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Dragon Slippers Hardcover – March 20, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
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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.
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
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Top customer reviews
Well written and an enjoyable read!