Book for December:Dealing with Dragons; Patricia Wrede.
Book 1 of a 4 part series, all of which are fairly short YA books, so could be read one after the other.
This is another book that’s been on my library wishlist for a while, finally rescued–I got the other three books as well, and plan to read them soon.
Cimorene finds the things she’s supposed to learn–embroidery, dancing, and etiquette–terribly boring. But every time she tries to learn something interesting, like fencing, or cooking, or Latin, her parents put a stop to it. Not only does she not look like a proper princess, she doesn’t act like one, no matter how they try. She’s simply too stubborn–and too smart to settle. So when they try to arrange a marriage for her, she runs away to become a dragon’s princess, which is just Not Done. But the princess doesn’t care, because she’s finally found a place where she can be useful and busy with interesting tasks, like organizing the dragon’s treasure room.
And she’s not going to let any silly knights rescue her, either.
As a character, Cimorene is great fun to read about. She’s intelligent, thoughtful, and kind, though she doesn’t take kindly to nonsense, or people trying to use her to get what they want. And the magical creatures in this book have all sort of interesting quirks, like allergies and weaknesses not usually depicted, and customs and culture of their own. The dragons are particularly well-described, including their rivalry with the magic-stealing wizards. And though her adventure is wrapped up nicely, there’s definitely room for more.