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Dealing with Dragons PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Dealing with Dragons
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Publisher: Published November 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1990)
ISBN: 9780152045661
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

150739.Dealing_with_Dragons.pdf

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Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart - and bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon - and finds the family and excitement she's been looking for. Cover illustrator: Peter de Sève

30 review for Dealing with Dragons

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    "He doesn't seem very impressed," Cimorene commented in some amusement. "Why should he be?" Kazul said. "Well, you're a dragon," Cimorene answered, a little taken aback. "What difference does that make to a cat?" Before Harry Potter, there was Princess Cimorene, a dragon named Kazul, and the Enchanted Forest. I am no longer a 11-year old girl. I am a grown-ass woman, and I still love this book as much as I did the first time I read it. Share this book with your sisters, your daughters, your nieces. "He doesn't seem very impressed," Cimorene commented in some amusement. "Why should he be?" Kazul said. "Well, you're a dragon," Cimorene answered, a little taken aback. "What difference does that make to a cat?" Before Harry Potter, there was Princess Cimorene, a dragon named Kazul, and the Enchanted Forest. I am no longer a 11-year old girl. I am a grown-ass woman, and I still love this book as much as I did the first time I read it. Share this book with your sisters, your daughters, your nieces. This is a wonderful book for a young girl, it sends so many positive messages. You don't have to be what people want you to be. You do not have to fit into the mold. You can be brave, headstrong, smart, without being stubborn, without being mean. There is no romance. There is a Prince Charming who, frankly, bores the living crap out of our intrepid young Princess Cimorene. You do not need a Prince Charming to make your own Happily Ever After. You can be in charge of your own destiny. This book grew with me through my childhood, and it remains with me as an adult. Some books I've read have made me think. Some books have made me cry. There is nothing so complex, so complicated about this little book; it just makes me happy. Summary: Princess Cimorene is a princess of the very pleasant kingdom of Linderwall. It's pretty, it's quite ordinary. There isn't much magic, thankfully, not too many evil stepmothers or witches, not too many dragon abductions, etc. All in all, Linderwall was a very prosperous and pleasant place. Cimorene hated it. Her older sister are all lovely and ladylike, each more beautiful than the last. Cimorene is not. She's too tall. Her hair is frizzy and brown. She's stubborn (on a good day). And she just won't stop learning inappropriate things. Magical lessons. Fencing. Fighting. Latin. All lessons that her disgruntled parents abruptly put a stop to once they find out, cause it just ain't proper for a princess, yo. And her fairy godmother is as useful as brains on a Kardashian. Cimorene puts up with it as best as she can, until the day her parents send her off to visit the very handsome, golden haired, blue-eyed, Ken doll of a Prince. Unfortunately, he's got nothing in between his ears, and when Cimorene finds out that her parents intend to make her MARRY the creature, well, that does it. She takes the advice of a magical frog, packs some useful and practical things, and runs away from home. Unfortunately, or fortunately, as it may be, the audience that the frog sends her to seek happens to be dragons. Very curious ones. Who might want to eat her (but they'd rather not...humans are so stringy). Using her wits, Cimorene talks her way into being a dragon's princess. Kazul is the awesome dragon, who agrees to take her on. Contrary to popular beliefs, not every dragon wants a princess. "It has to do with status. Dragons aren't required to have princesses, you see. Most of us don't. There are never enough to go around, and some of us prefer not to have to deal with the annoyances that come with them." "Knights," Cimorene guessed. "Among other things," Kazul said, nodding. "So having a princess in residence has become a minor mark of high status among dragons." "A minor mark?" Kazul smiled. "I'm afraid so. It's the equivalent of, oh, serving expensive imported fruit at dinner. It's a nice way of showing everyone how rich you are, but you could make just as big an impression by having some of those fancy pastries with the smooth glazed icing and spun-sugar roses." Fortunately, thanks to her education, she is as well-equipped to cataloguing draconian libraries as well as she is whipping up an excellent dessert (Cimorene specializes in making cherries jubilee). Instead of being princessy and spending her days embroidering and doing stupid shit like that, Cimorene now spends her days cleaning out the dragon treasure troves, cataloguing (and polishing) old dragon treasures (some of them magical!). Along the way, she has to deal with the constant stream of idiotic Knights and Princes who want to rescue her (does anyone bother asking Cimorene if she wants to be rescued? No.), entertaining some other fluffy-headed fellow princesses "I'm Cimorene," Cimorene said. "I don't need comforting, and I'm not particularly sad or sorry to be here, but if you'd like to come in and have some tea, you're welcome to." The first two princesses looked as if they would have liked to be startled and appalled by this announcement but were much too well bred to show what they were feeling. ...among whom she unexpectedly finds a good friend, and dealing with, among other things, a jinn, a killer bird, a witch with many cats (or more appropriately, cats and their witch), and some wascally wizards. There is magic. There is mystery. There is a potential threat to the dragons for whom Cimorene has come to care deeply. The Setting, the Plot, All That Good Stuff: This is a very short book, and there is not a single dull moment. There is not a lot of introspection, but there is an exceeding display of Cimorene's competency. She is a person of action, and she fills the book with her energy. The book is driven by Cimorene's initiative, and she is always on the move, be it finding a fire-proofing spell in an ancient spellbook, or outwitting some poor Prince Charming's misguided attempt to rescue her, to fooling some nefarious wizards who think she is a typical princess. The setting is magical, but it is not exceedingly detailed, just enough to build up the imagination. The Main Character: Cimorene and her dragon are the stars of this book, and they make me love it. I recommended this book for young readers, and it is just so darned appropriate for an impressionable young woman. She is an awesome main character. She is book-smart, and she is not perfect. She is a librarian at heart, a researcher who relies on her skills in research and her thirst for knowledge rather than outright brilliance. Cimorene is relatable and reliable, smart, witty, absolutely pragmatic and practical without ever becoming bitchy and annoying in the least. And however resourceful Cimorene is, she knows when to call for help when she needs it. Every young girl should have a copy of this book (and this series).

