Aerin has never felt complete at home among her fellow dark-colored Damarians. Fair-skinned and redheaded, Aerin prefers riding with her father's discharged war horse Talat instead of attending balls. People whisper about her being a "witchwoman's daughter," a reference to how her mother, a poor Northerner, supposedly enchanted Aerin's father the king and had a child with him, then died when she found out her child was a girl. Despite that, Aerin has no magical abilities, unlike all other members of the royal family, another reason why she thinks she does not belong.
One day, Aerin discovers an old recipe for an ointment that could keep the wearer safe from dragonfire. This starts her off on an incredible, legendary journey, where she fights one of the greatest dragons of all time and an evil sorcerer. Could it be that she really isn't as awkward and unmagical as she thinks she is?
Robin McKinley has written a splendid book, with breathtaking action sequences and touchingly romantic moments. Every kind of reader will find something he or she likes in this book that is every bit as legendary as its heroine.