Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George.
Creel’s aunt decides that the best way to secure Creel’s fortune is to send her to a dragon’s cave to be taken prisoner. That way a knight will arrive to rescue her and be bound to marry her despite her lack of a dowry. But of course it doesn’t work out quite as planned. First, Creel really doesn’t want to marry a pompous knight. Then, the dragon isn’t interested in taking Creel prisoner. And finally, the dragon doesn’t horde gold, but instead collects shoes. So Creel makes a deal with the dragon. He will be spared the need to fight and she will get to choose any pair of shoes she wishes from his collection. Creel heads out to the large city to find work as a seamstress, wearing her new blue shoes. Creel is not done dealing with dragons though, far from it!
This story is wonderfully written with warmth and humor. Creel is a heroine worth journeying with as she uses her intelligence and skill to overcome obstacles. She is a welcome change from many female characters as she is a true individual and doesn’t shy away from hard work or confrontations. Yet she is human, has weaknesses, and is not proud. She is a true treat of a character.
Readers will also appreciate the range of personalities seen in the dragons themselves as well as the secondary characters in the story. The author has really built a credible world with a sense of history, tradition and currency.
Highly recommended for young fantasy readers, this book will most appeal to young girls, though boys may be willing to try it due to the dragons and the battles. Appropriate for ages 10-13.