This book starts out with the reader wondering what type of monster Astrid could be, and ends with an understanding that things are never what they seem.
Typically in this genre, there’s a hero, a damsel in distress, and a villain. Plots are never unique and the reader can see the twists a mile away. Not so in this novel. Resa Nelson does a great job of keeping the reader in suspense and leading in one direction just to take a sharp turn of events later.
A strong heroine is another great feature of this book. Astrid seizes hold of her destiny and takes control. She goes from a frightened child to being comfortable in her own skin. Astrid doesn’t let hardships effect her inner self, rather finds strength within.
I’d recommend this book to everyone. It’s a coming of age story that transcends time and locale. A story of inner strength, love, overcoming obstacles, and becoming who you’re meant to be. All this with a happy ending to boot!
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover–the dragonslayer–disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.
Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.
Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much…or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?