  2. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    The scholarly princcesses, the very sensible dragons and irritating princes... What else can a girl want? Q: There was a great deal of etiquette, from the proper way to curtsy before a visiting prince to how loudly it was permissible to scream when being carried off by a giant... When she couldn't stand it any longer, she would go down to the castle armory and bully the armsmaster into giving her a fencing lesson. Q: "Well, I fence… So it is too done by a princess." Q: Nothing interesting seems to be The scholarly princcesses, the very sensible dragons and irritating princes... What else can a girl want? Q: There was a great deal of etiquette, from the proper way to curtsy before a visiting prince to how loudly it was permissible to scream when being carried off by a giant... When she couldn't stand it any longer, she would go down to the castle armory and bully the armsmaster into giving her a fencing lesson. Q: "Well, I fence… So it is too done by a princess." Q: Nothing interesting seems to be proper… Q: And that was the end of the magic lessons. The same thing happened over the Latin lessons from the court philosopher, the cooking lessons from the castle chef, the economics lessons from the court treasurer, and the juggling lessons from the court minstrel. (c) Q: Nowadays, all the princes are talking birds, or dogs, or hedgehogs. (c) Q: Nine times out of ten, talking is a way of avoiding doing Q: "Dragons are… are fond of princesses, aren't they?" "Very," said the dragon, and smiled. Q: "Being a dragon's princess is a perfectly respectable thing to do, so my parents couldn't complain. Q: "Well, I'm not a proper princess, then," Cimorene snapped. "I make cherries jubilee, and I volunteer for dragons, and I conjugate Latin verbs-or at least I would if anyone would let me. So there!" Q: She had always been more interested in what the knights and dragons were supposed to say than in memorizing the places where she was supposed to scream. Q: "The fencing lessons were just the beginning," Cimorene assured him. "So you see why I'm perfectly happy being a dragon's princess." Q: "But what does a dragon want with a crepe pan?" Q: There were two knights the following day, and four more the day after that. On the fourth day there was only one, but he was exceptionally stubborn… Q: "Aren't you a little slow?" she asked irritably. "There've been eight knights here before you." "Eight?" the prince said, frowning. "I thought by now there'd have been at least twelve. Perhaps I'd better come back later." Q: I didn't come here to argue… I came to meet the person who keeps borrowing my crepe pan. (c) Q: "I was going to say that it isn't wise to run away from your dragon… I believe it's done all the time." (c) Q: it was best to be polite to anyone as large and toothy as a dragon, even if he wasn't being at all polite to her. Q: … a flood a few years later. Some hero or other shoved a giant into a lake to drown him. The silly clunch didn't realize that if he put something that big into a lake, the water would have to go somewhere. (с) Q: "It's not that easy to get into the Enchanted Forest," she explained. "At least, not if you're trying to get in. Princes and youngest sons and particularly clever tailors stumble into it by accident all the time… (c) Q: Very few things are willing to mess with a dragon, even in the dark. (c) Q: "Well, you're a dragon," ... "What difference does that make to a cat?" (c) Q: "Will wonders never cease. For once a human with sense is getting the forfeit. Yes, you can take someone with you, as long as you're touching him. Same for objects; if you can carry it , you can take it with you. You get one trip per feather. That's all." (c) Q: She pored over the book all evening, and Cimorene found it fascinating to watch the dragon delicately turning pages with her claws. (c) Q: "You. Dragons. Us. That looks interesting. Can I help?" … Maybe opening jars would make him forget about You. Dragons. Us, for a while. (c) Q: "Do you suppose he means it?" ... "Why would he keep bellowing it at us if he didn't mean it?" (c) Q: "What he is matters not," ... "It is enough that thou and he shall die." "Enough for whom?" (c) Q: I never thought of that." "Well, start thinking now," (с) Q: "But what do I do if someone comes in?" "Duck into the banquet area… And if someone comes in there, too, curl up in the corner and pretend you're a rock." (c) Q: In her experience, someone in a good mood did not throw things at visitors. (c)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Iryna (Book and Sword)

    4.5/5 stars This is my 4th time reading this. Still good. I did dock half a star down because second book is better than the first - still, the whole series are amazing, even if I am well out of reading age for these books I enjoy them immensely. After I got finished with the book, my first thought was: -why haven't they made a movie out of this yet? And then I thought -what if the casting is wrong, what if they don't follow the book, what if cgi is cheap? Oh, the horrors! So now I am actually hap 4.5/5 stars This is my 4th time reading this. Still good. I did dock half a star down because second book is better than the first - still, the whole series are amazing, even if I am well out of reading age for these books I enjoy them immensely. After I got finished with the book, my first thought was: -why haven't they made a movie out of this yet? And then I thought -what if the casting is wrong, what if they don't follow the book, what if cgi is cheap? Oh, the horrors! So now I am actually happy that they haven't, no need to ruin THE BEST MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY EVER! Can you tell that I am a fan? To not make this review too long (as I would like to review the whole series on my blog sometime) I will just say that Cimorene is the best female character ever invented. Girls, if you need a hero, look no further. This book was first published in 1990 and since then there were many great female role models, but comparing to Cimorene, they all are trying a little too hard. If you are looking for a great easy fantasy book that includes princesses, dragons and magic (without being cookie-cutter) look no further. Read this book, and then make your daughter read it. Because the world needs more Cimorenes. My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    If you think you know what a princess story is, think again. There's a magic to this series I haven't experienced since reading Harry Potter. It's one of the most playful books I've ever read, constantly making jokes out of well-known tropes and famous fairy tales. Plus it's a mystery in which the prime suspects are a dragon with bad wizard allergies and a prince made of stone. The entire universe is as quirky as the suspects and although there's some plot holes and a lot of things that seem to h If you think you know what a princess story is, think again. There's a magic to this series I haven't experienced since reading Harry Potter. It's one of the most playful books I've ever read, constantly making jokes out of well-known tropes and famous fairy tales. Plus it's a mystery in which the prime suspects are a dragon with bad wizard allergies and a prince made of stone. The entire universe is as quirky as the suspects and although there's some plot holes and a lot of things that seem to happen for no reason, like J.K. Rowling, Patricia C Wrede has the narrative authority to somehow pull it off. But best of all is the main character, Cimorene. She's a princess that's had it with the pampered life and runs off to do some dirty work and be a servant to a dragon. And although princes try to rescue her left and right, she doesn't want to be a damsel in distress. She proves she's more than that when she unravels a mystery and saves the dragons from their conniving foes in the nick of time. The way the author constantly plays with this theme of transcending societal expectations is freaking awesome. I think anyone who dreams big but is still a kid at heart would find this insanely enjoyable. I know I sure did.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    This is the first book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. My daughter read them when she was at the point where reading changes from being work to being fun. So it was one of the first "serious" books (> 100 pages and no pictures) that she read on her own for pleasure. First my wife read the series aloud to her. Then she read them all to herself. Then she read this book out loud to me. The story is told from the point of view of Princess Cimorene. She's a curious, intelligent girl who hates t This is the first book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. My daughter read them when she was at the point where reading changes from being work to being fun. So it was one of the first "serious" books (> 100 pages and no pictures) that she read on her own for pleasure. First my wife read the series aloud to her. Then she read them all to herself. Then she read this book out loud to me. The story is told from the point of view of Princess Cimorene. She's a curious, intelligent girl who hates the stereotyped role she's expected to play as a princess---she has to learn to needlepoint and dance, but isn't allowed to cook or fence or learn magic. Finally, she runs away and winds up getting captured by a dragon, Kazul. Unlike other captured princesses, who lament their situation and wait to be rescued by young knights they can then marry, Cimorene befriends her dragon and refuses to be rescued. The plot thickens when some oily wizards show up... The character of Cimorene is engaging. She is spunky and has a sarcastic wit that makes my daughter laugh. I liked her almost from page one and was quickly sucked into the story. The plot has some interesting twists, but there is never a sense of real peril. From the beginning it's pretty clear who's good and who's bad, and that it will all work out in the end. These characteristics all appeal to my (then) 8 year old daughter. She also loves the humor and has adopted a similar style in some of her creative writing projects. The writing is clearly targeted at younger (pre-teen) readers, but this is a fun story that many older readers will enjoy, too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bobby

