Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)
by Patricia C. Wrede
- March 1st 2003
- by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1985)
- ISBN 0152046917
- (ISBN13: 9780152046910)
When I first read the book Talking to Dragons by Patricia Wrede in 6th grade, I borrowed it from the Denver Bookmobile. It says what an impression this book made on me at that time, because I remembered it for 20 years. What was funny is as I searched for the book for all those years. I described the book over and over to librarians, teachers, booksellers, and other avid readers. I kept saying the same words over and over again as I described the book. Now I think it is hilarious that the last line of my description was always that “the main character wanted to talk to dragons”, which ironically that is the title of the book. I would recommend this book to all lovers of dragons (especially friendly ones), adventures (that like adventures that teach you something), and anyone who could see themselves not in control of their own lives, or particular situations.
Talking to Dragons is the fourth book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia Wrede. The series has many qualities of Role Playing Games, fantasy stories, magic, dragons, heroes, and heroines. In short Talking to Dragons in particular is about finding the solution of the magical problem that the characters find themselves in. It is this quest that the two main characters go on. The lead character is Daystar, a name I could not forget. Daystar is a sixteen year old boy, who lives on an isolated farm at the edge of the Enchanted forest with his mother. The first chapter of the book starts with a surprise when Daystar’s mother (the Sorceress Cimorene) immediate reaction to the a wandering wizard that appeared on their farm, was to melt him (don’t worry he did not die). After this she sends Daystar into the Enchanted Forest, with a magic sword that she tells him nothing about. In the beginning all he knows is the sword is magic that was evident by the many strange things it does. He has spent his life learning how to survive, by being particularly polite to everyone. The key point to the story is Daystar wants to know what his life means, who he is, but to also know the power of the sword he caries, and particularly to talk to dragons.
Daystar meets new friends and allies in the Enchanted Forest. The first person he meets is Suz. Suz is a lizard that has an interest in everything going on in the Enchanted forest. He is a messenger that scurries around the forest. I think one of the funny parts of the book is Suz’s reaction to seeing the truth in everyone’s responses, and his apparent amazement when people tell him the truth. The second and the secondary lead of the story is the character is Shiara, a Fire Witch with a problem. Fire Witches are magical creatures in the Enchanted Forest, they have magic in their own right mostly connected to fire creation and control, but they do have their own special spell magic. Shiara’s problems are connected to the fact she can not control her magic. She finds out through the course of the story that she has to be polite to others to control her magic. She also must control her fire witch temper. Which will be a problem with a girl who can not control her temper. The third character is Dragon, a young dragon too young to have his own name. He wants to find a quick way to become an adult dragon. He is tired of not being a part of the adult world. Unfortunately his first attempts to have a princess and play an active role as an adult does not go well. Yet in the end it’s Dragon’s negotiation that is best solution for Daystar to understand his mission, and who he really is.
The story has many hilarious situations, like a knight wanting a tourney with the dragon, which would be fine as practice if the knight’s princess would not involve herself in the negotiation for the tourney rules by telling tales of the violence and injury she had seen at other tourneys. The secondary recurring joke involves the character Suz, who is remarkable in his reactions to other characters, and quite cute in my opinion. I like how he is described to be standing on his tail, and peering at the other characters when he questions them. The third is that everyone seems to know what is going on except our heroes Daystar and Shiara.
I think that talking to Dragons is a great book for kids. It shows the importance of politeness, controlling your temper, and how to overcome your own self doubt. This is a great quest with silly circumstance that will thrill all audiences. I would give this story five stars out of five.