Monday, June 26, 2006

Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede, 1990 *audio

Cimorene's impatience with propriety prompts a career change from betrothed princess to dragon's princess, when she volunteers to be the servant of the dragon Kazul. In a fractured fairy-tale world that playfully jumbles fairy tale motifs, Cimorene deals not only with politically plotting dragons, but sinister wizards, matrimony-minded princesses, and doggedly rescuing knights. Dragons that feel like kittens, characters and dialogue that fall flat, a meandering and indecisive plot, and a lack of personal risks or emotional stakes for the main character obscured the pleasure that the novel's premise suggested. Not recommended.

*I could have been influenced by the poorly-acted full-cast narration of the audio version, which I found insufferable -- though in its defense, my 8-year old enjoyed it. In preparing my annotation I tried hard to focus on the narrative itself and not the narration, but perhaps it biased me.

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