Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

with 4 comments

By Patricia C. WredeAll
Get ’em at!
Read: When I was but a lass… and July 2006.
Rating: Fun
These were my very first proper fantasy novels. I’d recently made the graduation from the low paperback shelves to the (seemingly) giant big kids’ shelves, and had only been able to find books like Mrs. PigglyWiggly and brush up on the American Girls. These will always have a place in my heart.
Unforuntately, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll stay sitting out on my shelf. This reread has confirmed what I was afraid of–they’re for younger kids. They would make great bedtime stories for slightly older kids. I think I was about 8 or 9 when I found them, and I loved them. They’re rather slim (Each between 200 and 300 pages) and the language is a few steps up from Traditional Fable.

The covers have changes twice since I first read them–which must have been shortly after they were released. I got the original hardcovers at the library, I own the next generation paperbacks (to your right), but I quite like the new paperbacks, which will be used in the rest of the article.

My pages are yellowing.

But Cimorene and Morwen can still kick butt.

Dealing With DragonsDealing With Dragons

Cimorene is the seventh daughter of the fantastically ordinary kingdom of Linderwall. They have the occasional problem with Giants, but otherwise everything is peachy-keen, and her six sisters are all blond and lovely. Then there’s Cimorene, dark of hair, strong of will, and very unwilling to sit through any more lessons about when is the appropriate time to scream while being carried off by a troll. For several years she manages to finagle her tutors into giving her unorthodox lessons in Latin, cooking, and fencing, but when an arrange marriage looms (to get her settled down, of course), she takes matters into her own hands.

She offers herself up to Kazul, a female dragon, as her kept Princess. Dragons keep princesses around as a minor status symbol; they cook, clean–or are supposed to. Cimorene is one of the few who is actually capable of doing her job–and she enjoys it! In fact, the only problem with her new life is that all these blasted knights and princes keep trying to ‘rescue her!’

But it isn’t long before the very nasty Society of Wizards begin poking around the Mountains of Morning, gobbling up magic. Thank goodness Cimorene is there with a bucket of soapy water to clean up-!

Light-hearted, with plenty of jokes at the expense of other, more ‘normal’ fairy tales.

Searching For DragonsSearching For Dragons

The Enchanted Forest is a rather interesting place. Thankfully, when you’re King, you’re less likely to be turned into a toad by stepping on the wrong rock. King Mendanbar is young, and rather foolish enough to think he can run the whole forest by himself. So when large patches of the forest begin turning into ashy, burned out dustbowls, he goes seeking the solution himself.

This leads him straight to the King of the Dragons–and Cimorene, who’s more than a little distressed, because Kazul is missing. Together they set out to find her, braving wizards, a borrowed magic carpet, and a magician who talks in technical gobbledegook.

Told through Mendanbar’s eyes,it’s a great insight into the way the Forest works…and a rather sweet love story. Young kids will squeal with joy. Older girlies will be a tch disappointed. (Nrr. It’s more of that ‘We’ve only known each other for about 200 pages, but I think I love you!’ Only it’s for kids, so it kinda works.)

Calling On DragonsCalling On Dragons

I’ve never managed to figure out the title of this one. …oh well.

This time that dratted sword of Mendanbar’s has been stolen outright by the Society of Wizards. For important magical reasons, Mendanbar can’t leave the forest, but only Cimorene can hold the sword as honorary family. The usual suspects set out to find it before the wizards start gobbling Forest again.

This is probably my favorite of the four, as it’s from Morwen’s POV. Morwen is awesome–her entire outlook is “None Of This Nonsense, Please,” which is written in black and gold paint above her door. As a bonus, we now get to understand what her cats are saying. And they have some very choice things to say about Killer, the rather foolish rabbit who, through a series of mishaps, winds up as… something rather… special. See the cover to your right.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end well. It’s not violent, but it is unsatisfying. (Next to last chapter? In Which No One Is Satisfied.) Fans of Cimorene and Mendanbar will be distressed until…

Talking To DragonsTalking To Dragons

Another title that doesn’t really make sense. And it’s a book that never really made me happy. Hence, I’m just skipping around in it to remind myself of the plot.

Daystar (…why that name? Everyone else has such normal-ish names… names that don’t sound like you took two destiny-related words and stuck them together) has grown up on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. Now that he’s in his mid-teens, his mother sees fit to give unto him a sword that she will not explain and send him into the Forest.

The boy does not know what he’s doing. (He’s not supposed to, but still…) He disappoints me. Grrr.

Anyway, there’s nothing too terrible to scare the chiddlers, and I, for one, will be taking them along on my next babysitting trip.


Written by Shen

July 25, 2006 at 1:36 am

4 Responses

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  1. I just finished reading dealing with dragons and omg it is so good. I cant wait to get the second one, your reviews dont sound to good on it though and from reading it i still wish the second one was told through Cimorene point of view. Ahh like i really wish. But anyways for anyone reading this, it is a really great fantasy novel.


    November 13, 2006 at 7:41 pm

  2. The first two or three are fantastic, but near the end they start to lose their appeal. The first one still remains my favorite.


    January 10, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  3. I agree completely. They are great, I read them back in 1996 or ’97 and I loved them. I was a little dissatisfied with the end two, but you know life isn’t perfect so it has sort of a “not everything always works out like a fairy tale” appeal.


    January 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm

  4. […] reviews: Reading Backwards | Wandering Through […]

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