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Dealing with Dragons: Book One in the The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

by Patricia C. Wrede

Published by Jane Yolen Books/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990
212 pages
ISBN: 0-15-222900-0

Ages 9 - 13

Princess Cimorene has a reputation of taking little interest in the "proper" interests and pastimes befitting her social station. She'd much rather fence, practice magic, learn economics or cook cherry jubilee than dance, embroider or draw. Her disregard for etiquette is only compounded by her height ("Her parents were quite sure that no prince would want to marry a girl who could look him in the eye instead of gazing up at him becomingly through her lashes"), her hair (black and braided, not golden and flowing), and her disposition ("strong-minded" bordering on "stubborn as a pig"). News of her impending marriage to a neighboring prince, whose sole redeeming feature is his good looks, prompts Cimorene to run away seeking to change her lot in life by becoming a princess to a dragon. The fact that princesses are kidnapped by dragons in the normal course of events, rather than being volunteers for the role, doesn't faze Cimorene in the slightest. Once established in her new lair, Cimorene's independent spirit and intelligence soon embroil her in a non-stop adventure involving a helpful witch, scheming wizards, fellow dragons' princesses, and a host of dragons. Cimorene is a truly memorable heroine, and her fresh and humorous story shatters more than a few rules of conventional fantasy, after the fashion of Cimorene herself.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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