Le Regole (the more complete version of which can be found here):
- Find a book you read more than three years ago
- DO NOT LOOK UP ANYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK
- Provide a summary of the book
- Discuss your thoughts on the book
- Look up the book and fill in the blanks of your discussion
A SummaryCimorene is a princess less interested in princess things like being nice to foreign emissaries and more into things like learning swordsmanship and not sewing. As her parents might marry her off soon, Cimorene decides to take hold of her life and on the advice of a talking toad decides to seek employment as a Dragon’s Princess. Usually dragons kidnap princesses, so it is bizarre and unheard of that a princess should go off trying to be a Dragon’s Princess on purpose, but a dragon named Kazul isn’t that arrogant and takes her on anyway.
Kazul is a pretty chill dragon, as far as dragons go. She likes the desserts Cimorene makes and is usually practical and understanding, and her best friend is a witch named Morwen who has many cats and a house with a door to anywhere, and lots of riches. Cimorene divides her time between serving Kazul, learning magic, and turning away the knights and princes who have come to rescue her (her father offered half the kingdom to the lad who rescues and marries her, which Cimorene obviously doesn’t want).
The bad guys in the midst of all this are the wizards. Or maybe sorcerers. They’re evil men who do magic. They kill the Dragon King, which means all the dragons must compete to be the new King, which also means that they’re all nicely collected for some mass-killing. However, as it turns out, water with a little soap and lemon melts wizards and Cimorene and Morwen save the day with cleaning supplies. Also, Kazul becomes the new King. The end.
ThoughtsMost of all, I remember how practical these characters were. Everyone, of course, has their flaws, but they weren’t stupid ones. Kazul would sometimes be demanding, Cimorene was occasionally too industrious and acted without thinking. Occasionally they lost their tempers.
But really, practicality won out. Cimorene took her work as Kazul’s princess seriously, and she put a lot of effort into cataloguing her treasures for her and being careful to identify what the various magical items might be so they could be stored safely. One time, she ran into a jinn who would grant her a wish, and she wished for ground hen’s teeth, because nobody else had any and she needed some for a spell.
Also, melting wizards with soap and lemon water is hilarious.
Epilogue (via)It turns out that fencing wasn’t the only forbidden thing—cooking, magic, and Latin were also forbidden to a princess (because sewing is much more useful, apparently) which, funnily enough, are all the things Cimorene uses in her job as Kazul’s princess.
OH YEAH She makes friends with a princess named Alianora who lives in the caves next door. There’s also another princess who is prissy and selfish and normal and she gets rescued by a prince or a knight or somebody so we don’t have to deal with her anymore.
And also Alianora’s dragon was helping the wizards as an inside man. There was more antagonisting going on than I remembered.
I can’t blame myself for not remembering too much of the evil dragon part… I hadn’t read H.I.V.E. yet, so I wasn’t as interested in villains, and the strong female characters that dominate this book really stole my heart. Cimorene, Kazul, and Morwen really demonstrate beautiful, beautiful characterization that young girls should be exposed to—more than anything, I think this book demonstrates that being a princess is really about using your own talents to your fullest extent in useful ways.
With that in mind, if I did reread this (and I have half a mind to now) I would be reading this as someone thinking about how this would impact and influence younger girls. It wouldn’t be just about my reactions, but wanting other girls to get something from it, too. It was a favorite of mine when I was younger… Yes. I’d like to read it again. I’d feel differently, but I also believe I’d want to pass it on to a new generation of girls who need another awesome princess in their lives.
Thanks again for tagging me, Alyssa!