    I would place this book somewhere between The Ordinary Princess and the Harry Potter series in terms of complexity of plot, age appropriateness and the amount of fun I had reading it. I really enjoyed reading this book and likely would have given it 5 stars if I had read it at a younger age (say at the age of 8 years or so). As it is, after Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, it's hard to give this book 5 stars. Having said that, this is a very interesting story of a Princess who detests traditi I would place this book somewhere between The Ordinary Princess and the Harry Potter series in terms of complexity of plot, age appropriateness and the amount of fun I had reading it. I really enjoyed reading this book and likely would have given it 5 stars if I had read it at a younger age (say at the age of 8 years or so). As it is, after Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, it's hard to give this book 5 stars. Having said that, this is a very interesting story of a Princess who detests traditional princessy stuff and decides to volunteer to work/cook/clean for a dragon. Throw in the requisite witches and wizards and an underlying conspiracy and you end up with this very enjoyable book. A great present for young girls (and boys).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sanaa

    [5.0 Stars] Re-Read 2016 I adore this book. I always will! It was one of my favorites series growing up and still is to this day! I implore you all to check it out!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is my happy book. I read it when I was in middle school and I love it because its not your average fairy tale. Yes you have princess's and prince's and yes you have dragons and wizards and magic but it's not exactly like the common tale of where the prince slays the dragon with the wizard to help him act clever to save the damsel in distress and or princess. No no it's more of the princess becomes friends with a dragon and when a prince comes and saves her she tells them to go away. Sick and This is my happy book. I read it when I was in middle school and I love it because its not your average fairy tale. Yes you have princess's and prince's and yes you have dragons and wizards and magic but it's not exactly like the common tale of where the prince slays the dragon with the wizard to help him act clever to save the damsel in distress and or princess. No no it's more of the princess becomes friends with a dragon and when a prince comes and saves her she tells them to go away. Sick and tired of hearing about the heroic charming prince. Then read this book. Plus its an easy read and be prepared for full of smiles and laughs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I picked up this book after seeing it featured in A Mighty Girl's excellent list of kick-ass Princess books, and thought it might make a good Christmas gift for a fantasy-loving little sister. Of course I had to read it first, the way you have to taste the cookie dough, to make sure it's just right. And of course, Little Sister caught me at it. "What's that?" "A book I'm reading." She executes a perfect pre-teen exasperated sigh-and-eye-roll. "I KNOW it's a book. What's it about?" I decide to test I picked up this book after seeing it featured in A Mighty Girl's excellent list of kick-ass Princess books, and thought it might make a good Christmas gift for a fantasy-loving little sister. Of course I had to read it first, the way you have to taste the cookie dough, to make sure it's just right. And of course, Little Sister caught me at it. "What's that?" "A book I'm reading." She executes a perfect pre-teen exasperated sigh-and-eye-roll. "I KNOW it's a book. What's it about?" I decide to test the waters. "It's about a princess who doesn't like being a princess--all she does is sit around wearing crowns and embroidering, and she thinks it's boring. So she runs away to live with a dragon. She has to trick the knights and princes who try to come rescue her, because they don't realize she doesn't need to be rescued." Her eyes light up. "Cool." She pronounces it like the kids do these days, as if it were spelled "kewl." And after finishing the book, I have to agree with that assessment. This is a snappy, fast-paced adventure, packed full of both action and wit, and humorously subverts fairy-tale tropes at every turn. The writing is crisp and clear, the story well-plotted and not too predictable (I guessed certain elements were going to be important later, but not exactly how they would come into play.) The heroine is an absolute delight: a strong-minded, sensible person who Gets Things Done and doesn't give a fig whether it's the respectable thing for a Princess to do. I was reminded more than once of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30)), another of my favorite fantasy Mighty Girls. In fact, this book is full of great female characters--from Cimorene's fellow princess, to the neighboring witch who lends her soufflé dishes and spells, to the Dragon Kazul herself. I love the dragons' egalitarian take on government: either a male or female dragon can be chosen as Dragon King. (They have a Queen too, who also is chosen regardless of gender, but nobody cares to be Queen much.) Positions of authority (like the privilege of being a dragon at all, it seems) are chosen entirely on merit, not social status; and Kazul wisely extends that judgment-based-on-merit system to her Princess as well. As the kids say, cool. I could go on about all the other reasons this book is wonderful, but I believe I'll just finish my story, as it speaks pretty well for itself: When I set the book down and left the room for a minute, I came back to find that Little Sister had hijacked my seat and belongings. She sat brazenly wearing my coat, my knit hat flopping over her ears--and her nose buried in my book. She'd already reached the second chapter. Her laughing protests at being ousted became sincere when I teasingly-but-firmly pried the book from her fingers. "But I need to know what happens next!" Sorry, Sis, you'll have to wait 'til Christmas. ** Update 12/26/14 She loved it. Upon tearing open the wrapping and seeing it, Sis actually shouted "I LOVE this book!" (despite having only read the first chapter and a bit) and wanted to sit down and read it then and there. I don't know where she gets it from.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tanis

