Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Flashback Friday is hosted by Jacki at Lovely Little Shelf. The goal is to highlight a book you loved as a kid or teenager.

I won't be participating in Flashback Friday every week, but after my post Wednesday on creating kick-ass female characters, I realized that many of you might not know one of my most favorite characters and books in YA fantasy literature. And that just won't do. So, ladies and gentleman, may I introduce you to The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is a four-book series by Patricia C. Wrede, whose name was recently in the news for the controversy surrounding her exclusion of Native Americans from her new book, The Thirteenth Child, which takes place during the American Colonial period. But long before any of that happened, Wrede was winning the heart of a young Heather with these tales of Princess Cimorene, who would rather learn fencing and Latin than how to behave like a lady.

In Dealing with Dragons, Cimorene, tired of living in the palace and dreading being married to her betrothed, decides to run away to the Mountains of Morning to make it seem as if she's been kidnapped by the dragons. The fiesty dragon Kazul takes an interest in her and agrees to take her in, allowing Cimorene to organize her library and make large batches of cherries jubilee for her. Eventually, the two become friends. There are also wizards, some evil dragons, very cool ideas about where magic comes from that made me want to reach into the air and see if I could pull on a thread of that magic myself, and places like the Caves of Fire and Night. Plus a sassy witch and her talking cats.

Each book is fun in its own way. Dealing with Dragons will always be my favorite, but I like the others almost as much. Talking to Dragons, though often presented as the final book in the series, was actually published several years before the others. The first three books are prequels.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles was my first introduction to fantasy literature. I checked it out from the library so many times that eventually my sister got me the boxed set for Christmas. I still have all of them, except the first one, which I gave away as a gift to complete a set I gave the girl I was babysitting (I was reading the books to her and she was about to move away. No local bookstore had the first one, so I gave her my copy.) It was my bridge to books like the Dragonriders of Pern series, and, eventually, the Harry Potter books. I'm sure I would have picked up Harry Potter eventually, but my love for wizards, magic, dragons, and fantasy created by Wrede made that happen years sooner than it otherwise would have (and I therefore got to enjoy years of anticipation, midnight releases, and speculation about what would happen next).

If you'd like to participate in Flashback Friday, visit Jacki's blog for more info!

In other news, I'm approaching 100 followers! And you know what that means...contest time! As soon as I hit 100 followers I plan to give away some great YA books. And it will be the easiest contest you've ever entered. So spread the love and help me hit 100!


  1. I keep meaning to buy this series for my son. I must make it a higher priority now. :-)

  2. I heart Morwen!!

    This is definitely a good read, and the series pokes fun at many of the fairy tales we've all heard since childhood along the way. "Rachel, Rachel! Let down your chair!". You and you son will love it, Shannon!

    If you still need a copy of Dealing With Dragons, Heather, I'll be more than happy to help you hunt one down.

  3. How did I miss these? They sound like something I would have been obsessed with as a kid.
    I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for them.

  4. Oh, I wish I had known these when I was younger. I had to be an adult reading Harry Potter before I was really introducted to young fantasy literature. Too cool. Thanks for sharing these.


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