Review: Talking to Dragons
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fourth and final book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The writing threw me off a bit when I first started reading it because, unlike the previous three books, this one is written in first person. We get the story from the narrative perspective of Daystar, who is the son of Cimorene and Mendenbar from the previous books. Once I got used to the the stylistic shift however, I enjoyed the story.

Daystar’s quest is a mystery to him. As a result, the plot comes across as somewhat random. He has no idea who he is (in relation to the plot), where he’s going, or what he’s supposed to be doing, so there’s a strong sense of him just wandering around without purpose. This didn’t seem to bother my daughter, but I found it irritating.

Along the way he stumbles across a fire-witch named Shiara and a young dragon (with no name), who become his traveling companions. The dragon is entertaining and adds a bit of extra humor to many of the situations. Shiara is short-tempered and rude. Note that this is not an issue with the writing, her character is designed that way. So if you don’t like head-strong characters you may not like her, but she fulfills her role well.

Daystar and his gang also come across several of the original series characters, including Morwen, Telemain, and Kazul, though none stick around for very long. While, having finished the book, I can understand the reason that Daystar was kept in the dark as much as he was, I found it rather annoying that no one shared any information with him that might have gotten him to the end of his quest sooner. I feel like his wanderings were overly complicated and their assistance overly cryptic in order to draw out the story.

Perhaps it was because of the aimless nature of his quest, but I didn’t pick up much personality from Daystar. He just sort of wandered from place to place and did his best not to upset anyone or anything as he went. Even at the end, when he realizes Mendenbar is his father (which of course the reader knew from the very beginning), he doesn’t have a strong reaction. He’s just sort of like, “Hey, Dad. Nice to meet you. Let’s deal with these wizards now.”

As always, the dialogue was primarily light, witty banter. The world building was great since the properties of the Enchanted Forest were already established. The pacing of the story, while aimless, was decent at moving the reader from scene to scene without much lag. The secondary characters who joined and left the main group were all distinct in that classically stereotypical way—i.e. the helpless princess, evil sorceress, or foolish knight—that is a hallmark of Wrede’s world.

All-in-all, the story was an entertaining read that both introduced a new generation of characters and managed to wrap up the Enchanted Forest series in a satisfying way.

View all my reviews