Book/page totals

Top 10 Lists

Sunday, December 13, 2009

cover of 'Searching for Dragons'

The sequel to Dealing with Dragons, this story starts with Mendenbar, the young king of the Enchanted Forest, out for a walk when he discovers a patch of forest that seems to have been burned, and all the magic sucked out of it.  A little investigation and a consult with Morwen shows that someone is trying to frame the dragons for this destruction, and perhaps provoke war between the dragons and the Enchanted Forest, so Mendenbar sets off to meet with King Kazul (although he's a little dismayed to hear the dragon has a princess, as he prefers to avoid silly, hero/husband-hunting girls).  When he arrives, he meets Cimorene (not at all what he expected from a princess), who is just about to head out to try to find Kazul, who seems to have gone missing.  Since it seems to involve his kingdom as well, Mendenbar joins her.  Along the way, they sup with giants, ride on a broken-down magic carpet (decorated in pink with teddy bears!), meet Rumpelstiltskin's descendant Herman, as well as a scholar-magician named Telemain, before they face the nefarious wizards and, of course, fall in love.

Another light, entertaining story.  Mendenbar is a fun character, Cimorene's 'match' in many ways.  His magic seems to be different than most of the other magic-users we've met in this series; as the king of the Enchanted Forest, he is connected to its magic-- he can see the strands of magic in the forest, and twist them to work his spells, and, in some cases, it turns out he can even see the strands and netting of other people's spells. 

There are several entertaining interludes in this story-- for instance, the dwarf Herman, who has a house overrun with children because he keeps trying out the Rumpelstiltskin scheme, but none of the girls are clever enough to figure out his name (even though he changed it to something easy to remember).  And Mendenbar keeps coming up with interesting solutions for the people they meet-- to the giant tired of pillaging, he recommends a turn to consulting; for Herman, he suggests that he turn his house full of children into a proper lost-heir boarding school so he can charge for some of his students.  The scholar-magician Telemain is also quite hilarious-- always explaining things in very technical, erudite, incomprehensible terms, and wanting Mendenbar to do his magic over again, but more slowly, so Telemain can study it.

The final face-off with the wizards is a little anti-climactic, and it's not completely clear what the wizards hoped to gain by kidnapping the king of the dragons, draining the Enchanted Forest of pockets of magic, and instigating war between the forest and the dragons.  Inside the Enchanted Forest, with his magic sword, Mendenbar is almost too powerful.  Of course, the wizards are mostly a plot device to get Mendenbar and Cimorene having crazy adventures together so they can recognize they're meant for each other, so I guess it's forgivable.

Title:Searching for Dragons
Author:Patricia C. Wrede
Date published:1991
Genre:Young Adult Fantasy
Series:Enchanted Forest Chronicles
Number of pages:242
Notes:loan from Catey


Google Search