    I found this book at the library and I was so excited because I read it a couple of times when I was younger, in 4th or 5th grade I think. So it's a kid's book but it is so much fun. Great fantasy and tons of humor. You can't help but laugh, at least I couldn't! Funny story related to this book. Back when I first read this, when I was younger, like I said, I had a friend my age who also read it. Well, she and I happened to have some little plastic toy dragons and wizards and we'd use them to act I found this book at the library and I was so excited because I read it a couple of times when I was younger, in 4th or 5th grade I think. So it's a kid's book but it is so much fun. Great fantasy and tons of humor. You can't help but laugh, at least I couldn't! Funny story related to this book. Back when I first read this, when I was younger, like I said, I had a friend my age who also read it. Well, she and I happened to have some little plastic toy dragons and wizards and we'd use them to act out this book. We gave them all the right names and our biggest dragon was Kazul. I believe we had to improvise on the princesses... we might have used a Barbie doll for Cimorene... but it was such a kick. Great book! I'll have to try and track down the rest of the series!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Ejaz

    How will you describe a book which entertains you in every chapter? Well, this will be my first review about that kind of book. MY FEELINGS FOR THIS BOOK Before Reading This Book: I was unaware of dragons, wizards, witches, giants and jinns (I think I am still unaware of giants and jinns but not anymore after reading the whole series) So, it's obvious I didn't know how they look like Or what are their abilities? After Reading This Book: I thought "I chose to read books and I didn't even know any m How will you describe a book which entertains you in every chapter? Well, this will be my first review about that kind of book. MY FEELINGS FOR THIS BOOK Before Reading This Book: I was unaware of dragons, wizards, witches, giants and jinns (I think I am still unaware of giants and jinns but not anymore after reading the whole series) So, it's obvious I didn't know how they look like Or what are their abilities? After Reading This Book: I thought "I chose to read books and I didn't even know any magical creature. What could be more worse than that?" **Be Alert! Don't open any spoiler if you are looking forward to read this book OR you don't want any revelation!** MAJOR CHARACTERS Princess Cimorene Bio: --She is the princess of Linderwall (best kingdom in the story). She doesn't like any thing which can make her a perfect princess, I mean she doesn't want a life like princess. She likes the things which she finds interesting like: fencing, latin, magic etc. My feelings: --Even if I would use all the best adjectives, I couldn't be able to describe how much I liked this character. She was very different from every protagonist I have ever read. But in a good way. I have one issue with this character: (view spoiler)[ She began to live with dragons and she didn't even miss her family. That didn't sound natural to me (hide spoiler)] Kazul Bio: --This character is a dragon. My feelings: --I liked this character almost as much as I liked Cimorene. I liked its name very much. (view spoiler)[ I was expecting Kazul to be a male but Kazul was a female. Nevertheless, it didn't matter for me when I was used to of this. (hide spoiler)] Zemenar Bio: --He is a wizard. He is also the head of Society Of Wizards and the antagonist of this book. My feelings: --WOW WOW WOW! I liked him but most importantly; I liked his dialogues. He is written as a very clever as well as an evil-minded wizard and I like clever + evil-minded characters in books. Princess Alianora --Bio She is also a princess of some kingdom (I doesn't feel necessary to mention which kingdom because that doesn't matter for me. If you want to know just tell me I will mention that.) and a close friend of Cimorene. --My feelings She was very good for me to read. I liked her because of her hilarious + sad backgound story. OVERVIEW This book revolves around Cimorene. She doesn't want to marry a prince who her parents choose for her. One day, she meets a frog by chance [I have some issues with the frog (see Unsatisfied Things)]. The frog suggests her to escape from here to the new place. She meets dragons in the new place (Which is the place where only dragons live). In that place, Kazul volunteers Cimorene to do Kazul's works. As the time passes, They realize that wizards are trying to make trubble in the dragon's place. They find out and fix that trubble. I am afraid I will not give you even a hint of the "trubble" because that is the main focus of the story. THINGS I LIKED The Story I liked this very much. This was very interesting and gripping for me. I didn't feel any unnecessay elements which could make this book slow. This book has a very decent pace. Characters As I mentioned above: I adore them. Writing Style & Dialogues = Awesome! In short, I liked every thing of this book. A RANDOM FACT I WANTED TO MENTION When I was reading this book, I felt some references of stories which I heard in my childhood. I didn't feel they were same but I felt that there was something changed in every story reference. But in good and funny way. I liked that. According to the facts I mentioned above, I would like to give: ***5 Wonderful Stars*** RECOMMENDATION This book will be perfect for dragons and magic lovers. I highly recommend this book to children of age above 10. I hope you like my review, if you don't then please point out my mistakes. I would be happy to see that! Thanks for your attention!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    This is a truly charming middle-grade/children's fantasy book which really captivated me, and which (even though I am 21 when first reading it) I loved. The story follows a very wilful, strong female Princess who doesn't like the silly troupes of being a Princess to which everyone else around her conforms. Princess Cimorene decides that she wants to learn to Fence, and when she's told this is un-lady-like and most definitely un-princess-like she decides to try something else equally as un-prince This is a truly charming middle-grade/children's fantasy book which really captivated me, and which (even though I am 21 when first reading it) I loved. The story follows a very wilful, strong female Princess who doesn't like the silly troupes of being a Princess to which everyone else around her conforms. Princess Cimorene decides that she wants to learn to Fence, and when she's told this is un-lady-like and most definitely un-princess-like she decides to try something else equally as un-princess-like. As her parents chide her and she rebels, she soon realises that living in harmony with them isn't going to be possible much longer so she runs away and finds some Dragons to live with... What I love about this is that it definitely subverts many of the naive, silly Princess troupes we see a lot of in fantasy. The main character of this book is a role model for young girls, not someone waiting for her Prince to come save her, but someone who goes out and gets what she needs/wants for herself and along the way makes herself not only useful, but invaluable to those around her. Cimorene and her Dragon have a lovely relationship, and as the book goes on we see Cimorene develop as a character and an adventurer. The story is certainly one where I feel like many young girls would love to read it, and would be inspired and excited by the heroine they met. Overall, this is a light, quick but very wonderful read and it's the start to a series I certainly want to carry on with very soon. I am very grateful that Giselle recommended it to me, and I can't wait to see how the series shapes up in future. 4*s overall.

