March is Women’s History Month, and in honor of this I asked Sarah Debraski if she would let me use her “That Was Then, This is Now” series to talk about a book that helped make me a feminist. After all, what’s more appropriate for Women’s History Month than a man taking over something that a woman created? Wait, that’s not right.
Anyway, the book is Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, and it was one of my favorite books as a youngster. I still remembered most of the basic plot: the princess Cimorene is tired of being a princess, so she runs away and deliberately gets herself kidnapped by a dragon, which turns out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to her. She gets into swordfights, foils the plots of sinister wizards, uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of dragon society, and ends up having quite a lot of experiences that just aren’t proper for a princess. It’s a parody of fairy tales and the fantasy genre, but a gentle parody, poking fun at some of the logical flaws in these worlds while still acknowledging the fun you can have in them.
I was delighted to find, on rereading Dealing With Dragons, that it was just as good as I remembered it.