Miss Percy’s isn’t usually the type of book I read. That said, I found the book to be good deviation from the norm for me. It was a calmer read compared to my go-to pick of monsters, mayhem, and non-stop action and magic, of which Miss Percy‘s certainly is not.
Instead of relying on battle and magic, the story is instead carried by the incredibly well-written and intriguing character voice of the protagonist, Mildred. We’re brought along for the ride as she navigates a life that quickly goes from lopsided to upside down over the course of the months that span in the novel.
All, of course, from the egg that’s discovered and hatched without her knowing until the baby dragon is already on the way…
One of the things I really liked about this book is how Mildred is not your typical protagonist at all. She’s a middle-aged woman who cowers beneath the shadow of her emotionally abusive younger sister. In other words, she’s the exact opposite of the often physically strong, sassy, young heroines that we get in a lot of fantasy these days.
She’s smart (but not brilliant), brave (but not brave enough to face her sister), has adventurous dreams (but never quite thought she was good enough to reach for them, partially because of the beforementioned sister). Mildred is a character I really found myself rooting for in her fight to overcome not just the physical cirumstances she found herself in but also the mental barriers she had placed upon herself. Over the length of the book, she grows much more into a woman capable of the wild adventures I wanted her to experience.
Most importantly, perhaps, is that she overcomes her sister.
Before the book begins, Mildred, as it goes, stayed at home to take care of her sick father while her younger sister, Diana, pursued her dream of getting married. When their father died, Mildred moved in with Diana because she was not yet married nor particularly had any prospects of becoming so. And that was where she stayed for 17 or so odd years.
That is more than enough time for an emotionally abusive family member to get under your skin, to change your value of self-worth from what it should be and into something easier to control instead. See, rather than supporting Mildred pursue a fulfilling life of her own, Diana used Mildred as a platform to buoy her own sense of control and self-worth. If something was wrong, it was Mildred’s fault.
If Mildred wanted to do something, she couldn’t (because what would Diana think? What about Diana’s children?).
I found Mildred’s journey of rediscovering the self, with the help of a certain unlikely vicar and a young dragon quite enjoyable indeed.
Though Fitz, the baby dragon, did not get quite as much page time as I would have liked, he was quite present in the last half of the book with the claws and fiery breath to match his attitude. Through the unusual circumstances of their introduction, Fitz and Mildred develop a kinship where together, they have no choice but to fight for the freedoms owed to them by other people who would otherwise continue to stifle them.
If you enjoy regency novels or historical fiction with lighter fantasy elements, I highly recommend giving Miss Percy’s a peek!