  13. 4 out of 5

    JM

    YA comic fantasy. Cimorene is not a proper princess. She learns fencing, cooking and magic, and when she discovers her proposed marriage, she runs away to offer herself to a dragon. She's been told that they like to keep princesses, and she thinks that this is one princessly thing that she could possibly do. This was charming, but light on substance. It may have been more original when it was written, but it feels derivative now. Also, I was annoyed that the only way that Cimorene could do anythi YA comic fantasy. Cimorene is not a proper princess. She learns fencing, cooking and magic, and when she discovers her proposed marriage, she runs away to offer herself to a dragon. She's been told that they like to keep princesses, and she thinks that this is one princessly thing that she could possibly do. This was charming, but light on substance. It may have been more original when it was written, but it feels derivative now. Also, I was annoyed that the only way that Cimorene could do anything awesome was to break out of the fairy tale role. Fairy tale maidens do awesome things all the time. They climb mountains of glass and fall down wells into alternate kingdoms and push witches into ovens and endure silence for seven years; they're not vapid creatures who do what's expected of them. Basically, I enjoyed this book, but in a mild way. I'm currently sort of reading the sequel, but not in a very dedicated fashion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    This book was simply delightful, with enchanting characters of different kinds and lots of good witty humor, hinting to many classic fairy tales, but with twisted meanings. Here's a little example: “The rest of my classmates are already making names for themselves. George started killing dragons right away, and Art went straight home and pulled some sort of magic sword out of a rock. Even the ones nobody expected to amount to much have done something. All Jack wanted to do was go back to his mo This book was simply delightful, with enchanting characters of different kinds and lots of good witty humor, hinting to many classic fairy tales, but with twisted meanings. Here's a little example: “The rest of my classmates are already making names for themselves. George started killing dragons right away, and Art went straight home and pulled some sort of magic sword out of a rock. Even the ones nobody expected to amount to much have done something. All Jack wanted to do was go back to his mother’s farm and raise beans, and he ended up stealing a magic harp and killing a giant and all sorts of things. I’m the only one who hasn’t succeeded.” I think this book can be even more enjoyable for adults than for kids, I totally recommend it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miss M

    I'm re-reading this fantastic series that I fell in love when I was a kid. It's a great story about a princess who thinks being a princess is incredibly boring. Etiquette and dancing lessons all day? She would much rather learn fencing or magic, thank you very much! But that just isn't done. So she runs away and volunteers to become a dragon's princess (A vocation which is usually only acquired when one is captured by a dragon). This book has a great female protagonist, lots of humor, and puts a I'm re-reading this fantastic series that I fell in love when I was a kid. It's a great story about a princess who thinks being a princess is incredibly boring. Etiquette and dancing lessons all day? She would much rather learn fencing or magic, thank you very much! But that just isn't done. So she runs away and volunteers to become a dragon's princess (A vocation which is usually only acquired when one is captured by a dragon). This book has a great female protagonist, lots of humor, and puts a definite spin on traditional fairy tales.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lau

    Hacen falta más princesas como Cimorene. Además de que sea un libro divertidísimo, original, lleno de humor inocente y bastante irreverente con los cuentos de hadas, Cimorene es realmente mi tipo de princesa. Basta de damicelas débiles que esperan ser rescatadas. Ella, harta de la aburridísima vida de palacio y clases de bordado, siguiendo el "consejo" de un sapo que habla, decide escaparse e irse a vivir con un grupo de dragones. Cimorene no es sumisa, ni recatada... ni rubia. Es la única de tod Hacen falta más princesas como Cimorene. Además de que sea un libro divertidísimo, original, lleno de humor inocente y bastante irreverente con los cuentos de hadas, Cimorene es realmente mi tipo de princesa. Basta de damicelas débiles que esperan ser rescatadas. Ella, harta de la aburridísima vida de palacio y clases de bordado, siguiendo el "consejo" de un sapo que habla, decide escaparse e irse a vivir con un grupo de dragones. Cimorene no es sumisa, ni recatada... ni rubia. Es la única de todas sus hermanas con cabello negro, y en lugar de atender obedientemente a las clases de bordado, baile y protocolo, se las fue ingeniando (por un tiempito, hasta que la descubrían) para tomar clases de esgrima, magia, latín y repostería. Todo lo que a Cimorene le gusta es considerado altamente impropio, expresión que se verá muchísimo y que me hizo reir cada vez que alguna otra princesa la decía. "Bueno, em, si tu eres la Princesa Cimorene, he venido a rescatarte del dragón", dijo el caballero. Cimorene apoyó la punta del espadón en el suelo y se inclinó sobre él como si fuera un bastón. "Pensé que podría ser eso", dijo ella. "Pero prefiero no ser rescatada. Gracias de todos modos" Pese a lo que creí en un principio, hay bastante más argumento de lo que se puede suponer. Lo cierto es que el que Cimorene se vaya a a vivir con los dragones es sólo el comienzo. Las verdaderas aventuras comienzan una vez que se vuelve oficialmente la princesa de la dragona Kazul (que es genial y por momentos bastante maternal) y tiene que lidiar con los problemas cotidianos de la vida de los dragones, su amistad con una bruja y los caballeros que insisten en querer rescatarla aunque ella pidió muy claro que la dejen en paz. Hay uno en particular que es mas pesado que vaca a upa... y no mucho más brillante. YOU por Ailah. (No tiene que ver con la historia pero me hizo acordar) El mundo se rige por las leyes y razonamientos de los cuentos de hadas, así que se encuentran muchos elementos conocidos. Pero lo genial es que lo que para otras princesas es un asunto absolutamente serio, la muy práctica Cimorene se lo toma con total ligereza... como por ejemplo convocar a su hada madrina. Ella como protagonista es genial, además de ingeniosa y muy inteligente, no deja que nada la desaliente y siempre se las arregla para tratar de resolver cuanto problema se presente. "Hablando de dragones, ¿dónde está la tuya?" "Kazul no es mi dragona" dijo Cimorene con sequedad. "Yo soy su princesa. Nunca tendrás suerte tratando con dragones si no entiendes bien estas cosas. Se fue al Bosque Encantado en el otro lado de las montañas para pedirle prestada una sartén para crepes a una bruja que conoce." Los diálogos son buenísimos, el texto en general tiene un tono muy inocente-simpático del estilo de El castillo ambulante de Howl. Es de esas historias que se disfrutan siendo chico (altamente recomendado para niñas, basta de meterles la idea de la princesa sosa y debilucha!) y aún más para grandes. Se van a divertir, eso está garantizado. Reseña de Fantasía Mágica

