Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 18, 1990
Series: Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1
Genres: Children's, Dragons, Fantasy, Fiction
Length: 212 pages or 5 hours
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Meet Princess Cimorene--a princess who refustes to be proper. She is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomobyish smart...
So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon. And not just any dragon, but Kazul--one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons arounds. Of course, Cimorene has a way of hooking up with dangerous characters, and soon she's coping with a witch,a a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, a stone prince, and some very oily wizards.
This book is utterly delightful.
Seriously, after the dreary dullness of The Witching Hour, I needed a fun book with dragons and princesses. It doesn’t matter than the novel is intended for middle-grade readers – a fun story is a fun story. Besides, it’s not overly simplified. I think an adult could easily enjoy Dealing with Dragons, as long as they don’t go in expecting something resplendent and deep and meaningful.
Cimorene is a princess who has had quite enough of that, thank you very much. At her wits end, she runs away to the dragons when her parents decide they only thing to be done is to marry her off and be rid of her. Prince after prince tries to rescue her and, annoyed, she sends them all away. After all, she likes it. She’s perfectly happy as Kazul’s princess.
What I loved about this book was that it never ended up with a prince saving a princess. If anything, everyone banded together to do what they needed to do to stop the selfish, greedy, murderous people. I loved watched Cimorene call out the princes and I loved that many things in dragon society aren’t what was traditionally expected. For example, Kazul goes to lengths to explain that King of the Dragons is a job not a title defined by gender. I really liked that.
This is a fun, light little story. It’s a quick read and definitely feels like part of a longer tale, but the characters are delightful and this is one of those lovely stories that defies the traditional fairytale tropes. Those stories are some of my favorites, and it’s a quick one-sitting read.