Dealing with Dragons shares several traits with the fantasies of Dianna Wynne Jones. It assumes familiarity with fairytale conventions and tropes, and reworks and subverts them, with a particular focus on excising sexism and adding subtle metatextual humor. Princess Cimorene is the sort of strong, quick-witted, and self-reliant protagonist who could easily be at home in Jones’ fiction. Wrede stands up well to the comparison. Her world-building is perhaps a little less rigorous, but the emotional tone is a little warmer. Wrede’s dragons aren’t quite like any others I’ve ever encountered, which in and of itself is a notable accomplishment. Dealing with Dragons works as a proper self-contained novel, not merely the first clump of chapters in a single story, but I look forward to reading more from Wrede.
needs more demons? no.