Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*****Searching for Dragons

by Patricia C. Wrede

Reviewed May 9, 2005.
Magic Carpet Books, 2002.  First published in 1991.  272 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF WRE).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#2, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Old Favorites)

Searching for Dragons is the second of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and the first one I read, discovered at a Scholastic Book Fair.  I loved it and was delighted when I learned there were more.  Now I’m reading all four books to my ten-year-old.  We’re halfway done, and enjoying them immensely.

This second book introduces Mendanbar, the King of the Enchanted Forest.  As you might expect, the Enchanted Forest is loaded with magic.  Parts of the forest move around, in order to lose questing princes.  There are many interesting inhabitants, like squirrels that can talk (always follow their advice), and witches and other interesting creatures.

When Mendanbar finds a large burned section of the forest, he also finds several dragon scales lying about.  Following the advice of a squirrel, he consults Morwen, who sends him to the cave of Kazul, King of the Dragons.  There he meets our friend from the first book, Princess Cimorene, Kazul’s Chief Cook and Librarian.

It turns out that wizards seem to be trying to cause trouble between the dragons and the Enchanted Forest.  Along with this, Kazul is missing, and Mendanbar ends up going with Cimorene on a search to find her.

I love the way Patricia C. Wrede plays with traditional fairy tale themes.  We meet a giant who’s tired of pillaging villages.  We meet Herman, descendant of Rumpelstiltskin, who keeps getting stuck with queens' children because he’s too soft-hearted and won’t refuse to spin their straw into gold.

These stories are tremendous fun, telling about a quest led by distinctive characters in a very traditional, if magical, place.

Reviews of other books by Patricia C. Wrede:
Dealing with Dragons (Book 1)
Calling on Dragons (Book 3)
Talking to Dragons (Book 4)
The Book of Enchantments
Thirteenth Child
Across the Great Barrier
Sorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
The Grand Tour
The Mislaid Magician
The Seven Towers

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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