Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Calling on Dragons

Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Enchanted Forest Chronicles #3
Published March 1st 2003 by HMH Books

"We need to see King Mendanbar and Queen Cimorene right away. . . ."

They're back! Except Princess Cimorene is now Queen Cimorene of the Enchanted Forest, and she is on a very important mission with Kazul the dragon king, Morwen the witch, Telemain the magician, two cats, and a blue, flying donkey-rabbit named Killer. It's not going to be easy.

The wizards have become very smart (sort of) and have found a way to capture the most powerful source of magic in the Enchanted Forest --- King Mendanbar's sword. If the sword is not returned to the forest in due time, the forest will begin to die. And you can bet your last dragon scale that Cimorene won't stand for that!
Calling on Dragons is the third book in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles and once again introduces us to a new POV. This time though, instead of a wholly new character like with King Mendenbar in book two, we get up close and personal with my favorite character in the series, Morwen the Witch. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get to know her better, especially since it meant that this time, we'd also get to ''hear'' her witchy felines when they speak (since she's the only one who can understand them). This book sees the return of troublesome wizards, dragons, magic and a host of new characters - some of which were ok, but others, not so much...

Things start off at Morwen's and her nine cats on full display, all with unique and frankly hilarious personalities.  I don't think you need to like cats to enjoy their banter and sass they have on display here. They're not usual cats, they're magical which means they can get up to all sorts of mischief.  You all know me and my love for cats though, so magical cats with sass was the highlight of Calling on Dragons for me, along with Morwen and the dragons of course ♥

As it was with the second book, it isn't long until Morwen joins up with Queen Cimorene, King Mendenbar, Telemain and Kazul the dragon, only this time they're joined by a talking rabbit named Killer, that ends up on the wrong end of a spell and is turned into a donkey (I don't consider this a spoiler since he's right there on the cover.) I don't know if it's because the narrator had an annoying voice - I know Killer was meant to be annoying but his part of the story drove me to distraction. I could not stand him.  When the characters set off on their quest, Morwen leaves most of her cats behind but brings the rabbit/donkey along and I wished more than anything that he'd have stayed behind instead.  All the different cat personalities were enchanting but Killer was the opposite. Maybe reading his whining wouldn't have been as bad as listening to it... but I doubt he would have been pleasant either way O.O

My other issue here was that in this instalment our Princess turned wedded-Queen Cimorene is pregnant. And this might make me sound like a monster, but I don't like reading about weddings and pregnancies...I just have no interest in that. Luckily author Patricia C. Wrede made sure that Cimorene lost none of her feistiness because of it and she wasn't playing the poor helpless card either. She still set off on the quest, insisted no one fuss on her or treat her differently. Her pregnancy wasn't a big deal in the end and luckily, it was portrayed positively. 

The bottom line with Calling on Dragons is that while it still maintains it's humor - the cats were ALL brilliant and I loved getting to know Morwen better -  it seems less fun than the previous instalments. It also seemed more repetitive this time around.  The addition of Killer was a definitely hindrance too - I suppose younger readers might find him funny, but I doubt I would have felt any different towards him in my youth personally.  All in all the fact that these are short reads high on fantasy still make them worth the time in my opinion, but this one is my least favorite in the series so far.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

My reviews for the rest of the series:

8 comments:

  1. These look so fun. Nine cats- and they're magical? and talk? Awesome. I may have to read these. And I always like an enchanted forest type setting. Sorry this one wasn't quite as good though- and Killer does sound annoying from what you're saying. Maybe I'll read the first one one of these days and see what I think.

    To bad she didn't use the cats more. :)

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    1. YES! I agree: awesome :D They're really quick reads so I dare say you could squeeze them all in with a few days reading! Same here, enchanted forests are among my favorite types of settings. Yeah, I was a bit let down with this one, but not enough to regret getting into the series LOL! The first one is my favorite so far!

      Agreed, I wish all nine would have adventured with her ;)

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  2. It's too bad all nine of the cats didn't get to tag along on the adventure! I definitely would've been annoyed just reading Killer's whining, so I can't imagine what it was like having to listen to it. :/ I'm glad he hasn't put a damper on your overall enjoyment of the series, though; hope the next book has a bit more fun in it!

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    1. I agree - it seems like a wasted opportunity to me :) Ugh Killer was a real pain in the butt and the narrator made things even more unbearable. As soon as his parts came up I would groan and roll my eyes. I hope he isn't in the last one! LOL!

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  3. Oooo, I've not heard of this book! Middle Grade, right? Dang, 2003. That doesn't seem like a long time ago, and yet, it totally does. o_o Those nine cats though! I'm not a cat person, so nine of them seems CRAZY. More power to them!

    Anyway, I'm glad you somewhat enjoyed this book, Micheline! Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I know what you mean, on one hand it seems like only yesterday but then it's really 13 years ago o.O I adore cats so I was in my element - the rabbit/donkey? THAT was another story! Thanks Alyssa^^

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  4. I know that they are striving for accuracy, but I really dislike it when annoying characters are actually too annoying to listen to. I wasn't very fond of this one either, despite the mostly brilliant cast of characters.

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    1. SAME.HERE. Oh it was awful! I think maybe they were aiming for funny for the younger readers but it didn't come off! I'm glad it wasn't just me, so far the first book in this series was my favorite and this one is the least (so far)

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