part of me will always be impressed by cassandra rose clarke’s novels and “the mad scientist’s daughter” will forever and ever occupy a part of my heart.
so, let’s get to the book, now, shall we?
set in the same world as “the assassin’s curse” our heroine hanna, is the daughter of a former pirate and fisherman but with aspirations to be a proper witch. under the tutelage of kolure, one very grouchy fisherman, who is following his own agenda she has to push through all kinds of obstacles including saving herself, help a non-human boy, prevent evil to spread and find a way back.
after the first few chapters you can already see some character similarities between hanna and ananna. a little ignorance, a pinch of anger and the always underlying ambition to make their dreams come true. scrolling through other reviews both the goodreads and non-goodreads variety, makes me realize that most people thought that “the wizard’s promise” lacked a special something and they wanted this hole to be filled. more worldbuilding, a greater level of characterization, tense action or at least less repetitiveness and focus on some daily activities.
in some ways i certainly did too, because as a reader i tend to expect more of an author whose books made it to my all-time-favorite shelf and keep their level of awesomeness to increase with every new book, which is strictly speaking doing both the author and me a disservice.
and you know what?
i’ve read too many bad books and this is definitely not one of them. i have this niggling feeling that after reading the not-yet-released sequel that my mind shall be appeased and that is quite enough for me, till cassandra rose clarke releases her next adult novel.
this e-arc has been kindly proved by strange chemistry through netgalley!
i knew that i was in for a treat when i picked up handbook for dragon slayers. when we’re introduced to the heroine we quickly find out that she has a deformity that stamps her an outcast making the people around her sign against the evil eye. mathilda is the princess of alder brook and a half orphan. when the story begins her protective mother is currently abroad. standing or walking for too long shows its effect on her lame foot and she needs to rest and massage it.
this is why she likes to read books and has high aspirations to go down in history as a famous writer if nothing else than to prove the people wrong about being a living curse roaming the earth. tilda is tired of her endless, repetitive duties and responsibilites that comes with being a princess and just wants to leave everything behind and start somewhere afresh.
as chance would have it her handmaiden judith and friend parz decide to slay a dragon. tilda plans to do something no has done before: write a handbook for dragon slayers. of course, things don’t exactly go as planned an she accidentally thwarts the wild hunt by freeing their silver and copper horses, befriending dragons, getting imprisoned by a bluebeard-like character who has his own hidden agenda … all the while saving alder brook from her greedy relatives.
what can i say? i liked tilda well enough, though i have to admit that i probably would not have picked this up if it weren’t for merrie haskell’s wonderful debutthe princess curse which won me over with a wonderful heroine. tilda is a bit dull when compared to the princess curse‘s shining heroine reveka. but i have to admit that i am a sucker for dark fairy tales with hades-persephone touch and a dash of twelve dancing princesses. also, the villain in handbook for dragon slayers was not as multilayered as in princess curse and i like my characters grey not black and white.
as it is, the handbook for dragon slayers is a book that does its job by being adventurous and i should think appealing to both genders.