~ 4th Novel in the Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan Series by Andre Norton
Written by Sasha Miller as a brief collaboration with Andre.
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Write-up from the front flap of the 2005 dustjacket and the paperback edition ~
Over a year has passed since the defeat of the Great Foulness, and the ravaged earth has begun to heal. Lost for generations, the signet rings of the Four Great Houses—Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan—have been restored to their rightful heirs. And Ashen NordornQueen, mistress of the Land of Ever Snow, looks forward to a life of peace and happiness with her beloved husband and their newborn son—only to learn that an ancient evil still threatens all that she holds dear.
The Mother Ice Dragon, the fearsome progenitor of her deadly breed, has awakened from slumber to menace the world anew. Legend holds that only the Dragon Blade, forged from the scales of her vanquished mate, can slay the deadly female dragon, but the Dragon Blade has been lost for ages.
As Ashen embarks on a perilous quest to find the mystic sword, she leaves her castle and homeland in the care of her closest friends, including Rannore, Lady of the Rowan, who soon faces danger of a different sort.... Dragon Blade continues the saga begun in To the King a Daughter and continued in Knight or Knave and A Crown Disowned.
Write-up from a fan at Amazon.com ~
The Nordon monarchs Ashen NordornQueen and Gaurin NordornKing are looking forward to peace, spending quality time together and with their infant son having recently defeated the Great Foulness ice dragon. However, their tranquility ends when Ashen finds a letter inside the false bottom of a box containing a gift; the note explains that only the legendary DRAGON BLADE can kill the Mother Ice Dragon.
Courageous though wary, Gaurin leaves to find the blade made from the scales of the enemy's deceased mate that will finally end this nightmare. After her spouse left, Ashen discovers a map that shows where the DRAGON BLADE and the Mother Ice Dragon lairs are located. She sets off to catch up to her husband while their land has a new foe, a rogue troll destroying anything in its path.
The fourth tale in the Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan saga is a fabulous fantasy especially when the exciting story line follows the escapades of the Nordorn rulers. The action is fast-paced and never slows down even when the Troll threat takes fans down a sidebar that is fun to follow by bringing in other favorites from previous books, but also weaves a thread that takes away from the grand adventure. Still fantasy fans will gain immense delight from this fine tale. ~ HK
Write-up from a fan ~
Book Four in the Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash and Rowan. One year has passed since the defeat of the Great Foulness and everyone is beginning to relax. However, in Yewkeep, Ysa accidentally awakens an ancient giant evil slug-like creature known as "the eater". It is after all descendants of the Four Families, the ancient rulers of which had used magical Rings to put it to sleep. Ysa flees to Nordernkeep. There have been reports that the Mother Icedragon was released by the Great Foulness and is marauding up north. Gaurin takes an army to find and destroy her. After he leaves, Ashen discovers that there is a legend that only Nordern royalty can kill the dragon and only the fabulous Dragon Blade can be used to do the deed. She also has obtained a map to the Dragon's lair and the location of the sword. Naturally, she and Zazar take off to give Gaurin the information. Gaurin and his army are attacked by remnants of the Aslaugor forces that had worked for the Great Foulness. Gaurin leaves the Army and takes a small force in search of the Mother Icedragon. Using the map, Ashen discovers the lair and the Sword. She catches up with Gaurin's group and gives him the sword. The Mother Icedragon arrives and demands the return of the Sword. Meanwhile at Nordenkeep, The slug is attacking Nordernkeep. Fortunately the Great Rings have been found. Will they work, AND will the sword kill the Dragon? Hard to put this down. ~ PG
Bibliography of English Editions ~
- (2005) Published by TOR, HC, 0-765-30747-2, 978-0-765-30747-7, $24.95, 336pg ~ cover by Lois Royo
- (2005) Published by SFBC, HC, # 1189345, $12.50, 336pg ~ cover by Lois Royo
- (2006) Published by TOR, PB, 0-765-34660-5, 978-0-765-34660-5, $6.99, 336pg ~ cover by Lois Royo