind begs that you come to slay it ere the whole countryside is destroyedThe boy drew himself up having delivered himself of his uest a look of noble martyred serenity on his face very like Jenny thought someone out a ballad himself Then like allood messengers in ballads he collapsed and slid to the soupy mud and cowpies in a dead faint Buddy read with Beth Full review to be posted at the end of the month when our buddy read ends I finished early because I m bad at buddy reads Cross posted at When a huge black dragon descends upon the Deep of Ylferdun young Gareth sets out to find the Dragonsbane the only man alive who has ever defeated a dragon But Sir John Aversin is not what Gareth had hoped for he s a scruffy academic who is less concerned about honor than he is the health of his villagers pigs And Aversin s lady love is not what Gareth had expected either a plain middle aged witch who has borne Aversin two sons out of wedlock and is utterly unapologetic Swallowing his misgivings Gareth convinces Aversin and his witch Jenny Waynest to travel to the King s Court and battle the dragon But once there will anyone listen to two hicks past their prime and without wealth or connections I loved this book It s a wholly Chicago's Urban Nature: A Guide to the City's Architecture + Landscape grown up fantasy novel Occasionally in discussions of SFF you ll see readers bemoaning the lack of books that feature 1 older women 2 non pretty women 3 mothers whoet to do things Dragonsbane has all of these things in interesting ways and while it begins by seeming to be a deconstruction of romantic stories of noble knights slaying evil dragons it is primarily a story of the limits of female ambitionview spoilerWe start the book with Jenny a northern mage rescuing a would be noble sprat of a rescuer from bandits and taking him home to the local lord and her lover John The sprat is seeking John because he s the only known Dragonsbane and the king has a problem with a dragonThe ballads have failed to convey John s broad northern accent his interest in pigs his spectacles his lack of courtly races and most particularly that both John and Jenny contributed to the killing of the dragon that earned John his titleJenny s role as mage or witch as the female mages inevitably et called is the crux of this story Her mentor taught her that magic reuires a singular devotion that to become strong she must meditate and focus her all on her power and not as Jenny has done take a lover and have children by himThis is a book about worklife balance in other words but where the work is the Collections of Nothing grand passion and life the thing that keeps dragging you away from itMages being devoted to power above all is rusted into society so much so that a priest won t perform a marriage ceremony for a mage because the mage will inevitably abandon family for power So Jenny is both happy and unhappy loving John and her children able to spend a fair amount of time away from them and yet never enough to fully devote herself to her powerThe sprat after some time being extraordinarily na ve and idiotic manages toet John and Jenny south to try to kill the dragon and here they encounter Jenny s mirror Zyerne who is also a female mage who is lover to the local ruler the kingBut Zyerne is beautiful where Jenny is ugly powerful where Jenny is weak as cruel as Jenny is kind and as single minded in her pursuit of power as Jenny is waveringConseuentially the conflict of the story ends up being between the two women rather than Dragonsbane vs Dragon The resolution of this is reasonably well done although osh I felt like hitting a few people with a clue bat than once and finally becomes a choice for Jenny between love and power hide spoiler My first Barbara Hambly book and it is an entertaining discovery An epic fantasy without huge armies clashing without an end of the world as we know it threat without bloated descriptions of dresses or foodstuff It has instead a couple of mature and reluctant heroes with a convincing loving relationship it has a focus of personal introspection and painful life choices it has a well done dragon alien in body and mentalitythe book works well as a standalone and deserves to be considered a classi. An evil spell and he refused to see them Meantime the dragon fed well on the knights who had challenged himIn the end Aversin Jenny and Gareth had to steal away at night to challenge Morkeleb largest and wisest of dragonsBut that was only the beginning of the perils they must face.
