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Dragon Slippers Paperback – April 29, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Creel, the heroine of Dragon Slippers is hardly a damsel-in-distress. After her aunt totes her out to the local dragon in desperation (with the hope that the local prince will rescue her from certain death and marry her), Creel refuses the haughty prince and finds friendship with the dragons, who set her on a journey to the center of the kingdom with a pretty pair of what only seem to be ordinary slippers. Along the way we discover Creel’s enormous talent at embroidery, and you can’t help but linger over the rich descriptions of her lovely tapestry-like gowns, which quickly make her the most sought-after dressmaker in the kingdom. But soon enough those mysterious slippers begin to wreak havoc, and it’s up to Creel to save the kingdom from disaster and defend the dragons from certain doom. Creel’s feisty spirit breathes fiery new life into this epic world at every turn, making this one of the most memorable and fun fantasy debuts to hit shelves since Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart.

Five Questions for Jessica Day George

Amazon.com: In fantasy novels, dragons are typically fierce and fearsome. In Dragon Slippers however, Shardas and Feniul are peaceful, caring creatures who are dangerous only under the sway of human control. What was your inspiration for re-imagining this legendary species?

Jessica Day George: I had a number of imaginary friends growing up, all of them talking animals: a wolf, some horses, a tiger. And a dragon. Oh, I wanted a dragon for a friend so badly! (Still do!) There are books where the dragon is not the bad guy (Anne McCaffrey, Gordon Dickson), but I wanted still more. I wanted the dragons to have their own lives: friends, hobbies, food allergies. I saw no reason why large, magical, intelligent creatures couldn't be just like humans--only scaly and winged. If humans can be good or evil, vain or kind, why can't dragons?

Amazon.com: Your descriptions of Creel’s "fancywork" are so rich with detail and color that I have to believe that you must be an expert sewer yourself. Are you? Can you tell us more about why you chose this particular talent for your heroine?

Jessica Day George: I can sew, although I doubt very much a duchess would hire me to make her a gown! Creel sprang into my head as a fully formed personality with her own talents and opinions firmly intact, I just knew that her name was Creel, she had freckles, and she wanted to be a dressmaker. The "fancywork" developed as a way for her to pay homage to her friend Shardas and his collection.

Amazon.com: Why do the dragons in Dragon Slippers hoard treasured human possessions like shoes and dogs instead of gold? Shardas’ collection of beautiful stained glass is particularly unique--does this tell us anything about his true nature?

Jessica Day George: People collect all kinds of crazy things: spoons, stamps, books. I once lived next door to a woman with sixty (yep, 6-0) toy poodles. So why should dragons not all hoard the same thing? Why not tapestries or pets or shoes? And what makes Creel and Shardas such good friends, I think, is that they both have a good eye for color and form. They can both appreciate the way colors combine, the way light changes the look of things and plays off the colors.

Amazon.com: Of all the fantasy literature you’ve read, is there a particular author who inspired you to write your own novel? What would be your top five favorite books in the genre?

Jessica Day George: The first time I read Robin McKinley's Damar novels (The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword) I thought "Yes! This is what goes on in my head! I could do this!" If I had to narrow it down to five favorites (only five?!), I would say: Beauty by Robin McKinley, Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. (Those all count as one big book, right?)

Amazon.com: What’s next in store for Creel and Luka? Will they have more dragon adventures in your next book?

Jessica Day George: My next book is not connected to Dragon Slippers at all, but the one after that will be a sequel. I hate to spoil any surprises, but we will get to see what happens when a dragon turns evil (of its own free will). There are also two weddings, Marta gets a pet monkey, and Feniul falls in love.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Creel's aunt plans to end the family's poverty by foisting her orphaned niece on the local dragon, hoping that the knight who comes to Creel's aid will want to marry the rescued maiden (and share his riches with her relatives). This daffy reasoning gets George's debut novel off to a lurching start. Once Creel meets and befriends the local dragon, though, the story takes off. Creel heads to the city, where she hopes to start a dress shop, and along the way, she befriends new dragons and receives a mysterious pair of slippers that link her to a dangerous political plot. A chance meeting with a prince becomes a warm friendship, and Creel calls on her dragon cohorts to help him restore peace in the land. The plot elements are sometimes awkwardly stitched together, but the exciting, fairy-tale action and vivid scenes, from glittering dragon cave to posh dress shop, are captivating, and readers will easily connect with brave Creel, who weathers betrayals and learns to value true friends and her own talents. Engberg, Gillian
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Dragon Slippers
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599902753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599902753
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's all about the books. Friends, family, school, "real jobs", they were just obstacles to be tackled so that I could return to my true love: books. All I have ever wanted in this world is to read and write books. My criteria for choosing a purse is that it must be able to fit a paperback book inside. I took books on my honeymoon, and bought more while we were there. I picked my major because it looked like I would get to read a lot of books, and also I thought it would provide me with interesting background information for my own books (which it did), so I now have a BA in Humanities -Comparative Literature with a minor in Scandinavian Studies. From the time I was twelve on up, I told people that I wanted to be a writer. When they said, "So, you'll teach and then maybe try to write a book?" I would just shake my head. No, I was a writer, and that was all I wanted to do. Over the years I have lived in Idaho, New Jersey, Delaware, and now Utah, because it doesn't matter. I can read and write anywhere. I've worked at a wedding invitation factory (Bet you didn't know they made them in big scary factories, did you?), at a video store (back at the birth of DVD), at libraries and bookstores, and even been an office lady at a school while I waited to get published. I knew that I would be published eventually, because . . . well, I just had to be.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have other interests. I took eight years of German, four of Norwegian, and even studied Old Norse so that I could read the great Viking sagas in the original language. I knit like a maniac: hats, scarves, sweaters, dog sweaters, socks, felted purses, you name it. I play the piano and viola, love to travel and to watch movies. I have a husband and three kids and a dog . . .

