Talking to Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book 4)

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Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. By clicking on "Submit" you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Email Newsletter. Log In. Toggle navigation MENU. Volume number four opens 16 years after Calling on Dragons p. Does Daystar succeed, despite wizards, bad elves, witches, and a rock-crunching quozzel?

You can bet on that. In the process, he acquires as companion—and likely future princess—the young fire-witch Shiara; so, as they say, the story continues. The series is getting a little formulaic, and—despite the title—the dragons are now distinctly minor players here; still, the characters and their effervescent dialogue continue to charm. The evil wizards have stolen King Mendenbar's sword; its loss imperils the forest, and a doughty crew of seven sets out to rescue it: Morwen the witch and two of her talking cats; sensible Cimorene, now queen, and pregnant; magician Telemain, whose parodic technospeak is so relentlessly clever that it's a relief when he falls into a trance; Kazul the dragon; and a blue donkey, a former rabbit, hapless attractor for magic gone awry.

There are other amusing new characters here—notably the confirmed traditionalist who helped steal the sword—but mostly the focus is on the comical repartee and the magic itself; a recalcitrant mirror's plaints when it's used as a telephone are laugh-aloud funny. Like return visits to Oz, this doesn't have the original punch but it's still good fun; a cliffhanger close promises another sequel.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles Book Four: Talking to Dragons (Unabridged)

Sensible princess Cimorene meets sensible king Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest, and they sensibly decide to get married— but not before each mistakes the other for those greatest of twits, the pompous hero and the simpering princess; they take a bumpy ride on a broken-down magic carpet to rescue Kazul, King of the Dragons; they meet Telemain, a research magician who never uses one word when ten will do; and they defeat the dastardly wizards attempting to suck all the magic from the Enchanted Forest.

This sequel to revisionist-fabulist Wrede's Dealing with Dragons is as sprightly as the original. Nothing much happens, but the wry twists are both fun and funny e. A refreshing romp. Princess Cimorene hates deportment and advanced curtseying, but she's denied lessons in magic, swordsmanship, or cooking—so she runs away and applies for a job as Dragon's princess.

She keeps cave, treasure, and kitchen in order, but has trouble convincing the rather dim Prince Therandil that she really doesn't want to be rescued. It's fortunate that she succeeds, since a renegade Dragon has betrayed his kind to the Wizards, and only Cimorene can save her Dragon, Kazul, from being destroyed, in the end, Kazul becomes King of the Dragons, while Cimorene becomes King's Cook and Librarian.

The knights kept their armor brightly polished mainly for show—it had been centuries since a dragon had come east. There were the usual periodic problems with royal children and uninvited fairy godmothers, but they were always the sort of thing that could be cleared up by finding the proper prince or princess to marry the unfortunate child a few years later. All in all, Linderwall was a very prosperous and pleasant place.

Description from Houghton Mifflin

Cimorene hated it. Cimorene was the youngest daughter of the King of Linderwall, and her parents found her rather trying.

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Their first six daughters were perfectly normal princesses, with long, golden hair and sweet dispositions, each more beautiful than the last. Cimorene was lovely enough, but her hair was jet black, and she wore it in braids instead of curled and pinned like her sisters. Her parents were quite sure that no prince would want to marry a girl who could look him in the eye instead of gazing up at him becomingly through her lashes.

When they were angry or annoyed with her, they said she was as stubborn as a pig. The King and Queen did the best they could. They hired the most superior tutors and governesses to teach Cimorene all the things a princess ought to know—dancing, embroidery, drawing, and etiquette. There was a great deal of etiquette, from the proper way to curtsy before a visiting prince to how loudly it was permissible to scream when being carried off by a giant.

Linderwall still had an occasional problem with giants. Cimorene found it all very dull, but she pressed her lips together and learned it anyway. As she got older, she found her regular lessons more and more boring. Consequently, the fencing lessons became more and more frequent. When she was twelve, her father found out. Cimorene tilted her head to one side.

He had been bracing himself for a storm of tears, which was the way his other daughters reacted to reprimands. When she was fourteen, her father discovered that she was making the court magician teach her magic. And that was the end of the magic lessons. The same thing happened over the Latin lessons from the court philosopher, the cooking lessons from the castle chef, the economics lessons from the court treasurer, and the juggling lessons from the court minstrel.


Cimorene began to grow rather tired of the whole business. When she was sixteen, Cimorene summoned her fairy godmother. Tell me about him. That used to be quite popular, but it seems to have gone out of fashion lately.

Patricia C. Wrede - Enchanted Forest 1 - Talking to Dragons

Nowadays, all the princes are talking birds, or dogs, or hedgehogs. I want to do things, not sit around all day and listen to the court minstrel make up songs about how brave Daddy is and how lovely his wife and daughters are. Cimorene was quite sure that they were only taking her because her fairy godmother had told them that something had better be done about her, and soon. She kept this opinion to herself.

Anything was better than the endless rounds of dancing and embroidery lessons at home. Cimorene realized her mistake almost as soon as they reached their destination, for the King of Sathem-by-the-Mountains had a son. He was a golden-haired, blue-eyed, and exceedingly handsome prince, whose duties appeared to consist entirely of dancing attendance on Cimorene. The lady-in-waiting tried to mutter something about a mistake, but Cimorene put up her chin in her best princess fashion and insisted on an explanation.

Finally, the lady-in-waiting broke down.

I overheard Their Majesties discussing it yesterday. You may go.

‎The Enchanted Forest Chronicles Book Four: Talking to Dragons (Unabridged) on Apple Books

They were annoyed and a little embarrassed to find that Cimorene had discovered their plans, but they were still very firm about it. Both her parents looked uncomfortable. She looked reprovingly at Cimorene. Proper or not, you will marry Prince Therandil three weeks from Thursday. She went to see Prince Therandil. He was in the castle armory, looking at swords. Is there something I can do for you? The one with the silver hilt? She was very discouraged.

It looked as if she were going to marry the prince of Sathem-by-the-Mountains whether she wanted to or not. Cimorene looked down and saw a small green frog looking up at her. Did you speak? She had never met a talking frog before. He used to skip rocks across the top of my pond. They always sank into my living room. Nine times out of ten, talking is a way of avoiding doing things. And I can make cherries jubilee.

Too many things could go wrong. Do you want my advice or not? Keep on until you reach a hovel. Walk straight up to the door and knock three times, then snap your fingers and go inside. She rose and went back into the castle. Late that night, when most of the castle was asleep, Cimorene bundled up five clean handkerchiefs and her best crown. Then she dug out the notes she had taken during her magic lessons and carefully cast a spell of invisibility.

It seemed to work, but she was still very watchful as she sneaked out of the castle.