The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Collected together for the first time are Patricia C. Wrede's hilarious adventure stories about Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper. Every one of Cimorene's adventures is included in its paperback edition--"Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, " and "Talking to Dragons"--in one handsome package that's perfect for gift giving....

Title:The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles Reviews

  • Tortla

    Only just recently, it has come to my attention that the final book in this series was actually written FIRST. THIS BLEW MY MIND. The final book ties everything together so very neatly...Goodness gracious my perception of the world is crumbling around my widdle ears. OK so, these books are all really good aside from the whole my not being aware of the chronology of the publication and whatnot. They're all dragony and delicious. And also, it's like one giant fairy tale of awesome. Also, there are

    Only just recently, it has come to my attention that the final book in this series was actually written FIRST. THIS BLEW MY MIND. The final book ties everything together so very neatly...Goodness gracious my perception of the world is crumbling around my widdle ears. OK so, these books are all really good aside from the whole my not being aware of the chronology of the publication and whatnot. They're all dragony and delicious. And also, it's like one giant fairy tale of awesome. Also, there are some versions of these books which are published with hideous cartoony covers. Those are lame. I can't stand books with ugly covers. The outside should be a glorious sneak-peek of the glory within. I'm rambling.

  • Echo

    This is some of the best young adult fantasy out there, especially if you like some humor in your fantasy. In the first book, the main character gets fed up with her life as a princess. When she tries to learn to fence, she's told it's unladylike, so she has to stop. When she tries to coook, she's told it's unladylike, so she has to stop. So, we begin the story with the main character running away to find a dragon to live with. She does find one, and she spends much of the book making cherries j

    This is some of the best young adult fantasy out there, especially if you like some humor in your fantasy. In the first book, the main character gets fed up with her life as a princess. When she tries to learn to fence, she's told it's unladylike, so she has to stop. When she tries to coook, she's told it's unladylike, so she has to stop. So, we begin the story with the main character running away to find a dragon to live with. She does find one, and she spends much of the book making cherries jubilee for said dragon and trying to explain to princes who come to rescue her that no, in fact, she does NOT want to be rescued. That's just the first book. Many other characters come into the series in the later books. All four books are delightfully funny. I really love this series.

  • Michelle

    So I was waiting for my latest book club's choice to arrive in the mail, and knowing that it was a serious choice this month, I decided to relive some young adult books that used to be great favorites of mine. I own a very ratty hardcover copy of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, but recently purchased the newly released paperbacks in a box set. Perfect time to read them.

    These vary in how much I like them. The first one I've read more than the rest, and do like a lot. It features a feisty prince

    So I was waiting for my latest book club's choice to arrive in the mail, and knowing that it was a serious choice this month, I decided to relive some young adult books that used to be great favorites of mine. I own a very ratty hardcover copy of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, but recently purchased the newly released paperbacks in a box set. Perfect time to read them.

    These vary in how much I like them. The first one I've read more than the rest, and do like a lot. It features a feisty princess named Cimorene who runs away to willingly work for a dragon. The second one is great too. It's told from the point of view of Mendanbar, the King of the Enchanted Forest, who hangs out with Cimorene to save the dragon Kazul. The third one is probably the best because it's just so darn cute. There are talking cats, a flying nearly seven-foot tall blue donkey that used to be an ordinary rabbit, and a lot of references to fairy tales and other children's stories. The fourth one is definitely my least favorite. It jumps far forward in time and the main character is Cimorene's teenage son. The writing comes across as more childish, and doesn't feature as much the characters from the three previous books. But all in all, very fast, fun reads.

  • Laurie

    This is a series for people who like fantasy with a dash of humor and a strong female heroine who is perfectly willing to tell the slightly stupid handsome prince he can kindly throw himself off a cliff. Add some dragons, a few wicked wizard, one very forward thinking witch, a floating blue donkey with a 6-foot wing span, and an entire kindgom made of magical threads and you might begin to understand the stories. Wrede has a way of pulling in a few old fairy tale favorites while forging a story

    This is a series for people who like fantasy with a dash of humor and a strong female heroine who is perfectly willing to tell the slightly stupid handsome prince he can kindly throw himself off a cliff. Add some dragons, a few wicked wizard, one very forward thinking witch, a floating blue donkey with a 6-foot wing span, and an entire kindgom made of magical threads and you might begin to understand the stories. Wrede has a way of pulling in a few old fairy tale favorites while forging a story completely unlike anything else. Worth the read!