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    This is my second time or third time around with this book, I hadn't read it in years. The first time I read it I was a teenager and enjoyed and as an adult I love it just as much. It is a really fast read, I would highly recommend Dealing with Dragons to anyone who loves fantasy. It has lots of adventure, lots of dragons and a sassy princess who takes her fate into her own hands.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I first read this long enough ago that I remember nothing of it. Listening to an audiobook of it performed by an ensemble cast proved to be highly entertaining, primarily because the voice actress for Cimorene invested her with the can-do wholesomeness of 60s Nancy Drew. The story itself would hold up well for current-day readers - it's a fairytale world where the inhabitants (non-ironically) know their own tropes, and so are aware that the third son is likely to succeed in the quest, and that wa I first read this long enough ago that I remember nothing of it. Listening to an audiobook of it performed by an ensemble cast proved to be highly entertaining, primarily because the voice actress for Cimorene invested her with the can-do wholesomeness of 60s Nancy Drew. The story itself would hold up well for current-day readers - it's a fairytale world where the inhabitants (non-ironically) know their own tropes, and so are aware that the third son is likely to succeed in the quest, and that wandering around woods sharing your loaf of bread with anyone who asks is a way to get yourself a blessing. It's not one of my foundational books, but a good rec for someone looking for a read for fantasy-loving kids.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara Saif

    One word: Perfecto! This was just splendid! I was enchanted from the very first paragraph, I ain’t even kidding. I found myself loving it more and more with every page. It was as lovely as Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle series which I’m very fond of. I’ll devour anything that has the word “Dragon” in it which is why I read it. This time I read the blurb but it doesn’t so much as give a hint as to how wonderful this book really is. It’s set in a world filled with all sorts of fairytale ele One word: Perfecto! This was just splendid! I was enchanted from the very first paragraph, I ain’t even kidding. I found myself loving it more and more with every page. It was as lovely as Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle series which I’m very fond of. I’ll devour anything that has the word “Dragon” in it which is why I read it. This time I read the blurb but it doesn’t so much as give a hint as to how wonderful this book really is. It’s set in a world filled with all sorts of fairytale elements; there are princesses, dragons, knights, wizards, dwarves, fairy godmothers, fairies, giants, jinns and many more. Excitingly enough, different stories and their characters are hinted at and we are told that they exist in the same world like King Arthur, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, etc. The references were so casual that I couldn’t help but be delighted. But these things aren’t the focal point of the story. As the name suggests, it has a lot to do with dragons. And wizards. And one particularly adorable princess. Princess Cimorene hates doing the proper things. She finds her usual princess routine with the boring etiquette lessons and embroidery lessons extremely off putting and loves doing things which her parents repeatedly deem inappropriate for a princess like fencing, learning magic, Latin and cooking. But she is strong-minded and knows what she wants. She simply doesn’t take no for an answer. “The King and Queen did the best they could. They hired the most superior tutors and governesses to teach Cimorene all the things a princess ought to know— dancing, embroidery, drawing, and etiquette. There was a great deal of etiquette, from the proper way to curtsy before a visiting prince to how loudly it was permissible to scream when being carried off by a giant. Cimorene found it all very dull, but she pressed her lips together and learned it anyway. When she couldn’t stand it any longer, she would go down to the castle armory and bully the armsmaster into giving her a fencing lesson.” I don’t think I’ve ever loved a heroine as much as I loved Cimorene. I related with her desire to break conventions and do things she found exciting and respected and admired her for her cleverness, courage and confidence. She was a remarkable princess. The plot was straight forward but brilliant and I found the whole thing rather amusing. Dragons in this world not only talk and read but they have a whole society of their own. There was nothing about the Enchanted Forest especially. There was no love interest. I took pleasure in every second of reading Dealing With Dragons and am more than happy to know that there are 3 more books in this series! HOORAY!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe

    2004 or 2005 October 6, 2007 Currently reading aloud to the Possum - She's decided to carry on on her own in favor of me reading The Mysterious Howling. Well, I can't blame her. That's also a good one. July 20, 2014 I originally read this series out loud to the girls when they were wee. Going back, I didn't recall much except that we had all enjoyed them. Some of the things I had forgotten: that Cimorene had studied fencing and Latin and that she was unusually tall, all now true of the eldest daught 2004 or 2005 October 6, 2007 Currently reading aloud to the Possum - She's decided to carry on on her own in favor of me reading The Mysterious Howling. Well, I can't blame her. That's also a good one. July 20, 2014 I originally read this series out loud to the girls when they were wee. Going back, I didn't recall much except that we had all enjoyed them. Some of the things I had forgotten: that Cimorene had studied fencing and Latin and that she was unusually tall, all now true of the eldest daughter. So I loved them then in a mild sort of way, but now that my girls are growing up into This kind of princess, I love them in a whole new way. Personal copy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Jak zvláštní, že čím jsem starší, tím víc oceňuji .. pohádkové příběhy. Mají svoje kouzlo. To nepopřete. Cimorene je nejlepší princezna všech dob. Proč? Dělá, co princezny nedělají. Ovládá základy latiny, kouzel, rytířského umění a dokáže připravit delikátní horké maliny. Ale zato absolutně nesnáší naduté prince, lekce vyšívání a etiketu. Je to nuda. Chápu. Princezna dobrovolně v dračích službách? SKANDÁL! Jsem si jistá, že kdyby v Linderwallu měli Blesk, její extra nevhodné chování by se tam objevovalo Jak zvláštní, že čím jsem starší, tím víc oceňuji .. pohádkové příběhy. Mají svoje kouzlo. To nepopřete. Cimorene je nejlepší princezna všech dob. Proč? Dělá, co princezny nedělají. Ovládá základy latiny, kouzel, rytířského umění a dokáže připravit delikátní horké maliny. Ale zato absolutně nesnáší naduté prince, lekce vyšívání a etiketu. Je to nuda. Chápu. Princezna dobrovolně v dračích službách? SKANDÁL! Jsem si jistá, že kdyby v Linderwallu měli Blesk, její extra nevhodné chování by se tam objevovalo tak často jako Iveta Bartošová v tom našem. Patricia C. Wrede dokázala napsat příběh POUTAVÝ jako prase, který vás ORAVDU chytne a nepustí. Navíc je to děsně roztomiloučky vtipné, má to akční i (celkem) zapeklitou zápletku a čtení si užijou malí i velcí. Jop. Tenhle REREADING se mi povedl. Přečtěte si to!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Beaudry

