Rating: 4/5 stars.
Creel doesn’t particularly care for her aunt – and Creel’s aunt doesn’t particularly care for her, either, considering that she tries to sell Creel to a dragon. After Creel’s parents passed away she had no choice but to reside with her aunt. But when her extended family runs into financial problems, Creel is sent to face a dragon in hopes of getting a dashing – and wealthy – knight to save her. Things take a more interesting turn when Creel walks away with a blue pair of slippers and a dream of owning a seamstress shop. She embarks on a journey that includes myriad magical things: handsome princes, annoying princesses, and dangerous dragons.
My friend got this for me as a belated Christmas gift. While its intended for younger readers, I still enjoyed Creel’s tale of heroism and adventure – it’s crazy to think about how this is acclaimed children/YA fantasy author Jessica Day George’s first book. The plot was tight-knit and well-executed, while it had great themes for young girls too. For example, instead of relying on a prince to solve all of her problems, Creel works hard at mastering her talent and refining her craft. She’s not a tomboy or an extremely wise-beyond-her-years character, but possesses qualities that children should emulate.
Perhaps I’m digging a little too deeply in my analysis of this children’s novel, but George’s characters had great depth to them as well in that they were more than their typical stereotypes. Larkin, a girl Creel meets pretty early in the story, is crippled – initially, Creel assumes that she’s sweet, well-mannered, and quiet. However, she learns that Larkin is more than just her wounded leg. George doesn’t take the easy route in letting her young readers believe that all crippled people are kind or all beautiful blonde girls are idiots. I admire her for the subtle messages she weaves into her stories, whether they are intentional or not.
I once again must thank my best friend for buying Dragon Slippers for me. Highly recommended for younger readers and for anyone searching for a well-written fantasy story about dragons.