  • Werner

    This series is absolutely one of the fantasy genre's treasures! It's wonderfully light-hearted and humorous; the author revels in puncturing any number of fairy-tale conventions. Princess Cimorene, for instance, isn't kidnapped and enslaved by a dragon --she voluntarily becomes housekeeper for the Dragon King to escape an arranged marriage. (And the draconian king is female; dragons use that title for monarchs of either gender to keep things "simple.") But though her main characters often don't

    This series is absolutely one of the fantasy genre's treasures! It's wonderfully light-hearted and humorous; the author revels in puncturing any number of fairy-tale conventions. Princess Cimorene, for instance, isn't kidnapped and enslaved by a dragon --she voluntarily becomes housekeeper for the Dragon King to escape an arranged marriage. (And the draconian king is female; dragons use that title for monarchs of either gender to keep things "simple.") But though her main characters often don't do the conventionally "proper" thing, they always try to do the genuinely right thing.

    Practicing Roman Catholic Wrede [pronounced "Reedy":] writes good clean fantasy (both serious and humorous), free of bad language, unwholesome sexual content, or gratuitous violence. (Here, for instance, Cimorene and her cohorts deal with dastardly wizards simply by melting them into goo with soap and water, like the Wicked Witch of the West in

    --but they always eventually regenerate.) Her work is informed by an equalitarian feminism, in the best sense of the word, which is not at all anti-male. IMO, she's one of the very best fantasy writers of our generation. Readers who like this series should explore her other work; I can personally recommend

    and

    .

  • Chelsea

    I never read Harry Potter or

    , or the Chronicles of Narnia, I read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. And to this day I haven't been able to figure out why these adventure stories aren't films already. Very fun.

  • Dawn

    I recently finished reading these books with my ten year old daughter. I read them years ago, so I didn't remember much plot, just that they are fun fantasy. And they are--light and witty, funny, creative, and strong female characters. I didn't like the last book as well. It didn't seem as well written and I missed Cimorene as a main character. But it was needed to finish the story. It was fun to enjoy the books together. We no longer have much of an oral tradition in our society, so it's easy t

    I recently finished reading these books with my ten year old daughter. I read them years ago, so I didn't remember much plot, just that they are fun fantasy. And they are--light and witty, funny, creative, and strong female characters. I didn't like the last book as well. It didn't seem as well written and I missed Cimorene as a main character. But it was needed to finish the story. It was fun to enjoy the books together. We no longer have much of an oral tradition in our society, so it's easy to forget the relish of books read aloud. (Unless, of course, you like recorded books! :)) My voice may sometimes tire, but sharing books personally with my children and husband creates special bonds which I cherish. I would rate the series a 3, but it goes up to a 4 because of the treat of reading them aloud with my daughter.

  • Tara Montgomery

    I loved these books in grade school and I love them still. The author does a great job of making fun of what is considered a typical fairytale. Princesses take classes on how to scream correctly when a dragon carries them off & knights are constantly trying to find a damsel in distress to rescue (even if they don't wish to be).

    Dealing with Dragons

    Princess Cimorene of the kingdom of Linderwall decides that being a princess is too boring and confining, leaves home to work for the dragon Kazul,

    I loved these books in grade school and I love them still. The author does a great job of making fun of what is considered a typical fairytale. Princesses take classes on how to scream correctly when a dragon carries them off & knights are constantly trying to find a damsel in distress to rescue (even if they don't wish to be).

    Dealing with Dragons

    Princess Cimorene of the kingdom of Linderwall decides that being a princess is too boring and confining, leaves home to work for the dragon Kazul, and discovers and subsequently dissolves a plot by the wizards to take control of the King of the Dragons.

    Searching for Dragons

    Cimorene meets the King of the Enchanted Forest, Mendanbar. With their new friends, they collaborate to rescue Kazul—now the King of the Dragons—from the wizards who have captured her.

    Calling on Dragons

    Morwen discovers that the wizards have stolen Mendanbar's sword, which keeps them from stealing the Enchanted Forest's magic, and works with Cimorene to retrieve it.

    Talking to Dragons

    Daystar, Cimorene and Mendanbar's son, is sent off into the forest with his father's sword and no knowledge of his heritage. Written and published first, and then revised later to better fit with the prequel books.

  • Katie

    Okay, time for a Nostalgia Review!

    Recently somewhere on the depths of the internet I came across a list of "badass women of fantasy" or something like that, and Cimorene from this series was on there. And I was like, I remember her! She was awesome! And I was possessed by a sudden desire to reread these books because I hate doing things that I need to do. So that's what I did! Each book is only about 100 - 200 pages long, and it took me around 3 hours to read each one. Unsurprising, given the ta

    Okay, time for a Nostalgia Review!

