Before I read it the first time, a friend told me that it was a similar kind of story to the Princess Bride. Prior to reading a single word, I was hooked. He had compared it to one of my all-time favorite movies, and a very good book, so I instantly picked it up and read it. That was almost five years ago, and I am happy to say that it is still an enjoyable read or listen even now. There is an unabridged dramatization of the book available from audible, and that is how I most recently listened to the story with my daughter. Every night, just before she was ready to go to sleep, she would ask if we could listen to Cimorene. And each night I would play a little piece of the story for her to listen to.
The author, Patricia Wrede, does a phenomenal job, taking all of the typical story book motifs and turning them on their head. Princess Cimorene is not your typical princess. She loves to fence, cast spells, cook and even conjugate Latin verbs. She refuses to be the traditional princess her parents want her to be. And so, as her parents prepare to marry her off to some prince, as is the proper thing to do, she runs away and ends up volunteering to be a dragon’s princess. Since she now gets to do most of the things she wants to do anyway, this is perfect for her. However, she does have to put up with all the knights attempting to “rescue” her from her dragon, Kazul.
I do not want to spoil the overall story, but in the end Cimorene does manage to be in the right place to save the day for all the dragons. If you want to discover all the details you’ll need to read the book, or, at least, listen to it. The story is well thought out and quite cleverly delivered. And for those who might be wondering, the performance for the audiobook does a respectable enough job to keep you entertained from beginning to end. I would have preferred the book to have been voiced by a fantastic narrator, but the cast does a good enough job pulling me into this unclassic tale.