Barbara Hambly î 4 reviewOriginally reviewed at Bookwraiths Dragonsbane is a novel I read upon release back in 1985 Obviously the world was a different place back then I was a different person young teenager and fantasy was of a different flavor Even at the time though I knew that Barbara Hambly had ifted her readers with a refreshingly mature fantasy which would stand the test of timeIn the northlands Jenny Waynest is a not so young any sorceress half trained who splits her time between learning her craft and raising her children The father of Jenny s brood is Sir John Aversin and he isn t your "Typical Backwoods
NOBLE RATHER HE IS A MANRather He A Man Learning "backwoods noble Rather he is a man of learning prefers studying old tomes on engineering and pig farming than fighting Be that as it may he and Jenny have been fo Hambly writes adults a rarity in the fantasy How to Read the American City Close Up genre in particular Dragonsbane is a depiction of middle aged regret of people who because of historical circumstances and personal situations will never achieve what they dream of and somehow Hambly writes it in a way that s not depressing and that appealed to me even as an adolescent unsympathetic to the failure to achieve Also the dragons are coolUnder no conditions read the seuels In fact let us agree that the publishing records lie and no seuels exist We will all be happier that way I had never heard of Hambly but I am impressed In the world of sword and sorcery most authors find it convenient too the hack and slash route with the beautiful maiden thrown in to make the hero extra heroic Few are willing to invest what Tolkien did in creating a whole world that has humans and other intelligent creaturesHambly is than able in this regard Catholics, Anglicans, and Puritans giving us both a deep study of relationships and a threat to the order of the world Her view of magic is complex and nuanced Her other creatures are multi dimensional each with a uniue weltanschauung She has created a layered plot andives it time to develop and this makes for satisfying interactions of the charactersWe also receive a very complete view of the choices some women must make and the conseuences of those choices Even Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet good and evil are presented in a way that encourages thought rather than taking sides Magic too is not the looked at as a result but as a processHere is a typical bit of her writing Never has she felt so conscious of the traces and turnings of the wind and of the insignificant activities of the animals in the surrounding woods She found herself prey to strange contemplation and odd knowledge of things before unsuspected how cloudsrow and why the wind walked the way it did how birds knew their way south and why in certain places of the world at certain times voices could be heard speaking indistinctly in empty air She would have liked to think these changes frightened her because she did not understand them but in truth the reason she feared them was because she didA pleasure to read I was advised to read this in terms of Never mind the blurb the key hooks are the loving adult relationship of the protags and the subversive take on SS I agree with the recommenderNew word cicisbeo Lots of unfamiliar words tooher anger had no hate in it offering him no hold upon herthe blood red and buttercup hues of the palace uardsI love the horses names Battlehammer Osprey Moon Horse Stupid Roan Stupider Roan and CowI love that wounds take time to heal and leave scarsI love that the dragon is in many ways cat like especially in its movementsBeautiful intelligent and recommended to anyone interested in magic fantasy fairy tales or dreamsCompare to The Forgotten Beasts of Eld A very nice traditional fantasy story that deliberately throws over a handful of clich s for instance our heroes are middle aged lovers prosaically named John and Jenny and the dragon slayer is wry and academic rather than imposing and martialMore typical is Gareth the indignant court messenger who comes seeking a hero out of a ballad and finds a man as much involved with pig farming as lording Also the beautiful yet evil witch who has enthralled the king is a predictable villain But I liked the characters very much especially Jenny who is torn between her magic and her humanity There is terrific chemistry between her and John Dragonsbane is a fantasy book written by the underrated Barbara Hambly It covers about 3 to 4 days for most of the book and the magic in them comes from witches But the real magician here is the author She spins her yarn patiently letting us wait until the things that are simmering come to a boilThe influence of Tolkien is obvious although younger readers might find it subtle But is this book for younger readers The main characters are rownups with rownup problems I found Jenny charming The entire story is viewed from her POVJenny is a lazy witch She didn t study hard to complete her magical SAT Now she. When the Black Dragon seized the Deep of Ylferdun young Gareth braved the far Winterlands to find John Aversin Dragonsbane the only living man ever to slay a dragon In return for the promise of the King to send help to the Winterlands Aversin agreed to attempt the nearly impossibl.