r/fantasy Bingo 2016 · Review

[Review] Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing-with-dragons-first-editionDealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers

Where I got the book: Public Library

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was my selection for the r/fantasy bingo 2016 challenge: G18 A Novel Published The Decade You Were Born.

The rules of the bingo challenge state that you’re only allowed to reread one book. I figured what better book to reread then one of my favourite childhood classics. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is one of my favourite childhood series, aimed at older primary school students and middle grade students. It’s a fantastic fairy tale retelling that mixes stories together and turns tropes on their head.

Cimorene is not like other princesses. She abhors embroidery, hates learning 35 different ways to greet a visiting duke, and how to make small talk without insulting or promising him anything. Sword fighting lessons, magic lessons, latin lessons and anything else useful or interesting to learn isn’t allowed on the basis of not being what princesses do. It all comes to a head though when Cimorene learns she’s to be engaged to a prince from the neighbouring kingdom who has slightly less personality than a cardboard cutout. Unwilling to get married and longing for adventure, Cimorene takes off in the night using all the skills she’s managed to learn over the years and winds up becoming the princess of the dragon Kazul.

Dealing with Dragons is hands down one of the best fantasy fairy tale books. There’s dragons, a kickass princess, talking frogs, witches, wizards, and tons of cats. Cimorene is one of the best main characters. She’s kickass, knowledgable, resourceful, has a goal and is willing to go after it. The book mixes together so many fairy tale tropes and stories to create a hilarious fantasy world. Wrede is excellent at writing comedy and her books still are hilarious no matter how many times I read them. Wrede doesn’t just deal with comedy though. Dealing with Dragons also tells a serious story about friendship, love, cheating, betrayal and morals. Dealing with Dragons is an excellent middle grade book that everyone should buy for kids and young teens in their life, but also read themselves.



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