Title: Dealing With Dragons [Enchanted Forest Chronicles 1]
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Genre: Middle-Grade, Children’s, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
Take one bored princess. Maker her the seventh daughter in a very proper royal family. Have her run away.
Add one powerful, fascinating, dangerous dragon.
Princess Cimorene has never met anyone (or anything) like the dragon Kazul. But then, she’s never met a witch, a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, or a stone prince either.
Princess Cimorene ran away to find some excitement.
She’s found plenty.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I’ve done something I haven’t done in a very long time. I read a middle-grade book. More importantly: I thoroughly enjoyed a middle-grade book. I first stumbled upon this series about 18 years ago, when I was 12. It was one of the first fantasy books I ever picked up in middle-school, and it left enough of an impression that many years later, as an adult, I was willing to pick it back up. Surprisingly, I had loved the book so much all those years ago, that I still remembered almost the entire plot.
Dealing with Dragons at it’s heart is a story about the Princess Cimorene. She’s the youngest of seven daughters, and the only one who detests being a princess. She’d like nothing more than to do something exciting with her life—and she tries. She takes fencing lessons, cooking lessons, even learns foreign languages for fun, but her plans are always put to a stop by her over-bearing parents, and when they start to arrange her marriage for her, she decides enough is enough. Cimorene runs away and throws everything to the wind, giving up her life of riches and nobility to become a dragon’s maid.
What ensues is a hilarious romp through Middle-grade fantasy with an empowered princess who isn’t going to let anyone tell her what to do with her life anymore. In the process she makes friends like the dragon Kazul, Alianora the neighboring captured princess, a stone prince, and Morwen the witch. She fights a dastardly wizard, fends off enamored knights and princes intent on “rescuing her”, and has the adventure of her life.
This book is a hilarious twist on your usual fairytale, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone—children and adults alike. Get the entire box set, you won’t regret it. I’d personally recommend it for anyone 3rd grade and up.