by Patricia C. Wrede
First sentence: “Linderwall was a large kindgom, just east of the Mountains of Morning, where philosophers were highly respected and the number five was fashionable.”
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I didn’t really give much of a review when I read this one seven (!) years ago, so I thought I’d do it up proper this time. Especially since I just finished reading it aloud to my current 8-year-old, A.
Princes Cimorene doesn’t like being a princess. She would much rather learn magic, Latin, fencing or *something* other than being proper and embroidery. So, when her parents drag her to a nearby kingdom in order to marry her off to an insipid prince, she does the only reasonable thing: she runs away and becomes a dragon’s princess. The dragon is Kazul, and she (the dragon is a she) is smart, reasonable, interesting, and makes Cimorene feel useful. So, aside from the stupid knights who keep trying to rescue her, Cimorene is perfectly happy in her new life. Then she gets wind of a plot the wizards are cooking: after the death of the king, they’re going to rig the trials in order to get Waroug, who happens to be sympathetic to the wizards, in as king. And it’s up to Cimorene (and her new friends) to stop them.
I do love these little books. Sure, they’re light and frothy fantasy, but they’re fun. And Cimorene is one of the great heroines out there: a strong, smart girl, who knows what she wants and is willing to work for it, is kind without being a pushover. The books are funny, too: I was constantly cracking up while I read. Lest you think it goes over an 8-year-old’s head, some of it did, but I was always able to stop and catch her up. She adored Cimorene as much as I did, and is quite excited to see what adventure they go on next. And since I never did get around to reading the rest of the series, I am as well.