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Dealing with Dragons (1990)

by Patricia C. Wrede

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,1441381,724 (4.24)330
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom.
  1. 110
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (infiniteletters)
  2. 111
    Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (jfoster_sf)
    jfoster_sf: This is another great fantasy that has a strong female character that refuses to conform to what everyone tells her is "proper". Ella Enchanted does have a romance in it (it IS a Cinderella retelling, after all) but its very innocent and is still appropriate for 10 and up readers.… (more)
  3. 60
    The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (Nikkles)
  4. 50
    The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (infiniteletters)
  5. 50
    Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both are send-up of fantasy conventions (and D-heavy titles!): Dealing with Dragons focuses more on fairy tales while Dark Lord of Derkholm deals more with high/quest fantasy.
  6. 20
    House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones (f_ing_kangaroo, Tinker_Books)
  7. 20
    Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (megan003)
  8. 10
    Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale (FFortuna)
  9. 00
    Damsel by Susan E. Connolly (Scorbet)
    Scorbet: Damsel is probably for a younger age group than Dealing with Dragons, but features a similar subversion of standard fantasy tropes.
  10. 00
    Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner (wordcauldron)
  11. 00
    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (wordcauldron)
  12. 00
    Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (foggidawn)
  13. 00
    A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (wordcauldron)
  14. 00
    The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines (SockMonkeyGirl)
  15. 00
    Wren's War by Sherwood Smith (Nikkles)
  16. 00
    Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen (wordcauldron)
  17. 00
    The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs (buddingnaturalist)
    buddingnaturalist: Both feature non-traditional princesses who take action and find creative ways solve their problems, rather than meekly submit to expectations.
  18. 00
    The Other Side of Silence by Margaret Mahy (cammykitty)
  19. 01
    The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French (FFortuna)
  20. 02
    Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones (cammykitty)

(see all 21 recommendations)

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» See also 330 mentions

English (136)  German (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
I found this book entertaining, but I wish I had read it as a kid since this is perfect for children.
This story is about princess Cimorene who is bored with her supposed princess role so she decides to run away to live with a dragons. Princes try to save her and she insists she quite likes her life and doesn't wish to be saved. There is a witch, wizards and other princesses in this fairy tale like story that is not really like any other.
I like how it tackles fairy tale tropes in a funny way. It has endearing characters, lots of dragons and a bit of magic and adventure.
( )
  elderlingfae | Aug 11, 2022 |
Wonderful! Splendid!
Let the interesting and busy life commence! ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
There are few things in life that bring joy like reading a long-loved book to your child and watching them giggle at all the places you giggled, hiss at the annoying princes, and exclaim with delight at the surprises.

Thank you Pat Wrede for writing a book that was both a joy to read for myself, and a joy to share with my daughter. ( )
  suzannekmoses | May 20, 2022 |
Oh, I like a story that starts by dissing your typical princess, and moves right on to a spunky, intelligent heroine, who happens to be disadvantaged by her birth. Princess Cimorene would rather be eaten by dragons than marry an eligible prince, so to the dragons she goes when threatened by this horrible fate. Fresh, funny and self-respecting, and a main character with an organizational bent – love it! ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
I found this book shortly after I'd moved to Massachusetts. My family was driving down to Pennsylvania to see our extended family and we stopped somewhere along the way for lunch at a restaurant/diner (where, by the way, I had my first heavenly tuna melt sandwich (none of this open-face nonsense that they do in NYC) on pumpernickel) and the basement was absolutely stuffed, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, narrow corridors between shelves, with used books for sale. I have no idea how I managed to find this one among everything else, or how I managed to limit myself to one book, given the prices, but somehow I did...and this was one of those serendipitous jewels of a story that surprised me with how much I enjoyed it.

Cimorene is a genre-savvy youngest princess who finds her life incredibly boring. She'd rather learn fencing, cooking, Latin, and magic, than protocol, dancing, manners, and embroidery. When she learns that her family are planning to marry her off, she decides to run away, following the advice of a talking frog (who picked up a few things from the princes he'd met) straight into a cave full of dragons...where she presents herself as a willing princess. The dragon Kazul, amused by her pluck and enticed by her ability to make cherries jubilee, takes her on to cook, clean and rearrange the treasury, and organize the library.

Adventures large and small ensue as Cimorene learns how to navigate dragon society, deflects unwanted knights determined to rescue her, tolerates and befriends other dragons' princesses, and works with Kazul to uncover a dastardly wizard plot. There are cat-loving witches, stone princes who ought to have known better, jinns reluctant to implement curses, and dragons allergic to wizard staffs; there are dragon feasts and feats of strength, magic spells and potions, enchanted forests, and practical applications of wishes, soapy water, and magic feathers. Cimorene's level-headedness and sensibility shock and impress, and even the more princess-y things she had to learn come in handy.

Dealing with Dragons is a fast-paced adventure full of humor, clever nods to fairy tales, imaginative use of tropes, and casually placed women of power. Appropriate for kids but also likely to delight high schoolers and adults. Highly recommended.

Quotes

p 97) An example of Cimerone's genre-savviness. I feel like these days authors would have her lift the spell, but where's the fun in that?
Cimorene felt better knowing that the princes would someday be freed, though she had sense enough not to try doing it herself. Since she had not been sent on a quest for the Water of Healing, it was highly unlikely that she would be able to disenchant the princess even if she succeeded in taking the water. And she knew enough about quests and enchantments and the obtaining of things with magical properties to know that she would probably get into a lot of trouble if she tried.

p 166) "Tokoz drank Turkish coffee every morning. The stuff is strong enough to take the roof off your mouth. That's why no one ever went to talk to him over breakfast." ... Cimorene tried to imagine coffee, even Turkish coffee, strong enough to take the roof off a dragon's mouth and failed.
This bit tickled me because my mother-in-law drinks something pretty much equivalent...at least three times a day. ( )
1 vote books-n-pickles | Mar 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wrede, Patricia C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Besnier, YvesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caldwell, LizNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coville, BruceActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coville, KatherineActresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delval, Marie-HélèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dyer-Bennet, DavidAuthor's photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elliot, JohannaActresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foster, NickActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golden, JoshActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golden, MattActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hankins, RussellActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartman, DaliaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Trina SchartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lape Jr., Willard E.Actorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molesky, BillActorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puda, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quintal, Lana M.Actresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenthal, Elise J.Actresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmuckler, CarolActresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seve, Peter deCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sustare, GailActresssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For ALAN CARL and ANNIE BUJOLD, because they liked the other one a lot
First words
Linderwall was a large kingdom, 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 -- it had been centuries since a dragon had come east. There were the usual periodic problems with royal children and uninvited fairy godmothers, but they were always the sort of thing that could be cleared up by finding the proper prince or princess to marry the unfortunate child a few years later. All in all, Linderwall was a very prosperous and pleasant place.
Cimorene hated it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Dealing with Dragons was also published under the title Dragonsbane.
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Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom.

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Book description
Take one bored princess. Make her the seventh daughter in a very proper royal family. Have her run away. Add one powerful, fascinating, dangerous dragon. Princess Cimorene has never met anyone (or anything) like the Kazul. But then, she's never met a witch, a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, or a stone prince either. Princess Cimorene ran away to find some excitement. She's found plenty.
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