    This is a childhood favourite that was desperately in need of a reread. Although I remembered loving it as a child, I couldn't remember much besides the bare bones of the plot and that Cimorene was the coolest princess of all time. Having reread the book, I can confirm that Cimorene remains the coolest princess of all time. Wrede writes a subversive, funny fantasy romp that turns fairy tale tropes on their head in brilliant ways sure to delight any little girl sick of reading about the princess This is a childhood favourite that was desperately in need of a reread. Although I remembered loving it as a child, I couldn't remember much besides the bare bones of the plot and that Cimorene was the coolest princess of all time. Having reread the book, I can confirm that Cimorene remains the coolest princess of all time. Wrede writes a subversive, funny fantasy romp that turns fairy tale tropes on their head in brilliant ways sure to delight any little girl sick of reading about the princess being saved. A princess who saves herself with intelligence, humour, and not a little bit of elbow grease is still something missing from so much fantasy. I'm looking forward to rereading the rest of the series and reacquainting myself with one of my childhood hero(ine)s.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ALEXA

    Macky recommended this one to me, and it was a winner! I loved how Wrede turned the typical fairy tale tropes on their heads, especially in the form of main character Cimorene (who I absolutely loved).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I remember loving this book ten years ago. It's funny how my reaction has become more complicated. This reread, I kept thinking of Melissa's comments about Raisa and femininity in her review of The Demon King. And yet is Dealing with Dragons really a rejection of traditional femininity? I'm not sure. True, Cimorene finds her entire life boring and hateful, and runs away and finds herself an interesting, exciting new life. But she's not rejecting femininity, really. In fact, she's doing many more I remember loving this book ten years ago. It's funny how my reaction has become more complicated. This reread, I kept thinking of Melissa's comments about Raisa and femininity in her review of The Demon King. And yet is Dealing with Dragons really a rejection of traditional femininity? I'm not sure. True, Cimorene finds her entire life boring and hateful, and runs away and finds herself an interesting, exciting new life. But she's not rejecting femininity, really. In fact, she's doing many more domestic chores than she'd done as a princess in her parents' castle. But the idea of running away from that traditional "marry a king, live simperingly ever after" has certainly become much more entrenched in our identify-a-powerful-woman consciousness, and I suppose that's what brought Melissa's comments to mind. There's a certain narrow-mindedness at play, though, with regard to the now-typical rejection of princess life as shallow and vapid and stupid - a lack of appreciation for having food on the table, for being warm and safe and comfortable. I suppose that's not something a secure child would recognize, and I can't fault the protagonist for feeling stifled. It is a bit discomfiting to read as an adult, though. And Cimorene is certainly lucky that she didn't die horribly or get abducted or have any number of terrible things happen when she waltzed out of her home and into the Enchanted Forest. There's a lot of good stuff here, too. Kazul and the wizards and the other dragons' princesses. Those just aren't the elements that stood out to me on this reread.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I needed a palate cleanser and just a general "feel good book" after reading Sunshine. In the past I've turned to romance books, but as of late I've been turning more and more to YA books preferably those set for younger audiences (middle grade). There tends to be a lot of hidden gems in this category and to me, this book was one of them. Cimorene is a princess who doesn't meet the standard princess personality quota. She's intelligent, headstrong, and much to her parents dismay she wants more to I needed a palate cleanser and just a general "feel good book" after reading Sunshine. In the past I've turned to romance books, but as of late I've been turning more and more to YA books preferably those set for younger audiences (middle grade). There tends to be a lot of hidden gems in this category and to me, this book was one of them. Cimorene is a princess who doesn't meet the standard princess personality quota. She's intelligent, headstrong, and much to her parents dismay she wants more to her life than marrying Prince Charming. Luckily, there are dragons in need of princesses and Cimorene finds one that happens to want a princess. Together Cimorene and Kazul (female dragon) make a formidable team as they defy the typical female standards and fight their enemies. There is plenty of magic, evil wizards, princesses, Prince Charmings and even a friendly witch to make this a good fantasy adventure for kids. The gender stereotyping message is clear, but I didn't feel it was overly preachy. It was more like some characters were flummoxed that Cimorene chose to live a different life and questioned why, but conversations moved on as she explained her reasonings. Overall, it was a cute story with a good message. That said, this is the first in a series but I think it works great as a standalone and unless I need another palate cleanser I probably won't continue on.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature. Princess Cimorene is tired of embroidery, etiquette, and protocol classes. She wants to take Latin, fencing, magic, and cooking lessons instead. But, that's just "not done." So 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 persiste ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature. Princess Cimorene is tired of embroidery, etiquette, and protocol classes. She wants to take Latin, fencing, magic, and cooking lessons instead. But, that's just "not done." So 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. 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 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. Read more Patricia Wrede book reviews at Fantasy literature.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Noriko

