Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
"Do you collect, um, windows?" I said. It would be an odd thing indeed, if this cave-dwelling creature hoarded chapel windows. But no more odd, I thought, than the dragon Theoradus hoarding shoes he could never wear. "Yes, I do collect windows," this dragon said testily. "And that one was particularly fine." Then his gaze sharpened on me. I took a step back, feeling the rough stone wall behind me and wondering wildly where the entrance was. "Do you not assume that I hoard gold?" I lifted my chin. "You are not the first dragon I have conversed with," I said in lofty tones, hoping to impress this one with my experience. "I am well aware that dragons napping on piles of gold are the stuff of old grannies' tales. Why, just the other day I was admiring the shoe collection of Theoradus of Carlieff, and he gave me this pair as a gift." I raised my skirts to show off my blue slippers. A gout of flame issued from the gold dragon's snout as it gave a loud roar. I only just managed to leap out the way as my bed of ferns and moss was torched by the blue-white dragonfire. "By the Seven Volcanoes!" the gold dragon swore. "Where did you come by those slippers?"
I loved this book! It is unique, fun, and so creative. You know me, I like unique books. I get sick of the same-o, same-o, and this book does not disappoint. Creel is such a great character! She is quirky, feisty, and a strong female character. She is easy to like and relate to. She is aware of her skills, but is also down-to-earth. She has a great voice in the story. Ms. George did a great job writing her. Ms. George also did an excellent job writing this book. I enjoyed her writing style a lot. It is somewhat simplistic, yet I just got sucked right into the story line. I loved the dragons and their individual hoards. What a fun detail! Luka, Marta, and Ulfrid were my other favorite characters. Ms. George definitely wrote Derda, Larkin, and Amalia well because I disliked them from the start. Amalia is a brat (and that is putting it nicely)! I thought each of the characters were developed well and were realistic. I loved all the little embroidery and sewing details and thought they were a good touch. There is a slight friendship/budding romance that is sweet and very innocent, and I thought it was perfect for the age group the book is geared toward. There is action in this book too! Sword fighting, dragons, a war, and maybe a cat-fight or two. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I just learned that it is book one in a trilogy, so I'm super excited to start book two!
Do you know what I really loved? This book is clean!! Yay! I love it when great books are clean! There isn't any profanity and there isn't any "intimacy" except a small and sweet kiss. There is some violence, but it is not overly graphic. There is a war going on, and so there is some fighting and a few characters die. I am handing this book over to my soon-to-be fifth grade daughter, and I think it is perfect for her age group. It is definitely more of a girlie book. My 14 year-old son asked if he'd like it because he likes dragons (think Eragon), and I laughed. Nope, it's definitely more for girls. :)
Rating: PG (There isn't any profanity or "intimacy," except a small kiss. There is some war violence and a few characters die.)
Recommendation: 5th grade and up, definitely more for girls.