Dragon's Keep - Janet Lee Carey Yesterday I finished Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey. This is a Young Adult book about a princess that is born with a dragon's claw instead of one of her fingers. I would actually class the book as a little more as Juvenile fiction than YA. I think this story would be great for 10 - 12 year old girls who are interested in fantasy lit.

***********The paragraph below contains SPOILERS**********

Two things originally drew me to this book. In the narrative on the book jacket it says, "The dragon sees beauty in her talon where her mother saw only shame, and Rosalind finally understands what her mother has truly denied her. " I thought this story could be a great way to teach young girls about how looks aren't everything, or it is not a bad thing to be different in some ways. Could be is the operative phrase here. Although the book description teases with that line, the actual story line never really develops that area. In fact, the dragon ends up hating the Princess as much as her mother does, and although he thinks her talon is good, I wouldn't say he thinks it is beautiful. Nor would I say that it helps her to understand what her mother has denied her.

The second thing that drew me to the book was the first pages, where it states that the Princess and her family are descended from King Arthur, but were banished to this small island and that the destiny of this particular princess was foretold by Merlin. The whole King Arthur and Merlin connections seemed like a gimmick to me, used to get people to look farther into the book. It really had no bearing on the story. The princess could have been any princess, and the prophesy could have been foretold by anyone. That said, I did like the unusual way that Merlin's prediction of her destiny came true and the fact that it did not at all mean what they had always thought it meant. Such is often the case with prophesies.

My final feeling about the book was that the story was cute, but I thought the author could have done more with the promised theme of different can be good. I would give it 2.5 to 3 stars. A cute fairy tale, but not a great story