Handbook for Dragon Slayers MOBI ò Handbook for MOBI

Handbook for Dragon Slayers [PDF / EPUB] Handbook for Dragon Slayers Thirteen year old Princess Matilda whose lame foot brings fear of the evil eye has never given much thought to dragons attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's Thirteen year old Princess Matilda whose lame foot brings fear of the evil eye Handbook for MOBI :ß has never given much thought to dragons attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's responsibilitiesWhen a greedy cousin steals Tilda's lands the young princess goes on the run with two would be dragon slayers Before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt befriending magical horses and battling flame spouting dragons On the adventure of a lifetime and caught between dreams of freedom and the people who need her Tilda learns about dragons—and herself—than she ever imaginedMerrie Haskell author of The Princess Curse presents a magical tale of transformation danger and duty starring a remarkable princess as stubborn as she is brave.

10 thoughts on “Handbook for Dragon Slayers

  1. says:

    Previously Saw the cover for this tonight at Written in the Mitten Gorgeous though now all I'll be able to think about when I see it was the discussions it caused on horse and dragon proportions and genetics ishDAnd then Just for my own records my copy has 320 pages not 240 320 glorious pages This is 2 lovely perfect books in a row now; I am decidedly in Merrie Haskell's cornerReviewA couple of days ago I gushed about The Princess Curse which is sort of loosely connected to Handbook for Dragon Slayers Though it may not be a fairy tale retelling as The Princess Curse was it has a lot in common with that charming middle grade book that took over my brain They have similar worlds separated by some centuries and location yes but with a generalized medieval Easter European setting and there are also subtle little easter eggs that link the two books fully Both feel complete as stand alones but also work as companion pieces in the larger framework of Haskell's two so far apprentice stories But what they share most strongly is their excellent plucky admirable main charactersI talked a bit in my review of TPC about how Reveka was exactly what I wanted and needed in a female protagonist as a kid and how she's the type I still immediately fall for now Tilda the main character of Handbook is much the same Haskell has a way with plucky awesome characters girls with strength and determination and spirit and a passion to make them memorable You can't help but root for and love Haskell's characters; they're fresh and vibrant and thoughtful And most importantly to me they're smart not in an obnoxious precocious way but there is a subtle layer to both characters that tells the reader ie mostly young girls that these girls are smart and talented and they use those smarts and talents to follow their passion and that's what makes them awesome At the risk of sounding boring and cliched myself they're role models  but they're not boring and cliched See what I mean about how Haskell's books were exactly what I wantedneeded when I was a kid?On a similar note Handbook's main character Tilda has a clubfoot This is a painful enough affliction on its own but in medieval times when modern medicine and pain relief are hard to come by if not non existent and you're a princess who's supposed to be seen as strong leader material? Needless to say this is a huge plot point for Tilda and I thought it was handled really well Tilda suffers but she isn't a whiny martyr; it does have an undeniable influence on who she is and how she reacts to the world around her and how she expects the world around her to react to her but in the end she won't let it define her I thought Haskell made a lot of smart choices in the handling of Tilda's disability and the fact that there's no magical resolution was an excellent choice for me Not only does it make her relatable and sympathetic and add a great deal of interestingness to her character but to have a magical fantastic story that doesn't wave a wand and do away with any unsavory bits is exactly what I would want and what I think is needed Having a clubfoot doesn't make Tilda less and though she has this brief moment where she thinks hopes longs for wonders if maybe she could be magically cured I think it was an excellent choice on Haskell's part not toThere's a lot going on in this storymany many plot points and to some it may feel chaotic or confusing I never found it too much to keep track of and I think the points played well off of one another but I can see why to some it may make it harder to follow or make them feel like the story was rushed or scattered But to me it's a sprawling adventure story in that grand way that you only seem to get in kids books and reading it brings back some of that irrepressible eagerness and energy that comes with being a kid As a middle grader I would have been completely engrossed and would without a doubt have fallen in love with Haskell's world her characters and their adventures As always highly recommended for those who like middle grade have middle graders or want a fun historical fantasyadventure with a strong likable female lead

  2. says:

    This is a middle grade title about Tilda a young princess who’s much interested in writing her own book than she is in being a princess Particularly given how little her people seem to like her Born with a deformed leg that reuires her to use a cane to get around she often finds herself the target of whispers and gossip and general nastiness So when the bad guy sets out to steal her lands and title Tilda considers it no real lossI haven’t done a lot of middle grade reading–something I need to remedy–but Handbook follows the pattern I’ve seen of focusing on internal conflicts and development than external plot An “adult” novel would generally focus on the central conflict between Tilda and the would be usurper Whereas this novel jumps around a bit plotwise in order to show us how Tilda grows and changes The story includes a pair of would be dragon slayers Elysian horses the Wild Hunt evil magic and perhaps my favorite bit character Curschin the dragonI appreciated the way Haskell addressed Tilda’s handicap neither shying away from the pain and complications it presented nor trying to give us a feel good Message about overcoming disability My wife has been dealing with chronic pain for many years and often reuires a cane to get around so Tilda’s struggle felt familiar But this wasn’t a book about a disabled character; it was a book about a character who happened to have a disabilityThere were a few points where I stumbled The book doesn’t exactly take place in our world but there are references to Plato and Christmas things that were just discordant enough to bump me out of the story There were also one or two plot points that seemed a little too convenient or unexplained The story about the girl who wants desperately to be a writer could easily become self indulgent but Haskell manages it well focusing on the character’s love and excitement and never slipping into “Writers are awesome” or inside jokescommentaryOverall this was a uick and enjoyable read with a range of good strong characters both male and femaleAlso Haskell has a blog post at where she talks about her decision to give Tilda a clubfoot

  3. says:

    Originally posted here at Random Musings of a BibliophileI was super excited to win a copy of Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell in a Goodreads giveaway I had reservations about Haskell's The Princess Curse my thoughts but I liked her writing so much I was eager to try another of her books Handbook for Dragon Slayers is a great tale of adventure friendship and discovering who you areTilda is not the typical heroine of a princess story even a rebellious princess story She is not longing for adventure she wants to be left alone to write books She has a foot deformity that causes her to limp and leaves her feeling self conscious all the time She has built up walls to keep her emotions safe and her heart from being hurt As a result she doesn't always understand the motivations and actions of the people closest to her She is a sympathetic and likable character and I admire her ambitions if not all of her choices I do love how her choices lead her to see herself in new ways and therefore make better choices for her and her people As the title would suggest there are dragons in this story and some interesting twists involving them as well There is nothing new or special about the treatment of dragons it is simply perfect in its dragony ways The Wild Hunt and the villain desperate to ensnare a wish from them gave a sinister creepy element to the plot that struck just the right tone Trying to piece everything together and see what would happen next made for an engrossing readFriendship plays a big part in Tilda's journey her learning how to be a friend and accept friendship She has two wonderful though often misguided companions and both are important to her character's development and contribute in their own ways to the story I thoroughly enjoyed Haskell's treatment of this theme and how she resolved one particular problem through the power of friendship and left romance out of it This is a wonderful read for anyone who loves stories of adventure friendship discovery and dragonsI read an ARC won from Harper Children's in a Goodreads giveaway The Handbook for Dragon Slayers is on sale May 28

  4. says:

    This review and others can be found on my blog Fine PrintMerri Haskell’s standalone middle grade fantasy HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is a sweet story about going on adventures that test your limits appreciating the people who love you and accepting yourself as you are Oh and dragon slaying In a word charmingPrincess Matilda known as Tilda to her family and closest friends Judith and Parzival is not all that a princess should be She is shy and bookish and worst of all? She’s clubfooted a physical disability that her subjects see as a sign of ill favour Fed up with the gawking pointing and being cast signs against the evil eye Tilda abandons her role as their princess and runs off to slay dragons with her best friendsor maybe just write about itThe setting of HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is at first glance a fairly generic medieval European fantasy world with references to holy wars saints and cloisters to add some atmosphere But Haskell brings interest to this milieu with the addition of dragons that allegedlyterrorize farmland and perhaps notably her version of the Wild Hunt Combine all that with some magical horses made from silver copper and gold and this otherwise bland world has uite a bit of colour and fun to itAs they venture towards the locations of various dragon sightings the gang of course gets into a number of scrapes Turns out that dragon slaying is a lot harder than a group of 13 and 14 year olds thought Go figure The journeyuest aspect of HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS feels fresh through Matilda’s eyes as her concerns on the road are distinct from your typical fantasy heroine Tilda’s clubfoot is uite painful and it makes both riding and walking any considerable distance uite difficult While Tilda’s suffering is palpable she’s neither whiny nor a martyr; and yes her disability is a big part of who she is and how she sees the world but it’s not her There’s to Tilda than her clubfoot and watching her come to that realization for herself was really satisfyingWhere this book really faltered for me was the overall plot which felt uite unfocused and even chaotic at times HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is basically a series of episodes linked together to create a story and unfortunately it wasn’t as cohesive as I would’ve liked I think it would’ve been much stronger had Haskell cut one or two of these “episodes” so we could learn about the rest of the group’s adventures That said younger readers might not care about that as much as I did Personally I think that middle grade just isn’t for me — it feels very young to me and the writing in most MG isn’t to my tastes But for those of you who do enjoy MG or are looking for good disability representation then this is a solid choiceHANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is a fun story about a princess whose disability impacts her life but it doesn’t define her I’m excited to read fantasy novels with good disability representation going forward and hopefully I'll discover some underrated gems

