Review of Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1)

I love fantasy books and especially those with dragons in their stories, which is, in my opinion, the apotheosis of the fantastic genre. For some authors their focus will be elves, for others, dwarves, but for me they are dragons. This is why I started reading the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, since you have the word “dragon” in the titles of all their four books. Where are my dragons!?

In addition, each author gives their dragons their own characteristics, which makes the situation of these creatures so very different from one book to another. In some stories, they are unique beings, Eragon, for example; in other books, they are in extinction, Song of Ice and Fire, for example; in other books, they are normal creatures like any other animal, for example, the Harry Potter series, or, as in the case of Dealing with Dragons, dragons belong to the society structure created by the author. Dragons vary too, from author to author: how they look, how they act, their abilities and the things they can do. For example, the gift of speech, or speaking through thoughts, or not speaking at all. Spitting fire, or poison, or nothing, being violent, being peaceful, living with humans, hating elves, hating dwarves, hating everyone, being of different colours, of different sizes, obeying humans, fight humans, live forever, live a long time, live a short life, etc. They are very different!  

There is a Wikipedia article that I recommend reading which is a list of dragons in popular culture, here is the link:  I think that a lot that can be added, so if there is any reader working on updating Wikipedia as a hobby, here is an article that needs quite a bit of work. Just be careful, because I just read an F *************** spoiler from Eragon in the article, which I am reading now. (various insults).

The only other creature that becomes something so different from book to book, in my opinion, may be vampires. In some books they cannot see sunlight, in others they do (and shine!); in some stories, they need blood to live, in others, they do not, in others they necessarily need human blood, in other books they can live on the blood of animals, and in others, they are fine with artificial blood;in some books, they have red eyes, in others, they have yellow eyes; in some books they can fly, in others they can transform into bats or other creatures… and I will stop here because it was not about vampires I wanted to talk. Just saying, there is a great etcetera.

However, I think I have extended myself too much on the dragon issue, when I really wanted to talk about Dealing with Dragons. The book belongs to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This series has four books (you will have all four reviews before the end of the year), and they are: Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons.

The book tells the story of a princess who doesn’t want to accept her destiny, that is, of marrying a prince she does not know. She escapes from her parents’ castle, and goes to live with the dragons, offering herself as a “dragon princess”, something that in this book is seen, for dragons, as an element of status. The princess is happier living with dragons than with her parents. During the story, many knights want to rescue her, despite her will, of not being rescued. Then they have problems with wizards, and so on. So, you see, the story has a bit of everything. But, no, no vampires, don’t worry.  

Final comment: the book has some interesting features, but sometimes it is just too innocent. Also, the characters seem to have ambitions without clear objectives. «I’m going to live with the dragons» … that’s fine, but … why? Why not go to the mountains to grow tapioca? (please excuse my ignorance about the cultivation of tapioca) What happens to your parents, or the rest of your family? What about your friends, your childhood memories, your heritage, etc.? «I don’t know what to do so I’m going to live with the dragons.» And there are other similar examples. I apologise, but I think so much about the motivations of the characters when I write myself, that when I see this type of simplistic literature, I ask myself these kinds of questions to see if I can better understand what the author or the characters are thinking. I hope that, in subsequent books, this issue is not so important.

Book quote: «Well I’m not a proper princess then!» Cimorene snapped. «I make cherries jubillee and I volunteer for dragons, and I conjugate Latin verbs– or at least I would if anyone would let me”.

Keep on reading,

GG Klimt

Questions to answer in the comments:
Have you read the series of the Enchanted Forest? And what about “Dealing with dragons”? Did you like it? Do you agree with my final comments? Have you read any similar books you would recommend, for someone who would like to read more of the same genre? Please answer all these questions in the comments!

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