Wow! What an adventurous book. The prequel to The Blue Sword doesn't seem to need to be a prequel. There is plenty of action and it doesn't even need a sequel. Once you're drawn into the world on Aerin and dragon hunting and royalty and the Gift, you can't seem to get out. Aerin, first sol and dragon hunter, discovered kenet, an herb mixture that, when wearing, you can't be burned by fire. Because of this she thinks she can take on Maur, the black dragon, whose fire can't, she learns, be stopped by kenet. And, to top it off, her evil northerner uncle has the hero's crown which belongs to her kingdom. This is a book you just can't put down.