Dragon's Keep

Paperback | May 1, 2008

byJanet Lee Carey

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Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide this secret, the queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, and Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy that will restore her family to its rightful throne.But Rosalind's flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. . . . Includes a reader's guide.

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Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide this secret, the queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, and Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy that will restore her family to its rightful throne.But Rosalind's flaw cannot be separated from h...

JANET LEE CAREY received the Mark Twain Award in 2005 for Wenny Has Wings. She lives near Seattle, Washington.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.95 × 8.69 × 0.83 inPublished:May 1, 2008Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:015206401X

ISBN - 13:9780152064013

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent debut novel Although it only took me two days to read, I practically inhaled the story. The prose kept me rooted into the story, so much that with every spare minute the book was in my hand. Rosalind is a wonderful character, full of toughness and peppered with flaws. Cursed with a claw on her left hand, since birth, Rosie has had to keep her hands covered in gloves for fear of being burned at the stake. A pity, because she is the destined queen, the one fortold in a prophecy from the Wizard Merlin centuries before. Within the prophecy, it is said that she would singlehandedly restore honour to her deposed and dishonoured land. But with her curse, it seems for naught. Full of grit, gore, sacrifice, and man-eating dragons with conscience and personality, this novel is full of something for everyone. And while it is aimed towards young teens, there is still alot within that even adults can enjoy.
Date published: 2008-06-15

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER ONEThe Queen’s Knife WILDE ISLAND AD 1145MOTHER PULLED OUT HER KNIFE. We were alone in her solar. “It’s time,” she said. “Give me your hand.” I drew back. “It’s not yet Sunday eve.” “We’re together, Rosalind, and the door’s well locked.” “Tomorrow.” “Tonight.” Then softening her voice she said, “Come, Rosie, take off your gloves.” Her blade flashed in the firelight and sent a russet glow across the room. She was ready for the ritual. I dreaded it. “Take yours off first.” Mother placed her knife on the table and bared her hands. Queen Gweneth’s fingers were finely tapered as candles, her skin milky as the moon. It was a shame for her to wear golden gloves, but she’d donned them at my birth to protect me, and worn them ever since. “Now you, Rosie.” I bit my lip as she removed my right glove. Pretty hand that never saw the sun; the skin was soft and creamy not unlike her own. Mother kissed it. Then taking my other hand in hers, she peeled away the left glove. None but Mother and myself knew what hid underneath. My throat tightened as we looked at my fourth finger. The horny flesh. Blue-green and scaly as a lizard’s hide. Claw of the beast with a black curving talon at the end. I rubbed the scar at the base of my claw. A wound I’d made myself the night of Nell’s witch burning. With her cunning craft Nell had lured folk into the woods and fed them to the dragon. Of this she was accused, and too she had a devil’s mark on her back. I’d seen the mark myself before they burned her—it was nothing compared to mine. With Cook’s sharp knife I’d stolen to my room to try to cut off my cursed part. The wound was deep and the blood had drenched my kirtle before Mother caught me. The queen was peering at my claw now, working her face to hold back a sickened sneer, but with all her trying, her lip still tightened. “The sorrow of it,” she whispered. “That it should be your wedding finger.” “No man would marry me unless he was a leper.” “Rosie. Don’t say such things.” “Then say it isn’t true.” Mother pulled out her silver vial, sipped the poppy potion, and closed her eyes. The fire crackled. When the lines around her eyes and mouth grew smooth she capped the bottle and set her jaw. “Now.” I hid my hand behind my back. “It will hurt.” “I’ll cut with care.” Tugging my wrist close, she used her knife to peel the black talon as a fletcher sharpens an arrow. Curled bits of hard black nail fell to the floor. Sparks flew and a trail of smoke rose as she trimmed the nail. It was a wonder we’d shaken our heads at. For what kind of talon hides a spark? Scrape. Scrape. I closed my eyes and smelled the odor of ground bone and, stranger still, a scent of rusted metal. The stench filled me with shame. I waited for her to finish, taking slow breaths to calm myself. Then I felt a sharp prick. “Too close to the quick!” I drew back and blinked away the tears. “Done,” said Mother, sweeping the broken bits of nail into her hand and tossing them in the fire. Gently now, she slid my golden gloves back on and put her cool hand on my cheek. “This secret is heavy between us,” she said. “But don’t cry, Rosie. I’ll find a way to cure you. I swear it on my life.” Copyright © 2007 by Janet Lee Carey All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1
Wormwood  & Poppy
1 The Queen’s Knife 5
2 The Sacred Finger Bone 8
3 The Stolen Child 11
4 Dragonstone 16
5 Dragonslayers 24
6 Pilgrimage 32
7 The Kiss 42
8 Angel’s Betrayal 47
9 Flying as in a Dream 53
10 Friend and Fowl 61
11 Diviner Eggs 69
12 Witch’s Hollow 77
13 The Hag 84
14 Punishment 92
15 Her Spirit Unbound 98
Wolf’s Bane
16 The Listing Ship 113
17 Demon Fire 125
18 The Shell 136
19 If Wolves Should Come 147
20 Twine Unraveled 154
21 Taken 163
22 Burningstone 170
23 The Breaking 177
24 Knight’s Folly 185
25 The Bargain 192
Briar Rose
26 A Language Lesson 203
27 Hissstory 208
28 Strange Treasure 218
29 Flight 226
30 The Scales 235
31 The Hunt 238
32 The Messenger 244
33 The Takings of the Storm 249
34 Lord Faul 258
35 Voice in the Falls 263
36 Discovered 269
37 Witch Trial 273
38 The Devil’s Footpath 287
39 Blood Proof 294
40 Talon 297

Editorial Reviews

A rich medieval fantasy, a splendid weaving of bright and dark threads, constant surprises and startling turns of events; of brutalities and beauties, terrors and triumphs . . . a remarkable achievement." - Lloyd Alexander[star] "Stunning, lyrical prose . . . Carey smoothly blends many traditional fantasy tropes here, but her telling is fresh as well as thoroughly compelling." - Booklist (starred) "