George, Jessica Day. 2007. Dragon Slippers.
It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon. Not that she was evil or didn't care for me. It's just that we were poor, and she was, as we said in those parts, dumber than two turnips in a rain barrel.
I loved all 321 pages of Jessica Day George's novel Dragon Slippers. Loved it. I loved everything about it. Everything. The characters. The setting. The action. It was just so good, so very very good. If you love fairy-tale type stories--think Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, Mette Ivie Harrison, Gail Carson Levine etc--I think you will love Jessica Day George. Love her. Here is how the book jacket describes the novel,
"Many stories tell of damsels in distress who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor and swept off to live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this is not one of those stories. True, when Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that a knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it's Creel who talks her way out of the dragon's clutches. And it's Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king's city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession. But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom....or destroy it."Creel is quite a heroine. As an adult reader, I love her. I do. But I know I would have loved, loved, loved her as a child. This is the kind of book I wish had been around when I was growing up! Then again, I'm just as happy to continue the friendship now. It's not too late for me or for you. Discover the magical world Jessica Day George has created and meet Creel and her friends (and enemies) yourself!
I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.