Patricia C. Wrede

Hi Pat!

I just want to take a second to thank you for the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I know, I know, they’re not your only books, and certainly not your most recent, but they were staple reading of my childhood, and staple rereading well beyond.

I actually read Searching for Dragons first, not out of any kind of strange desire to read books out of order, but because it was one of the books featured in my middle school class’s “Battle of the Books,”  where we were put into teams to collectively tackle a list of novels and then answer trivia questions about them (yes, I went to nerd school, which is for nerds). From BotB’s latest list, it looks like they have since corrected their oversight, and are including Dealing with Dragons instead. Phew, glad they figured that one out.

Still, Searching being my first encounter with your work was hardly a negative. After all, who’s to say the best introduction to the enchanted forest couldn’t be meeting its king (and his steward, of course), followed by a host of varied, lovable, and not-so-lovable characters?

Speaking of characters, I need to thank you particularly, Pat, for your female characters. I was going to make this section of my note exclusively about Cimorene, but upon reflection I think that would be a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, Cimorene is a great character — a girl who rejects entirely and repeatedly what society expects of her? who pursues her own wants and needs? who makes her own decisions and advocates for herself?!? yes, please, I’ll take fifty! — but she’s hardly your only one. There’s Morwen: practical and unapologetic; and Kazul: a responsible but fiery (har har) leader, among others.

Thank you for all of them, from giantesses to fire witches. Thank you for making so many other YA fantasy novels disappointing when the ladies in them fell flat by comparison.