Dealing with Dragons: No more embroidery!

book review Patricia C. Wrede Enchanted Forest: Dealing with Dragonsfantasy book reviews Patrica C Wrede The Enchanted Forest Chronicles Dealing with DragonsDealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Princess Cimorene is tired of embroidery, etiquette, dancing, and protocol classes. She wants to take Latin, fencing, magic, and cooking lessons instead. But, that’s just “not done.” Princesses are supposed to be beautiful, submissive and, preferably, in distress. They’re supposed to wait for a handsome prince to rescue them.

Not Cimorene. To avoid a betrothal to a handsome and charming (but not particularly bright) prince, she runs away to become housekeeper for a dragon. As a dragon’s princess, Cimorene gets the freedom to cook and clean and to organize libraries and treasure rooms. She also has to fend off persistent knights who come to rescue her, and investigate the actions of a couple of sneaky wizards in The Enchanted Forest.

Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons is a refreshing change from some of the more recent fantasy epics aimed at teenage girls. It’s light, fun, and often hilarious as it pokes fun at several fairy tales and fantasy clichés. The plot moves rapidly and the writing is clear and precise. The dialogue is particularly good.

I’d recommend Dealing With Dragons to children — both boys and girls — and especially to girls who tend to mostly read princess-y fantasies that perpetuate stereotypical gender roles. Most adults will enjoy the book, too, though. I certainly did.

I listened to Dealing With Dragons on audiobook. Listening Library does an excellent job recording this with a full cast of actors; I highly recommend this format.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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  1. I enjoyed this book too. Been trying to keep an eye out for the second book of the series at used book stores.

  2. These books sound like really fun reads. I have read another review of this book and it really does sound like fun. I am going to have to check these out. Thanks for the review!

  3. It was fun, and if you listen to audiobooks, that’s a good format for this one.

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