Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: Searching for Dragons

Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Enchanted Forest Chronicles #2
Published November 1st 2002 by HMH Books

Kidnap a dragon? How daring!
How stupid

Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper, is back--but where is Kazul the dragon? That's what Cimorene is determined to find out.

Luckily--or perhaps not-so-luckily--she's got help: Mendenbar, the not-very-kingly King of the Enchanted Forest, has joined her in her quest. So with the aid of a broken-down magic carpet, a leaky magical sword, and a few buckets of soapy lemon water, they set off across the Enchanted Forest to tackle the dragon-napping and save the King of the Dragons.
ATTENTION classic fantasy/fairytale fans: do you like stories about dragons, evil wizards, a good witch with clever cats, a feisty unconventional princess, a non-conformist king, magicians, a flying carpet, and a magical sword? If you said yes to any of those, then this series is worth your time. And the best part is, it won't take up a lot of your time because these books a quick reads and with only four books, you'd be caught up in no time!

I read the first book in the series, Dealing with Dragons last year - if you missed my review, you can read it here - and have been looking forward to returning to the series ever since. With Searching for Dragons, Patricia C. Wrede reminded me why her books are so much fun. Beyond being relatively short books that pack a lot of beloved fantasy and fairytale elements within its pages, these stories navigate the usual tropes expertly, avoiding the more tired or dated ones and giving them a fresh twist. I switched it up this time though and listened to the sequel on audio. It was performed by a full cast, which was a first for me. I have to say that most of the voice actors did superb jobs but a few of the voices annoyed me...which in turn, made the characters seem annoying, though they wouldn't have come off that way if I'd read them myself.

These books feature a straightforward writing style that doesn't take itself too seriously.  It isn't simplistic though, the storytelling is clever, humorous and thoroughly entertaining.  This time around, the POV switches to Mendenbar, the young King of  The Enchanted Forest. I was surprised that Cimorene didn't return as the main character but it isn't long until she and the King cross paths, brought together by separate mysteries that end up being connected. Mendenbar was a great narrator though and I got used to his voice quickly. As they set out to unravel the circumstances that brought them together, the make new friends, face new enemies and discover hidden secrets, even about themselves.

The best way to describe this series would be to say that the storytelling and plot have a classic fantasy feel, but the characters and tropes are updated to have more of a modern twist.  While the first book is still my favorite (so far), I enjoyed the addition of Mendenbar, the return of all my other favorite characters and being reminded how awesome Cimore is. Where were princesses like her when I was growing up? Also, Searching for Dragons features a cat hitching a ride on a dragon! I'm sorry but it doesn't get any better than that. Hello new favorite thing ♥ I've already started on the third books.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

18 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really fun and entertaining read. You did a great job with the review, it made me want to read it. I'm really intrigued to find out how she updated the tropes to have a modern twist, that sounds so interesting. I will have to check out the first book. Great review!

    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

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    1. Thank you Sofia - I hope you do check out the series soon :) It was a really fun and quick read with a fresh twist on the usual fairytales! Thanks again ♥

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  2. I *adore* The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Those audiobooks are practically the soundtrack of my childhood. I'm so glad you've discovered them!

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    1. Awww no way, that's awesome! Now I wish I'd have found these when I was younger too XD

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  3. I've heard a lot of good things about these, and Enchanted Forest- I'm always a sucker for a mystical forest and all that stuff. Sounds fun! :) I'm going to have to get to these.

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    1. Exactly! Magical forests are always awesome :D I just like that these are quick and easy while being clever and entertaining!

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  4. I love this one. You should definitely know ahead of time that Book #3 switches the main characters.

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    1. I enjoyed it too! Oh and like I said at the end of my review there^^ I've already started on book 3 ;)

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  5. I actually haven't heard of this series or the author :O But I love Fantasy so I'm probably going to check it out anyway haha. It seems like it has strong characters in it as well, which is always a positive.

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    1. Really? The first one is definitely the best one so far but since they're such quick reads, I find them worth the time :)

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  6. Glad this was another fun read for you, Micheline! I was just saying to Melissa today that I haven't read enough books featuring dragons, lol. I totally would've been into these books as a young reader growing up, too; but, it's not too late for me to catch up on them, and I definitely plan to! :D

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    1. Thanks Lee^^ Yes, one can never have too many dragon books in one's life XD Growing up with these would have been the best thing, but I'll settle for reading them now LOL! Awesome :)

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  7. I read these books when I was a kid, at least the first two. I barely remember them at all though. You sold me on needing to do a re-read with the first sentence of your review. I must find my old copies of these books. I wonder if there's an audio-version...

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    1. YES I've been listening to them on audio - I discussed the narration in my review^^ I hope you find your way back to these soon my friend! xx

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  8. My answer is YES to all of the questions in the first line of your review! Fantasy, fairy tales, dragons, sign me up. I admit, I'd not heard of this book before! And hey, 3.5 stars is not too shabby.

    Great review, Micheline! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. LOL! YAY! Yeah, I rated the first one 4-stars but I liked this one a little less, so it seemed fair. They're lots of fun and quick reads so they're totally worth the time :D Thank you Alyssa^^ xx

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  9. I have the first one on my to-read list already. I'm so glad to see that the 2nd one is enjoyable as well. I love all of these fantasy elements so I'm sure that I would like this one. Cat hitching a ride on a dragon? Epic!

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    1. Awesome! This one was quite enjoyable too though not quite as much as the first one :) I think that considering all the fantasy/fairytale elements involved and the fact that these are quick reads, they're totally worth it. And I agree :D

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