  5. says:

    In contrast to the earlier The Princess Curse which was a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling with a dash of Beauty and the Beast Handbook for Dragon Slayers is not a retellingHandbook does pull in plenty of fairy tale elements though – the princess the nasty villain who wants to take over her lands magic horses dragons the Wild Hunt I’m a big fan of the Wild Hunt What an adult reader will notice that a kid would probably miss is the depth of research that went into the book a pfennig for your thoughts for example and the stories of saints killing dragons with the sheer power of their holiness and tidbits like the mistress of the land owing servants one new dress at Christmas We get a real sense of time and place here The plotting is nice and tight with minor characters introduced early turning out to play important roles than is immediately obvious I mean I didn’t see the bad guy coming at all or at least I totally didn’t expect his plans to include well never mind but it was nice to be surprised I enjoyed the way Haskell catches the ends of all her loose threads and pulls them togetherThe protagonist Tilda longs for peace and uiet to read and write but is constantly interrupted to deal with her responsibilities as princess; worse Tilda was born with a deformed foot widely considered a sign of a divine curse which makes it harder to discharge her obligations and in fact harder to want to I mean when the servants make the sign of the evil eye when you go by it’s hard to care very much about their problems right? These are the pressures that drive the storyI took longer to connect with Tilda than I did with Reveka in The Princess Curse and in fact never liked her as well though I did like her just fine so don’t get the wrong idea here On the other hand her handmaid Judith was a wonderful secondary character – and I appreciated the clever choice to make Judith rather than Tilda a kind of apprentice dragon slayer The relationship between Tilda and Judith was for me the best part of the book The male lead Parz is a perfectly decent foil for the two girls but definitely secondary to the two female characters There is only the faintest hint of romance in the story which is after all MG rather than YAThis story starts off slowly which is normally not a problem for me and which I didn’t mind this time either I personally like a story to take its time setting the scene and drawing the world but I know not everybody feels that way Then about sixty pages in Tilde gets kidnapped and gets away and everything kicks up a notch We get dragons and the Wild Hunt and the magic horses which of course I enjoyed because hey magic horses And dragons I loved the dragons but I don’t want to give too much away about them so I’m restraining myself here I will just say that they don’t uite think like humans and that the difference is important

  6. says:

    Okay a few things about this book if contemporary idiom in a medieval setting bothers you you'll have problems If you want either by the book avoidance of anachronisms despite the fantasy OR your recently typical feisty heroine you'll have problems If on the other hand you're fine with modern speech as long as it's consistent and you like the idea of a heroine who wants nothing than to be in a cloister so she's able to work on her manuscripts uninterrupted by other duties you'll probably have a lot of fun with this Tilda felt to me rather like Karen Cushman's Meggy Swann with a dash of Birdy thrown in though not at all in a derivative way She was utterly sympathetic even when you knew she was making bad choices or dreaming very unrealistic dreams Add to that the appearances of two very unlikely book fellows the Wild Hunt and Hildegard of Bingen and I was happy enough to let some minor irritants go The dragons and the way they were handled was just right for me tooI thought this was firmly children's than THE PRINCESS CURSE but liked it just as much

  7. says:

    Brief thoughts originally published 27 June 2017 at Falling LettersFirst book I read by Merrie Haskell though I have already read anotherThis book received a positive own voices review at Disability in Kid Lit which led me to select it for the March topic of 2017 Diverse Reads Aimee Louw writes far elouently about Tilda’s club foot than I could so be sure to check out her post I especially agree with her observation that the “dichotomy between the desire to improve or better oneself and the perceived need to overcompensate for the lower expectations placed on oneself because of disability was portrayed exceptionally well”One aspect of the book I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did was the setting Handbook for Dragonslayers takes place in a realistic medieval setting than I’ve encountered in most children’s literature The presence of religion plays a significant role in that I love that Tilda wanted to join a cloister so she could copy books The concept of sin influences Tilda’s actions; she celebrates Christmas Day Other details that added realism for me included Tilda’s duties as a princess and the design of the castleI found it a little heartbreaking that part of the reason Tilda wants to become a grand writer is to disprove the cruel things people believe about her I don’t have the direct uote but there was a line about how Tilda wanted to be free of people who thought they knew her pg 52 That’s a feeling I think many readers have experienced at one time or the other It gives able bodied readers like myself a better insight into what Tilda experiencesAlthough not much else about the plot or characters stands out for me now fans of the genre will likely enjoy Handbook for Dragon Slayers as long as they don’t expect too much of the dragons

  8. says:

    This was a fantastic fantasy novel that dealt with issues I have not previously encountered in the genre Tilda is a princess who has been challenged since birth with a lame foot something people in her town regard as a curse Because of her injury Tilda has been kept from many activities and many villagers mistreat or ignore her outright While Tilda does face many challenges due to her foot I loved that Handbook for Dragon Slayers is not too focused on her challenges Instead we get to see how Tilda manages to accomplish things anyway and rises above her difficulties I loved the world building and characters in this novel as well as the fact that the relationships focused on are largely friendships rather than romance As a Catholic school librarian I was also thrilled to see a priest feature as a character religion is mentioned positively though not focused on too heavily and Tilda is even considering becoming a nun so she can continue writing and copying books in a uieter environment Excellent action scenes complex characters and dragons too This was just lovely and I cannot wait to introduce it to my students

  9. says:

    I always thought dragons were good and this book shows the truth about them I recommend this book to all fantasy lovers Full of suspense and action this is a Must Read for all ages

  10. says:

    I found this to be a pleasant surprise a children's novel with a number of atypical choices enough so that it felt nothing like a typical turn the crank produce another book according to formula juvenile fiction story I've railed about this in many other reviews but the thinking in children's fiction for the last eighty years or so has been that the writer has to get the parents out of the way in order for the children to have adventures as the parents would obviously protect the children from any danger if they were present This is a device that almost every children's author uses and usually the reason for the parents' absence car crash divorce alien abduction is tossed off at the beginning and rarely revisited It's what A Series of Unfortunate Events was parodying While Mathilda's father is absent in Handbook for Dragon Slayers this book joins the ranks of the very very few children's books I'm looking at you A Wrinkle in Time to actually incorporate the parent's absence into an integral part of the protagonist's character developmentHandbook for Dragon Slayers is set in 12th century Germany Mathilda's father has left for a Crusade and never returned As events play out in the novel Mathilda finally comes to recognize her father's actions which she is imitating as selfish and so learns something about herself and grows a bit able not only to see herself in a positive light but to consider the welfare of others This is a big deal because the dominant reality in Mathilda's life is that she was born with a hideous deformity of her right leg Living in a Dark Ages Christian world where many superstitions are actually real the Fae magic curses and the like she is naturally shunned as her deformity is the manifestation of some inherent wickedness or perhaps just the outcome of some evil of her parents Her mother has done a yeoman's job of shielding Mathilda from most of this but the girl is aware of it nonetheless especially because the pain of her twisted body is never far from her One of her favorite respites is to escape into books particularly reading the lives of the saints as well as classic pagan Greek and Roman authors which would have been the majority of any library in the 12th century aside from the Bible itself As she is close to useless for most active work Mathilda is trained to do any sort of book work balancing the ledgers and other accounting as well as lots of scribe work as all books are copied by hand Gutenberg being two hundred years in the future Haskell provides a lot of detail about books and scribing in general she provides a wealth of detail about medieval life in a refreshingly matter of fact way that avoids being didactic As a teen Mathilda is naturally self centered and she has her deformity that turns her even inward Between the saints the pagans her daily routine and the rest of her thought life I was very entertained by her first person perspective monologue and that's even before the magical stuffMathilda lives in a world where all the magic of folklore is real so inevitably she encounters it in her travels The stakes are raised several times and freuently the plot developments surprised me with their unpredictability I can't properly express how delighted I am with a children's book that can surprise me at this point I highly recommend this one for that and all the other things that I've described

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