    Recently somewhere on the depths of the internet I came across a list of "badass women of fantasy" or something like that, and Cimorene from this series was on there. And I was like, I remember her! She was awesome! And I was possessed by a sudden desire to reread these books because I hate doing things that I need to do. So that's what I did! Each book is only about 100 - 200 pages long, and it took me around 3 hours to read each one. Unsurprising, given the target audience is like 7 - 11 year-olds, but still.

    If you're not familiar with the plot, it goes like this:

    Cimorene doesn't look like the typical princess. Instead of being a delicate flower with blonde hair and blues eyes, she is tall and strong with black eyes and long black hair that she likes to wear in braids. She doesn't have princess-approved interests, either: swordplay, cooking, Latin, politics, and magic, among others. When her parents decide to solve the problem by marrying her off to an air-headed prince, she decides to run away and ends up working for a dragon. The first book takes off from here, focusing on Cimorene with the dragons and their fight against some evil wizards. The following books really expand the world and focus a bit more on the nearby Enchanted Forest and its king, Mendanbar, who certainly has one of the greatest names in fantasy literature.

    These books are utterly charming. They're basically fantasy/fairy-tale satire for children, which is a concept I can get behind 100 %. Looking back, I can understand quite easily how reading them (and I read each several times in my youth) influenced both my sense of humor and my opinions about fantasy. There is definitely an emphasis on practicality and doing things for yourself, which is quite nice. A funny thing about the first book is that Cimorene runs away to escape from oppressive female stereotypes, but she ends up spending all her time cooking and cleaning for a dragon. At first glance that may seem a bit backward, but does organizing the library count as anti-feminist when it includes translating Latin and dealing with murderous genies? I don't think so, and certainly the whole point is that Cimorene is capable of taking care of herself and thinking outside the paradigm of "what's proper," which for princesses does not include getting dirty or cooking. On that level, I think these books are especially great for young girls to read because Cimorene is a wonderful role model. She's smart, determined, practical, and a bit of a badass.

    The second book is my favorite, and it introduces us to Mendanbar, who as I mentioned previous is fairly awesome. He's Cimorene's badass male counterpart, basically. In this book, the rules of magic are fleshed out much more, and Mendanbar in particular gets a very interesting way of doing things. Telemain, a magician, speaks almost entirely in magical technobabble, which I found moderately humorous. Most of what he says makes at least some sense if you read it, but I kind of doubt I did anything other than skim it when I was younger. Anyway, I appreciated the way magical things (more or less) made sense from kind of a psudeo-scientific standpoint.

    As might be expected, the plots are not too complex. Chekov's Gun is in full force for most plot points, which is fine. The way the heroes stumble upon a critical plot device is lampshaded beautifully in the last book. The villains in particular are rather weak, being little other than cackling stereotype evil wizards who aren't given motivations for their actions other than "we're greedy and evil!" They're also mostly ineffectual and not very threatening. I wouldn't exactly call our heroes round characters either, because they're honestly not. They are, however, interesting ideas and they certainly grab your attention. In my opinion, that's one of the strengths of this series. It's the kind of story that grabs your imagination (it certainly did mine when I was little) and makes you feel like you know a lot more about the characters than is actually written down in the book. The concepts are so fun you wish there was more, that you could really get to know the characters better. The other strength, of course, is that it's quite funny in a gently whimsical manner. The self-awareness of the characters of what happens in a fairy tale is pretty much the whole point.

    I definitely thought the first two books were the strongest, and the third the weakess, but I highly recommend this series, especially for young girls.

  • Julia

    I rediscovered the first volume, Dealing with Dragons, which I really enjoyed when I was a kid, and after a short online search, found out it was part of a series and ordered the whole box off amazon.

    After having read through the latter three books in one week now, I am ready to give my verdict.

    At 23, I am probably a little too old for this, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the books and plan on reading them to my future children.

    The wacky and whimsical wit paired with the believable characters,

    I rediscovered the first volume, Dealing with Dragons, which I really enjoyed when I was a kid, and after a short online search, found out it was part of a series and ordered the whole box off amazon.

    After having read through the latter three books in one week now, I am ready to give my verdict.

    At 23, I am probably a little too old for this, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the books and plan on reading them to my future children.

    The wacky and whimsical wit paired with the believable characters, especially the strong female protagonists, added to the addicting quality of the series.

    The first two volumes, narrated from Cimorene and Mendanbar's points of view respectively, are my favourites, with the third one close behind. (I would have liked the third volume better if I hadn't been so annoyed with Killer.)

    The fourth book was a little disappointing. I don't usually like first-person narrators, and the prose felt a little flat same as the characters. Daystar lacked personality, and I couldn't really see what was so great about Shiara. Also, I missed Cimorene and the other characters who actually DO something, plus the above-mentioned wit.


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