But mostly, it's about the books.

Visit Jessica at http://www.JessicaDayGeorge.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Since she was a small child, Creelisel "Creel" Carlbrun has dreamed of fulfilling her talented mother's dream of making her way out of the small, rural city of Carlieff Town, and opening up her very own shop in the booming King's Seat, where she can display her talent for embroidery to the high and mighty who could, quite possibly, appreciate her magnificent work. But when her parents die, and she and her fourteen-year-old brother, Hagen, are forced to take up residence with their crazy aunt, and slightly whipped uncle, Creel feels as if her dreams will never come true. Scrounging for money, and interested in becoming a royal, Creel's aunt comes up with a bizarre plan to help the struggling family's financial situation. Accompanied by Hagen, and her two cousins, Creel shall travel to the local dragon's lair, and offer herself to him. Once she is in the dragon's clutches, her aunt will summon the Lord of Carlieff's son, and have him ride to the cliffs to slay the dragon, save Creel, and make her his wife. Creel realizes that this is the most ridiculous idea, and wants nothing more than to deny her aunt's request. But, wanting to please her scattered guardian, she agrees, and offers herself - pure and true - to the dragon, known as Theoradus. Theoradus appears gruff, but his vast shoe collection makes Creel unafraid of his hulking presence. And, when she makes it out of his cave alive - no thanks to the prince of Carlieff Town, of course - Creel decides that it's time for her to move on. Treading lightly on a pair of new shoes that make her toes itch like crazy, Creel sets off for the King's Seat, determined to make her mark on the world. But, when she runs into trouble, Creel manages to make nice with yet another dragon, this one named Shardas.Read more ›
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on March 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up hooked on Patricia C. Wrede's Searching for Dragons, et al, and this book was like a wonderful return to childhood (okay, I'm only 25, so it wasn't that long ago, but still). Even as an adult, I was delighted by the clever twists the novel takes and awed by the huge tasks Creel confronts. I loved this book and plan to buy it for all my siblings (who similarly devoured Wrede's series as we grew up).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What do you get when you mix a sassy damsel, dragons who hoard everything except gold, and some fancy slippers? A page turning fun tale similar to the PRINCESS BRIDE meets DRAGON RIDER.

Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon in order for the family to get financial gain. True a dragon comes but he's nothing like the village tales. First, he doesn't care to eat humans. Second, he doesn't hoard gold but other things. One of which is shoes. Creel asks for a pair and the dragon lets her have them.

Creel goes to the King's city to get employment as a seamstress. But something is going on with the slippers. Her feet itch something terrible but she ignores them. Once in the city she ends up stepping on the spoiled queen to be, Amalia's, dog. Needless to say Amalia doesn't care for Creel. But the princess doesn't like anything. Nothing that is except Creel's slippers, which she says she'll get.

Little does Creel know that she holds the secret to either peace or destruction for her kingdom.

I really got into this tale. I'm not one for dragon stories but this story kept my interest from the very first page. Creel is spunky and doesn't like it when others, including snotty Amalia, put their noses down at her because she's a common villager.

Creel meets others in her travels. Marta, another seamstress with dream of opening her own dress shop. Luka, the younger prince, who is interested in Creel. Shardas, the dragon who's friendship means alot to Creel even if this means she has to put her life in danger to protect him and the other dragons.

This is a fun tale that reminds me of PRINCESS BRIDE. Readers who love dragon tales with a twist will especially love this story. Now I can't wait for the sequel.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Fan on May 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is simply charming. George creates Creel, one of the most delightful characters in a book in a long time. The young woman is at times strong, loyal, jealous, and very, very talented.

Creel's journey of self-discovery and coming of age was very captivating, and it's hard not to fall in love with her and want her as a friend, just as several characters in the book do.

I would've given this a 4.5, but couldn't quite give it a 5 (I'm very stingy with my five-ratings). Mostly this was due to the dragons themselves which I found something of an afterthought.

I highly recommend it for girls and young women. Though I hate to admit this, my son - who shares my affinity for fantasy fiction - said it too "girly."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mimagirl on March 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
After glancing at the cover of this book, I immediately felt an impulse to read it. And then I opened it up, and read the first sentence:

'It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon.'

Ooh, I thought, EVIL aunt. But wait--the second sentence:

'Not that she was evil, or didn't care for me.'

Okay, that hooked me. And I stayed hooked for the whole book.

In Dragon Slippers, Creel Carlbrun is a poor peasant girl who wants to make her way in the world using her talents for sewing and embroidery. But when her aunt decides to give her to a dragon, and said dragon in turn gives her a pair of unusual shoes . . . things get a little complicated.

This book is pure fun. Filled with magic, friendship and a whole lot of dragons, it personifies the perfect fantasy adventure tale. One thing that's fun about this book is that it's a children's book (not YA) with a 16 year old as the protagonist. I'm 16, I love children's books, and when a character is my age it can add to my enjoyment of it. Dragon Slippers is a fabulous book - don't miss it!
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