Posted by: Lizzie Ross | June 16, 2010

Princess Tames Dragon

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (1985-1996), Patricia C. Wrede, Scholastic, 5 vols.

Wrede threw the conventional princess-held-captive-by-dragon format on its ear when she created Princess Cimorene and the dragon Kazul. Cimorene hates her sheltered life and, when she learns of her engagement to a conventional prince, runs away in search of something more challenging. She ends up the dragon’s prisoner, but sends off any who come to rescue her, because she’s happy cooking and cleaning for Kazul.

The first three volumes of this series follow Cimorene and Kazul (and Mendanbar, King of the Enchanted Forest) as they battle evil wizards — who hope to increase their power by destroying the Forest — while also befriending an occasional witch, imprisoned princess, giant, good wizard, and flying donkey-rabbit.

The fourth volume tells of Cimorene’s son, Daystar, and his own adventures with dragons, wizards, witches and the Enchanted Forest. Of course, a sword of power assists him in his quest. The fifth volume contains short stories, with a final set of notes on the origination of each story that should interest any would-be fantasy writer.

It’s great fun to watch Cimorene, in the first volume, learn how to deal with dragons and then make herself indispensable to them. She chafes at inaction and thus involves herself in dragon politics and wizard plots. In other words, she’s a heroine who can’t stay out of trouble, and these books show how she manages to assist the dragons, vanquish the villains, and save her beloved Enchanted Forest.

Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons, Book of Enchantments

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