Hoorah! Our first of the year. You’ll notice, Squiders, that we’re changing from re-reads to readalongs. I want people who have never read the particular series we’re working on to feel welcome to join in.
To start ourselves off for the year, we’re going to be reading through Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles which, if you are unfamiliar with them, are fantastic examples of fairy tale satire (and have also been a major influence on my own writing). There’s four books: Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons.
These are YA books, so they read pretty fast.
When we get to Calling we’ll discuss whether or not to add in a related collection of shorts, The Book of Enchantments. There’s at least one in there that is directly related to the series (and involves an enchanted frying pan, if I recall correctly), but I worry that it may be too hard to find. Feel free to let me know here if you’d like it included or not.
Also, as a bonus and to compare fairy tale satires and another of my very favorite authors (and an influence), we’ll read Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle at the end.
(There’s two sequels to Howl’s: Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways. Right now, I’m leaning towards not including them, but if everyone really likes Howl’s I’m open to it.)
(And yes, Miyazaki made a movie of it–which is also excellent–but not really at all similar unless you count that some characters have the same name and there is a castle. That moves. Miyazaki put an environmental turn on it, which is really not surprising if you look at the rest of his work.)
So! If you want some fun, excellent fantasy once a month for the next however many months, jump on board! We’ll do discussion of Dealing with Dragons on January 31st.
Which is a Thursday.