Author: Robin McKinley
Age Rating: Adult (AD)
The heroes of many a fantasy novel tend to be quick-witted types, regardless of whatever else holds them back, but Aerin, the protagonist of The Hero and the Crown, is a slow thinker. She struggles to maintain her place in her father's court; unable to be the person everyone wants her to be, Aerin decides to become a dragon slayer. It's dangerous, but it is necessary and memorable. The dragons in her universe tend to be nuisances rather than terrors, but there is a race of great dragons that are extremely difficult to defeat. The novel is short with a beautifully laid out kingdom and land, which is quite creative in its own right. Beyond Aerin, the other characters don't have a lot of development, but her character is solitary for much of her journey.