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.
Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen Weston as pseudonyms.
Andre Norton published her first novel in 1934, and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977, and won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) association in 1983.
Norton was twice nominated for the Hugo Award, in 1964 for the novel Witch World and in 1967 for the novelette "Wizard's World." She was nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, winning the award in 1998. Norton won a number of other genre awards, and regularly had works appear in the Locus annual "best of year" polls.
On February 20, 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which had earlier honored her with its Grand Master Award in 1983, announced the creation of the Andre Norton Award, to be given each year for an outstanding work of fantasy or science fiction for the young adult literature market, beginning in 2006.
Often called the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy by biographers such as J. M. Cornwell and organizations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Publishers Weekly, and Time, Andre Norton wrote novels for over 70 years. She had a profound influence on the entire genre, having over 300 published titles read by at least four generations of science fiction and fantasy readers and writers.
Notable authors who cite her influence include Greg Bear, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. J. Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Joan D. Vinge, David Weber, K. D. Wentworth, and Catherine Asaro.
Hardly any mention of the Dragons at all. Characters were not that interesting, and I ended up just feeling sorry for the poor Mother Ice Dragon, with her children slain, and her beloved mate slain as well, and the only thing she has left of him is a damn sword that could destroy her!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Norton and Miller have written another fairly traditional fantasy, with a balance between homey, personal scenes and battles, both magical and mundane. There is humor and sadness, joy and loss. A satisfying if not very challenging or deep read.
I liked the book. It has good plots, and plenty of them. The characters feel alive. The dragon blade legend is pretty interesting. It's an old legend, that happens to be true, except it has room for parts of it to be missing... I liked the book a lot.