REVIEW: “Daughter of Kings” by Ana Mardoll

Review of Ana Mardoll, “Daughter of Kings”, in No Man of Woman Born (Acacia Moon Publishing, 2018): 74-103 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

Content note: Misgendering, parental bigotry, mention of parental death.

Long ago when dragons roamed the lands, Ásdís and her golden sword united the clans and brought peace to the land and became queen. But peace did not last long, as her three sons fell to quarreling and war, and when Ásdís died she sheathed the golden sword in a stone and a wand-witch prophesied that one day a daughter of Ásdís’s line would draw the sword and bring peace again to the land.

Oh, how I loved this story too. It has elements of a fairy tale — dragons, witches, enchanted swords, prophesies — but the characters that inhabit the story are not the flat charicatures of fairy tales, they are real and living and breathing, giving the story more the quality of myth than of fairy tale.

There are far too few stories with truly happy endings, but the story of Finndís, king’s daughter and queen’s granddaughter, and how she came into the birthright that had been prophesied two generations earlier made me cry with gladness.

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