Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Searching for Dragons

Searching for Dragons. (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #2) Patricia C. Wrede. 1991/2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 239 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The King of the Enchanted Forest was twenty years old and lived in a rambling, scrambling, mixed-up castle somewhere near the center of his domain.

Premise/plot: Mendanbar is the King of the Enchanted Forest. The Enchanted Forest is experiencing some difficulties--but is it due to wizards or dragons? Mendanbar sets out to investigate the situation which leads him to meeting some of the characters first introduced in Dealing with Dragons--Morwen, the witch, and Cimorene, the dragon's princess. Though Mendanbar had sworn that he would never, ever, ever, ever fall in love with a princess--not really, but close--he can't help being wowed by Cimorene, and not just by her beauty. The two set out on quite an adventure to right some wrongs. They make new friends along the way, of course, including a dwarf named Herman and a magician named Telemain.

My thoughts: If you enjoyed the first adventure, then the second adventure will not disappoint. I will say this--it does not feature dragons as much as the first book. So if love of dragons was your one and only reason for loving the first book, then perhaps this one will not be quite as enjoyable. But there are so many new characters introduced that are just FUN and CLEVER. Plus Cimorene's story advances. She may not be the main character, but without her the story would be going nowhere.

I love the story. I love the characters. I love the writing.

"Ordinary" was not the right word for anyone who lived in the Enchanted Forest, not if they managed to stay alive and in more or less their proper shape. (23)
He had never thought of himself as one of the hazards of the Enchanted Forest that someone might wish to be prepared for, and he did not like the idea much, now that it had been pointed out to him. (30)
As Mendanbar drew nearer, he saw a tarnished brass handle sticking out of a small hole beside the cave. The handle was level with his waist, and next to it was a sign that read: "WELCOME TO THE CAVE OF THE DRAGON KING. Pull handle to ring bell." On the line below, someone had added in neat letters printed in bright red paint, "ABSOLUTELY NO wizards, salespeople, or rescuers. This means YOU."
Mendanbar stared at the sign for a minute and began to smile. No wonder Zemenar didn't like Kazul's princess. Well, he wasn't a wizard, he wasn't selling anything, and he certainly didn't want to rescue anybody. He gave the handle a pull. (59)
"I think I'm beginning to get the idea," Cimorene said. "It's not just spinning straw into gold that's a family tradition, is it? It's the whole scheme." The dwarf nodded sadly. "Right the first time. Only I can never make it work properly. I can find plenty of girls who're supposed to spin straw into gold, and most of them suggest the guessing game, but I've never had even one who managed to guess my name. "Oh, dear," said Cimorene. "I even changed my name legally, so it would be easier," the dwarf said sadly. "Herman isn't a difficult name to remember, is it? But no, the silly chits can't do it. So I end up with the baby as well as the gold, and babies eat and cry and need clothes and the gold runs out, and I have to find another girl to spin gold for, and it happens all over again, and I end up with another baby. It isn't fair!" (117)

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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