Cimorene is far from a normal princess. To the consternation of her tradition-loving parents, she has had various people at court teach her fencing, magic, cooking, and all sorts of other things before the king and queen have found out and put a stop to it. Finally, in an attempt to get her to settle down, her parents arrange a marriage for her with the prince of a neighboring kingdom. Cimorene’s response is to run away.
On the advice of a talking frog, she journeys into the Mountains of Morning and volunteers to become princess of the dragon Kazul. There, she finds all kinds of excitement—from a plot among the dragons to the suspicious activities of the neighboring wizards, to the troublesome number of princes who come to Kazul’s cave to try to rescue her, assuming she got there by force and not by choice. Cimorene’s life is now far from the boring monotony she’d experienced at the castle—and when she learns more about what’s going on in the Mountains of Morning, she realizes it’s about to get even more interesting still.
Dealing with Dragons is a hilarious, entertaining read. Patricia C. Wrede spoofs classic fairytales in a unique way which is extremely funny. Cimorene is a strong, interesting and determined heroine who is just about as far from a stereotypical princess as you can get. I would highly recommend Dealing with Dragons to readers ages ten and up.