The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
Patricia C. Wrede
This series of four books (Dealing With Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons) is set in a “Fractured Fairytale” type universe where a proper princess is expected to study embroider and dancing while she waits to be kidnapped by a dragon, so that she can be rescued a prince and live happily ever after. The first three books follow Cimorene, a strong-willed, thoroughly improper princess who hates embroidery. To escape an arranged marriage, she runs away and takes up housecleaning for the dragon Kazul; various adventures follow. The fourth book is mostly about Cimorene’s son, Daystar, who’s sent off into the Enchanted Forest with a magic sword and almost no instructions to seek his fortune.
The books are by no means the best of Wrede’s work: the world is colorful but undeveloped, and some of the characterizations are pretty shallow. Nevertheless, they are fast-paced and humorous, and can be an enjoyable read if you’re in the mood for fluff. Morally, it’s just a story of good guys wanting to do nice things and bad guys wanting to do nasty things. Won’t help or harm.