Jessica Day George
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Fantasy, Middle-Grade
Many stories tell of damsels in distress, who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor, and swept off to live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, this is not one of those stories.
True, when Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it's Creel who talks her way out of the dragon's clutches. And it's Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king's city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession.
But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom…or destroy it.
What a incredibly pleasant read this was! Inspired by Robin McKinley and Patricia C. Wrede, Jessica Day George has written a book reminiscent of Dealing With Dragons by Wrede, and reminds me of Tale of Two Castles, one of Gail Carson Levine's more recent books. Creel is a determined young girl determined to seek her fortune in embroidery after her aunt tries to have her abducted by a dragon and saved by a knight.
Creel is a character I admire a lot. She is incredibly self made that you are 100% sure that even if she didn't get involved in everything she did, she would have still been a very successful seamstress in the capitol.
The portrayal of dragons in this book was a joy as well. I love how instead of always hoarding gold, they instead have a certain item they enjoy and just focus on that (my favourite hoard was hands down the pet dog hoard).
It's a simplistic book, the target audience being about Middle Grade, but many of the characters still carried a depth to them and there were twists to the story I hadn't been expecting. This book also had me breaking out into grins and giggles from time to time (In public in fact as I was reading part of this during my break at work).
One of the hardest things to write in my opinion is an ending. So many people are so easily turned off if the ending is not to their liking (even if they enjoyed the rest of the book). I felt that Dragon Slipper's ending was absolutely perfect. Some may disagree with me, but I really liked the open-ended-ness of it. We don’t know for sure that Shardas is still alive, and we won't find out, but the fact that he might be and they're going to go find him leaves us feeling of elation.
I also love the way Creel bullied the king in the end. Lukas, Creel and Miles all knew that Lukas and Creel were meant to end up together, so what an awkward suggestion to have Creel marry Miles, getting her own shop is much more to her liking.
I recommend this book to lovers of Robin McKinley, Patricia C. Wrede, dragons and fairytales. Dragon Slippers finds itself being unique where it seems like it would be so hard to be unique. It is a good light before bed or chill out book, and guaranteed to sweep you away if you're having a bad day.