Patricia Wrede’s novel is basically a farce of fairy tales; this is something that’s been popular to do over the last few decades. There’s kingdoms in a land with magic, and fairy godmothers and curses and the like are part of daily life.

Jessica Day George mentions that this series was an inspiration for her, and I was thinking while reading that it reminded me much of Dragon Slippers, which was a book I enjoyed a lot. So, it was a great inspiration, and is indeed a lot of fun and very witty.

When she couldn’t stand [etiquette lessons] any longer, she would go down to the castle armory and bully the armsmaster into giving her a fencing lesson.

Wrede effortlessly makes sure you know just what the main character is like on the second page of the book. Cimorene is a great main character, and the rest of the cast are just as delightful. I have a few overall problems with the book, but they come of not being able to just take it for the simple farce it is, and trying to look around the corners. Taken on its own terms, it’s great all the way through.