Calling on Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede, was published in 1993 by Harcourt. It is the sequel to Searching for Dragons.
Princess Cimorene is now Queen Cimorene…and she’s faced with her first queenly crisis—the Enchanted Forest is threatened with complete destruction! Those wizards are back—and they’ve become very smart. (Sort of.) They’ve figured out a way to take over the forest once and for all…and what they have planned isn’t pretty. With a little help from Kazul the dragon king, Morwen the witch, Telemain the magician, two cats, and a blue, flying donkey-rabbit named—what else?—Killer, Cimorene might just be able to stop them. And some people think that being a queen is easy.
Calling on Dragons is probably my favorite Enchanted Forest book because of Morwen’s cats and Killer (and Telemain, my favorite character). The books are funny, but I never had a laugh-out-loud moment until this one, where the catness of the cats, the ridiculousness of Killer, and Telemain’s technobabble combined to make me grin and laugh all the way through.
Up until now, each book has been relatively self-contained in terms of plot. Characters and villains return, but the plots don’t carry over—until now. The ending of this book, while not technically a cliffhanger, is not a resolution in the slightest. And despite my aversion to the common “save it all for the last book” formula, I actually didn’t mind it—although it is aggravating to finish a book and feel as if nothing was accomplished.
There’s still a lot of set-up, I think, in this book, but despite the first three books basically all setting up the events of the fourth, Wrede has done a good job of making a contained adventure for each book. And since this is a series, and not four stand-alone books, it makes sense that there would be a lot of set-up for the ultimate Whiz Bang Finish (and, ultimately, I enjoyed this book too much to care).
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
The wizard drew himself up to his full height, which brought his head about even with Fiddlesticks’s nose. “I am Antorell, and if you know what is good for you, you will not meddle with me!” he said in a shrill voice.
“I might have known,” Morwen said.
“What’s that?” Telemain said, looking up. “Morwen, these readings are absurd. This fellow can’t be very good.”
Antorell’s face turned bright red. Morwen smiled. “He isn’t. This is Antorell, Telemain.”
“Antorell, Antorell. Oh. The son of Head Wizard Zemenar?”
“That’s right,” Antorell said. “And you’ll regret—”
“”Isn’t he the one Cimorene keeps melting?” Telemain said. “And shouldn’t he be larger?”
Calling on Dragons is my favorite so far (if not overall) in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The dialogue, especially the side comments made by Killer and the cats, is snappy and witty and spot on. There’s not really a resolution to the plot, since that’s the job for the fourth book, but that didn’t bother me for once. Also, Morwen is probably my favorite “main” character (view point character) of the series.
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