Cimorene is a princess, but she’s anything but proper. She’s sick of embroidery, fairy godmothers, and that infernal thing known as “tradition.” So when she has the chance to run away and become a dragon’s princess—a respectable situation for a princess, if not the traditional way of ending up there—she takes it.
Living with dragons, turns out, is often just as strange, and much more dangerous, than being a princess. It’s irritating enough dealing with the knights who insist on “rescuing” her, but there’s a bigger problem brewing as well: wizards. Soon it falls to Cimorene and her friends to foil the wizards’ plot and avoid an all-out war.
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is comprised of four novels: Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons. They were written in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s by author Patricia C. Wrede, and were my first real brush with the fantasy genre (back in early high school).
Cimorene is a great character, someone with whom I can easily picture being fast friends. I can’t help but appreciate her courage; she dislikes the way her life is heading, so she takes the reins from her parents and tradition and makes her own path. And she does it with intelligence, wit, kindness, and strength.
Also, there are dragons. Lots of them. And they’re awesome.
Dealing with Dragons focuses mostly on building the general world, establishing norms, and introducing characters and a story arc that spans the whole series. The other three books are just as fabulous, introducing new places, a possible love interest (gasp!), and some seriously cool plot lines.
Wrede creates an amazing world filled with magic, cool creatures, adept (and some inept) bad guys, and great characters. The whole series is a great read.
Did I mention there are dragons?