“Princess Emeralda (or Emma, as she is known) is just discovering her own talents—and lack of talents—for magic when her mother has a desperate request: their beautiful country of Greater Greensward is being invaded, and Emma must get her aunt Grassina to start protecting the kingdom with magic, or everything will be lost.
A simple search to reverse an old spell becomes an epic quest as Emma and Prince Eadric, her formerly froggy friend, defy the wily witches and wizards of the magical world.
From the bottom of the fishbowl sea, to the Dragon Olympics, to her own castle and her unpredictable family members, Emma proves she is a witch very much worthy of her inherited powers.”
This book is even funnier than The Frog Princess, and has tons of nods to fairy tales and other fantastic elements. My favorite part of the book was the interaction with the dragons, although seeing Emma come into her powers and start winning at everything is pretty satisfying, too.
I also like the elements introduced in the books that pave the way for a sequel. In the first book, it was the introduction to Haywood, which naturally leads to this book being about breaking his curse. Then Grassina gets cursed, so the next book will naturally lead to Emma breaking that curse (Baker does this with The Wide-Awake Princess, too).
Emma has a sort of “Should I or shouldn’t I” when it comes to Eadric, which I think is a great change over the usual “And they all lived happily ever after.” I mean, it’s pretty obvious that Emma and Eadric will live happily ever after, but for once we’re seeing the journey to it.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Eadric had waited for me at the water’s edge. He was frowning, and I knew he wasn’t in a good mood. “Grassina was right when she said you should work on your spells. What were you thinking of with that last one? Winged creature? You could have called up anything from a gnat to a dragon!”
“I was trying to call a bird.”
“Some bird!” he said.
“At least I tried! I didn’t see you doing anything to save us.”
“Sword, what’s your name?”
Light flashed on the blade as it began to sing.
My name is Ferdinand,
But you can call me Ferdy.
I’ve been told I sing too much,
I am a little wordy.
“My sword’s name is Ferdy? What kind of name is that for a sword?”
“I think it’s a nice name,” said Li’l. It’s kind of friendly.”
“A sword’s name shouldn’t be friendly! It should be elegant and powerful, a strong name for a strong weapon!”
Dragon’s Breath is quite a charming book, and in many ways improves upon The Frog Princess simply by making everything bigger, in a sense. Ralf the dragon was adorable, and Emma had some truly awesome moments both pre- and post-Green Witch. What happened to Grassina is a bit sad, but sure to come out all right in the next book, which is obviously going to be about breaking that curse.
You can buy this here: Dragon’s Breath (Tales of the Frog Princess)