Aerin is an outcast in her own father’s court, the daughter of the foreign woman who, it was rumored, was a witch, and enchanted the king to marry her.
She makes friends with her father’s lame, retired warhorse, Talat, and discovers an old, overlooked, and dangerously imprecise recipe for dragon-fire-proof ointment in a dusty corner of her father’s library. Two years and many burnt twigs (and a few fingers) later, Aerin is present when someone comes from an outlying village to report a marauding dragon to the king. Aerin slips off alone to fetch her horse, her sword, and her fireproof ointment…
But modern dragons, while formidable opponents fully capable of killing a human being, are small and accounted vermin. There is no honor in killing dragons. The great dragons are a tale out of ancient history. That is, until the day that the king is riding out at the head of an army. A weary man on an exhausted horse staggers into the courtyard where the king’s troop is assembled to announce that Maur, the Black Dragon, has awakened.
On November 18th, Robin McKinley’s Newbery Medal-winning novel The Hero and the Crown will be available for the first time as an ebook from Open Road Media.