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Classic Fantasy | Book Review: Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

Somehow I never read the Dealing With Dragons series as a kid. It’s interesting as an adult to read a child’s book with fresh eyes…

Book Review: Book Review: Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

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dealing with dragons patricia c wrede book review

Title & Author: Dealing with Dragons: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book One by Patricia C. Wrede

Genre: Middle Grade – Fantasy

Release Date: September 18, 1990

Series: Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1

Publisher: Scholastic

How I Got the Book: Gifted


“Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart – and bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon – and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.”

Wonderful YA/MG Classic

Note: While many on Goodreads listed Dealing with Dragons as a YA book, I think it clearly sits on the border between middle grade and YA. According to the Scholastic listing, the book is ideal for grades 6-8.

That being said, Dealing with Dragons is just darling (how many other “d” adjectives can I add?). Princess Cimorene is tired of being told “that just isn’t done” and seeks adventure for herself. Plus there are dragons so yeah, kind of awesome.

The writing is simple but elegant and the characters are vivid and memorable. What I loved more about this story is that I think young girls will relate with Cimorene.

I know I was told as a child I couldn’t do something based purely on my gender. That’s a truly frustrating feeling, so I loved seeing how Cimorene handles things and takes charge of her own life. It’s a great message and one that will hit home with many readers.

And, the romance is very light. This book honestly didn’t need it at all, so I support that decision for sure.

BONUS: I love stories with besties, and this book highlights a strong female friendship that I jus adored. So much yes to this!

Clocking in at a little over 200 pages, this is a fast read. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the story contents, but I am obviously a bit older than the intended reader.

I see why Dealing With Dragons is a beloved fantasy classic – it’s perfect to get a younger set hooked on reading.


Dealing with Dragons is a great middle grade fantasy that has a great message, a strong heroine and awesome friendships – highly recommended.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • As the biggest tomboy ever, I really related to Cimorene smashing gender roles and doing as she liked when reading this as a kid. She’s really pretty revolutionary – she encourages everyone to do what feels right to them, rather than continuing to exist in a predefined role. Also gotta love her pragmatism and the power of clean living. It’s just so much fun to just hang out with Cimorene and Kazul, and it’s surprising how much of the book is made up of everyday tasks rather than big adventures, without ever growing dull. My sister and I just covered Dealing with Dragons on our YA fantasy nostalgia podcast – check out Dragon Babies on iTunes if you’re interested!