About the Book

Title: The Hero and the Crown (Damar #2)
Published: 1984
Series: Damar
Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Cover Story: Be My Fantasy
BFF Charm: Yay
Talky Talk: Old School
Bonus Factor: Dragon Slaying
Relationship Status:Keep Coming Back To You

Cover Story: Be My Fantasy

Holy shit it’s a DRAGON. A huge one! Now, if you’re like me and have been reading fantasy your whole life you will probably be IN LOVE WITH THIS COVER. But then, I play World of Warcraft so it would take quite a bit of effort to embarrass me with most dragon covers. But others might be less enthused about it.

The Deal:

Aerin is a princess but you wouldn’t know it from the way she is treated. The only daughter of King Arlbeth, Aerin’s mother was not the King’s first, noble blooded wife, but his second – a distrusted Northerner who most believed used her witchy ways to hoodwink the King into marrying her. Aerin’s mother believed a prophesy that said she was to bare an heir that would save their kingdom of Damar but when she discovered she bore a girl, she died of dispair. Or possibly, imho, of old fashioned childbirth. BUT either way, not the most awesome way to come into the world. So she grows up with the distrust of the other Damarians and has about three friends total – her nurse, her father’s lame warhorse and her hottie cousin (and heir to the throne) Tor. Being set apart from the other royals is what leads Aerin to swordplay, horse riding and ultimately dragon slaying. As war with the Northerns begins brewing, Aerin takes it upon herself to defeat the last of the great dragons Maur and the person who might be behind all of Damar’s trouble – the evil mage Agsded.

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

Of course Aerin can be my BFF. She SLAYS DRAGONS FOR FUNSIES. I don’t often run into dragons in my day to day life, but still. That’s a skill that seems pretty invaluable. But more importantly, Aerin needs a good friend in her life. She’s so lonely and down on herself but manages to take what makes her different and channel it into being awesome. She’s brave, loves her country and manages to make the best out of the somewhat crappy situation life threw at her.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

There are two (yes two, sigh) men-folk who love Aerin – her cousin Tor and Luthe the mage. But this isn’t your typical love triangle. Both men know Aerin from very different periods of her life. Aerin mostly ignores everyone’s feelings for her which is why the swoon scale is so low. And this book is a total tease because as soon as it gives us a bit of what we want, it cuts us off. Basically if you’re looking for a fantasy-romance (fromance?), this probably wouldn’t be your first choice. Oh, and did you notice that I didn’t even make a thing about Aerin and Tor being cousins? First cousins. Who grew up together. And were fourteen or so years apart. Didn’t even make it a thing, you all should be so proud of me, I’ve matured.

Talky Talk: Old School

McKinley is a beautiful writer. And her style and language remind me of the fantasies I read growing up (which, duhr, makes sense, since this was published around the time I was born.) There are times I found myself fawning over her words. It was nice break from the faster-paced, more casual teen fantasies I’ve become used to.

Bonus Factor: Dragon Slaying

A dragon perched on a mountain top with his wings spread with the sun setting in the background

Usually killing dragons gives me a sad because I think dragons are awesome and I think about that movie where Sean Connery is the last dragon in the world AND WHO ARE WE TO COMMIT SPECIES GENOCIDE, hmmmm? But Aerin makes dragon killing cool because most of the dragons she kills are small and like vermin. And Maur is v. v. evil, so I don’t feel bad. And the glory! Ahh the glory of dragon slaying!

Relationship Status: Keep Coming Back To You

Since I’m about twenty-five years late on this book, we have a lot of lost time to make up for together. And even though this was my first go-round, I think this book is the kind you find yourself wanting to come back to, over and over again, years later. And since there is a sequel (of sorts), it looks like this won’t be my last visit to Damar.

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). The Hero and the Crown is available now.

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.