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Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Handbook for Dragon Slayers - Merrie Haskell [I won an ARC through Goodreads First reads.]Princess Mathilda, or Tilda as she's more commonly known, isn't your typical heroine. For starters she's lame, born with a twisted foot she has to live with its pain daily, and has been forbidden to do things like ride horses. You'd think that would free up her time considerably and allow her to spend as much as she'd like reading and being a scribe (as that is what Tilda wants to do), but that isn't so. Her mother wants her to be like any typical princess and that means forcing her to accept a life of manners, betrothals, and duty. Tilda is 13 years old and when she hears that her mother is otherwise occupied decides this would be the best time to shirk her responsibility. First I liked that it wasn't just due to being female that Tilda wasn't allowed to do things, but that she was a royal, but also because of her physical handicap. I realize that there's a certain validity to limiting women's roles in a historical context, but I trust a modern work to find a way to add more depth and truth to it than that. However, and I can't quite put my finger on it, I just couldn't get into this book. There was about 30 pages in the late middle that I found quite interesting and well done, but ultimately it was forgettable. At times I think it was the writing, my major issues with it were that many parts weren't explained well, often the sentences lacked a certain flow and simply felt flung together, and it was just kind of boring. Tilda was a bland narrator, but the other two leads weren't any better. Some of the other characters had their moments, but this book is in first person, so Tilda mostly glossed over them. And she complained a lot, about everything.Maybe I'd have been a bigger fan if it had come out when I was still in elementary school, but that's a guessing game. This isn't a bad book, far from it, but I can't say that it was a good one either. I will check out Haskell's other book though, [b:The Princess Curse|9588207|The Princess Curse|Merrie Haskell|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1299897431s/9588207.jpg|14475179] and see if I like it any better.