Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Cimorene was a princess in the large kingdom of Linderwall which is “just east of the Mountains of Morning, where philosophers were highly respected and the number five was fashionable. The climate was unremarkable. The knights kept their armor brightly polished mainly for show…periodic problems with royal children and uninvited fairy godmothers…could be cleared up by finding the proper prince or princess to marry the unfortunate child…”  Cimorene was the youngest daughter of the King and she hated it in Linderwall.

When she was twelve, her father found out she was bullying the armsmaster to give her fencing lessons. She argued but her mother put her foot down, saying it simply wasn’t proper.

At age fourteen, her father discovered that she had been making the court magician teach her magic ever since her fencing lessons had been forbidden.

She came up against similar resistance when she tried Latin lessons, cooking lessons, economics and juggling lessons and so, when she was sixteen, she summoned her fairy godmother. The fairy godmother explained that she should only be called in the case of  matters of utmost importance to Cimorene’s life and future happiness. It turned out that the fairy godmother was in league with her parents and so she bade same fairy godmother a polite good-bye.

Quite suddenly her parents arranged an engagement without informing her and informed them that she didn’t want to marry Prince Therandil nomatter how good looking he was. Her parents refused to change the plans and Prince Therandil could not be enlisted to help. While bemoaning her status in the castle garden she uttered the thought that she “would rather be eaten by a dragon” and a small green frog replied “That can be arranged.” The frog just happens to dislike Therandil for sinking rocks on the pond in the garden and letting them fall into the frog’s living room. After a discussion of Cimorene’s qualifications the frog decides that there is no other option than to run away. He offers her full instructions and later that night Cimorene sets out with five clean handkerchiefs and her best crown. She followed the frog’s Dealing with Dragonsinstructions very carefully and arrived at a “tiny, wretched-looking hovel made of cracked and weathered gray boards. The door hung slant-wise on a broken hinge, and the whole building looked like it were going to topple over at any moment.” She knocked three times, snapped her fingers, pushed the door open and walked inside.

It was very dark inside the hovel but when Cimoriene informs whomever is speaking to her that “I can’t see who you are in this dark, you know” “a small ball of light appeared in the air above Cimorene’s head. Cimorene stepped backward very quickly and ran into the wall.

The voices belonged to dragons.”

And so begins a wonderful adventure in which Cimorene becomes a dragon’s princess. A dragon named Kazul. A female dragon who becomes the King of Dragons. Yes!

Recommended for teens and about-to-be-teens and grandmothers who are attracted to dragon stories and anyone else who is so inclined!


2 thoughts on “Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede”

    1. I did try not to miss anyone! Everyone should read at least one dragon book in her or his time and this is a good one! It would be exceptionally enjoyable to read along with a grandchild as I picture it!

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