Dragon Blade

~ 4th Novel in the Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan by Andre Norton

Written by Sasha Miller as a brief collaboration with Andre.



Synopsis ~

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 ~

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


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


Reviews ~

Review by Publishers Weekly ~ Aug. 01, 2005

At the outset of this fourth book (after A Crown Disowned) of the Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan Cycle, Ashen NordornQueen and her husband, Gaurin NordornKing, expect to take a much-needed rest from their travails against the Great Foulness that earlier beset their kingdom, but instead they discover they must face further adventures and danger. The royal pair, along with their infant son, have settled into the castle of Fire and Ice in the NordornLand, looking forward to taking their place as beloved monarchs. For their coronation as co-regents of Rendel, however, they receive a gift which launches their next perilous journey: Ashen must find and dispatch the dreaded Mother Ice Dragon who, if roused, would do far more damage than the Great Foulness. Meanwhile, back at the palace, intrigues are afoot. The formidable matriarch, the Dowager Queen Ysa, returns to her meddlesome ways, and Gaurin accepts a new family member into his household, a half-brother who might not be who he seems. The story continues along predictable lines with the requisite happy outcome, though Norton and Miller leave room for another installment. The plot is tepid and the characters rather simplistic, but the story is an amusing and easy read.


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

Many thanks to Patricia Gaderborg, who first thought of the Dragon Blade,
and was gracious enough to provide a sketch of it.


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
  • (2017) Published by Sasha Miller, DM, no ISBN, $7.95

For information on editions currently available visit the Book Store



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