Posted by: Lizzie Ross | June 19, 2010

Frogs and dragons and witches, oh my!

Dragon’s Breath, E. D. Baker (2003), Bloomsbury, 292 pp.

In this sequel to The Frog Princess (2002), our heroine Emeralda (aka Emma) finds herself on another quest for a spell. In the first book, she kissed a frog in hopes that it would transform into a prince, but instead got transformed into a frog herself and had to figure out a way to change back.

Here it’s her aunt’s fiancé who’s been cursed (he’s an otter), and Emma has to help find the ingredients of the spell to release him: “A gossamer hair from mother-of-pearl,/The breath of a dragon green./A feather from an aged horse,/The husk of a magic bean.”

Emma’s cranky witch grandmother and militantly anti-witch mother are back, as well as her would-be suitor Eadric (the other frog in the first book). And the old froggy spell lingers. Everytime she sneezes, she and Eadric change into frogs, and another sneeze is required to make them human again. The sneeze always seem to come at awkward moments, complicating things for the two of them.

Emma’s own efforts to construct spells on-the-fly generally lead to trouble, at one point landing her in a locked room in the basement of her castle, and at another turning her into an old woman.

What about the dragons? you ask. Well, of course, they can only be found in the enchanted forest, where there are all sorts of dangers, and where Eadric’s magic sword proves its metal.

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