Title: Dragon Slippers
Author: Jessica Day George
Publishing Information: March 20th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Series Information: The first in the Dragon Slipper series
Format: Hardcover, 324 pages
Source: Bought for my personal library
Recommended For: Fans of Patricia C. Wrede, Merrie Haskell, and dragon books of all kinds.
True, when Creel’s aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it’s Creel who talks her way out of the dragon’s clutches. And it’s Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king’s city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession. But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom…or destroy it.
Creel and her brother are taken in by their aunt and uncle after their parents die, unfortunately for Creel, their aunt doesn’t think much of Creel and her prospects. Instead of acting as a loving aunt should, Creel’s caregiver decides to drop Creel off near a dragon’s lair. It is her hope that the dragon will abduct Creel and in turn, attract an adventurous heir of some type of fortune that will then provide for Creel and her entire family.
Creel does, in fact, get picked up by a dragon but what follows is not the experience that she expected. Instead of meeting a ferocious dragon and being forced to sit and wait to be rescued, Creel rescues herself and manages to talk the dragon into giving her a piece of his hoard. No, not gold, silly human, why would all dragons collect them same thing? You see, a dragon’s hoard is representative of the dragon’s hobby, and this particular dragon collected shoes. Creel heads to the kingdom’s capitol with a new pair of beautiful, unique, and powerful blue slippers, and manages to find work in a dress shop, using skills her mother taught her before she died. What happens next is a series of fantastical adventures that leads Creel to form a lifelong bond with a dragon and the beginnings of a romance with a rather sweet prince.
It is no mystery to any of my readers that I love dragons. Give me a book with a friendly dragon or even better, a friendship between a human and a dragon and I am sold. This series was actually recommended to me from one of my fellow librarians because she knew how much I enjoyed The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. Though Creel was less snarky than Cimorene, they were both headstrong and fabulous. The secondary characters were just as lovely and interesting, I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear that I thoroughly enjoyed Prince Luka. It was the dragons, however, that really brought my interest from simply liking this book to loving it. I love how thoroughly Jessica Day George described these characters; she has a knack for bringing personalities off the page. As I mentioned prior, each dragon has a different type of hoard, Shardas, Creel’s best friend, collects glass, and his cousin Feniul is extremely unique as he collects dogs, try and picture that because I promise it is as adorable and funny as it sounds.
Shelf Talker: While it may sound that this is just another dragon inspired fairy tale employing all of the familiar themes, I promise that it is more involved than that, and though reminiscent of other tales it is uniquely sweet and promising. Admittedly, there is one scene in particular that had me tearing up as if my heart was breaking, that is the depth of friendship and loyalty that manifests between the characters. As I turned the last page I was smiling with glee and desperately hoping for more from these characters. This novel comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a sweet story about a girl, her dragon, and their successful attempts to save a kingdom.