    It's been almost 4 years since I last read this book, which means this was a re-read for me. And I'm glad that I get to say that I enjoyed the book as much as I did before. Technically speaking, I found the writing is solid enough yet a teeny bit slippery at times, if that makes sense. What I mean is, I never felt bored thanks to the enchanting and interesting plot, but did feel the writing a bit rushed, not sinking in on me every now and then where I would have like a bit more tension and suspe It's been almost 4 years since I last read this book, which means this was a re-read for me. And I'm glad that I get to say that I enjoyed the book as much as I did before. Technically speaking, I found the writing is solid enough yet a teeny bit slippery at times, if that makes sense. What I mean is, I never felt bored thanks to the enchanting and interesting plot, but did feel the writing a bit rushed, not sinking in on me every now and then where I would have like a bit more tension and suspense building up. I'm not saying that bothered me, far from it actually, yet I did wish the writing could have been a bit more polished. That said though, I liked the undertone of this book being not too dark or sinister, even though there are some perils and wicked schemes concocted by insidious wizards and a libelous dragon who wants to assume the throne. It never feels too overwhelming nor dark, if anything, there's always a hint of humor running through the book. In fact, I think this book is a great introduction to a traditional fantasy world where dragons and princesses exist even for readers who don't normally pick up books like this. I so loved the main character, Cimorene for being not your typical protective, powerless type. She is unique and feisty in a positive way, and most importantly, quite quick-witted and smart. It was also delightful to see how the lessons like cooking and etiquette she was forced to take to become a 'proper' princess come in handy on so many occasions later on and see Cimorene quietly be thankful for her parents, she is a bit handful and unconventional as a princess, but she is certainly fit for a princess for dragons. And yes! Dragons! Oh, how much I loved the dragons that make appearances in this book. As there are so many of them, I did have a bit of a hard time connecting their names and their characteristics (I had to make a note on that), but once I got it down pat, I totally enjoyed Cimorene's interactions with Kazul, a dragon she serves for. Kazul is a female dragon, but doesn't act like one just like Cimorene. I adored Kazul so much for being dignified yet broad-minded and always treats Cimorene as her right hand, her equal. Like I said earlier, this book can be enjoyed both children and adults. This book certainly makes a perfect entrance to the fantasy genre. I was not much into fantasy, but this book did rekindle my infatuation toward dragons (because they look so cool) and made me want to read more. If you're interested, pick up this book. I think you'll enjoy this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Giselle Bradley

    How can I even begin to describe my love for this book and the whole series? This book is about a princess named Cimorene who refuses to be a proper. When her parents try to marry her off she runs away and lives with the dragon, Kazul. As a fairytale lover this book is perfect for me. With all it's well known and obscure references to different fairytales, each new page is a delight. I even found fairytales that I had never heard of before. That was a shock to me. I find this book to be very funn How can I even begin to describe my love for this book and the whole series? This book is about a princess named Cimorene who refuses to be a proper. When her parents try to marry her off she runs away and lives with the dragon, Kazul. As a fairytale lover this book is perfect for me. With all it's well known and obscure references to different fairytales, each new page is a delight. I even found fairytales that I had never heard of before. That was a shock to me. I find this book to be very funny. The wit in it gets to me every time. Cimorene's outlook on everything is different and surprising.(Such as when she meets the jinn or when Alianora is talking about the old woman and the loaf of bread.) Cimorene is always surprising me with her thoughts on the most everyday things. I first discovered this book when I was 10. I ended up staying up to 12 that night in order to finish it. At the time I was going to bed between 8 and 9. But that's how much I loved the plot and writing. I'll never forget my first time reading this book and the love that sprung up right away. Since then I have read this book at least 20 times. And I will continue to read it (along with the rest of the books in the series) every year. The writing sucks me in every time. It is a quick read. But it's worth it. I would recommend this book to people who love and know fairytales. This book got, gets, and will continue to get 5/5 stars from me. Side Notes: This is my second favorite book from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This book wasn't written first. It was written (along with books 2 and 3) as a prequel to book 4, Talking to Dragons. This book is written in 3rd person but through Cimorene's eyes. The only thoughts you see in the book are Cimorene's and you only see what she sees. But it still refers to Cimorene as "she".

  29. 5 out of 5

    MacK

    Almost every story you read has some root in a story that was already told. The familiar notes of mythology and fairy tales appear again and again in literature, but in those books that start with a familiar structure and then leap into unexpected there’s something special to be found. That’s what I thought as I sped my way through Dealing With Dragons a local favorite here in Minnesota, and one that my wife Kristina loved when she was young. But this is not simply a childhood favorite, it’s a ge Almost every story you read has some root in a story that was already told. The familiar notes of mythology and fairy tales appear again and again in literature, but in those books that start with a familiar structure and then leap into unexpected there’s something special to be found. That’s what I thought as I sped my way through Dealing With Dragons a local favorite here in Minnesota, and one that my wife Kristina loved when she was young. But this is not simply a childhood favorite, it’s a genuinely pleasurable read–especially when it takes something familiar and fills it with something unique. The feminist princess is a newer invention, but in Patricia Wrede’s hands it feels fresh (perhaps because, in the ’80s it was). The story of Princess Cimorene’s flight from her family and happy apprenticeship to the dragon Kazul is as familiar as any Disney-fied coming of age story. But there’s an earnestness to Cimorene that feels truly genuine (rather than market-tested as the House of Mouse might make it). Add to this a unique world full of political intrigue, magic, sorcery, battles, true love and even femi-drago-nism and you have a story that surprises you with something new, even as it satisfies you with the story-time magic you loved as a child. Too often these days what was once unexpected becomes bland and repetitive. Committing yourself to shocking people all the time can’t work. You need the familiarity of classic tropes and standard structures to actually achieve genuine surprise. It is fun to find something different where you expected something familiar. And the wry feminist critiques inside a rip-roaring fairy tale, make this book one of the best examples of that skill that I’ve read in quite some time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wish I'd found out about this book years ago! Dealing With Dragons was a very fun read, and if it isn't a classic yet, it ought to be. I quite enjoyed following Cimorene in her interactions with dragons, wizards, and unwelcome rescuers- particularly as Cimorene, unlike many similar characters in more modern books, isn't rebellious, only practical and possessing a good deal more common sense than a great many of the people around her. And the story contains more than enough bits that'll make an I wish I'd found out about this book years ago! Dealing With Dragons was a very fun read, and if it isn't a classic yet, it ought to be. I quite enjoyed following Cimorene in her interactions with dragons, wizards, and unwelcome rescuers- particularly as Cimorene, unlike many similar characters in more modern books, isn't rebellious, only practical and possessing a good deal more common sense than a great many of the people around her. And the story contains more than enough bits that'll make anyone- well, perhaps not laugh out loud, but certainly grin and giggle.

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