First off, everything Patricia C. Wrede has written is a damn delight. I STILL re-read the Sorcery and Ceclia books regularly. But my entry point to her books was the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. So imagine my delight when, while browsing my favorite used book store, I found a collected hardback edition of all four of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles!
A responsible person would probably have purchased it, remembered that I’ve read these books countless times, and stayed the course with the other two books I’m already reading.
Dear Reader. I am not responsible. Which is how I burned through the first two and a half books in the series over the weekend.
The whole series is about a host of lovely people living in a typical fantasy world. Each book is from a different viewpoint. One of the loveliest things about Patricia C. Wrede characters is that her heroes, by and large, are all very smart and funny people with an extremely high level of common sense and low tolerance for nonsense.
Dealing with Dragons starts us off with our female lead- Cimerone. Cimerone is a princess who is tired of stereotypical princess stuff. When her parents want her to marry a bore of a prince with no personality beyond his chin clef, she decides to run away. She ends up as an assistant to a dragon named Kazul and has lovely adventures when she’s not trying to persuade a steady stream of knights and heroes that she very much does NOT want to be rescued and they should go away.
Wrede’s humor tends toward the dry and the meta, which is just catnip for me. The books are the epitome of cozy fantasy, while cheerfully skewering old stereotypes and gender roles. Reading them is like putting on your favorite over-sized old sweatshirt.