Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Book Review: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury 

Pages: 321
Received: Library
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 
Goodreads Page


From Goodreads: 

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.


Jessica Day George is rapidly becoming one of my new favorite authors. Her books are like cotton candy. They're light, sweet, and happy. There are antagonists and hurdles, but you know they'll be resolved and good will prevail in the end. Sometimes things work out a little too perfectly, but this comes across in a more cozy, heartwarming, makes-this-reader-happy way than in an annoying Mary Sue manner. When you just want to take a break from life and get lost in a "nice" book that'll make you smile, Jessica Day George delivers. 

Creel is a thoroughly likable character, flawed yet endearing, capable and determined without being pushy or obnoxious. I really liked her and found her first-person narration a pleasure to read. I liked Creel so much that when the antagonists of the book were horrible to her I wanted to reach into the book and strangle them. Luckily Creel is awesome and didn't put up with their abuse.

One thing I wasn’t sure about at first was the embroidery scenes. I couldn’t imagine they would be very interesting, but I was so wrong. I absolutely loved reading about the different embroidery projects Creel was working on. I almost wish the book was illustrated, but Jessica Day George created such vivid descriptions that I could picture everything as if it were right in front of me.

The plot is engaging, with Creel's development as a dressmaker creating an easy going storyline that nicely complements and frames the more dastardly political intrigue simmering beneath the surface. The mystery of the slippers is slowly unraveled and satisfyingly concluded.

I thought there was never a dull moment, with the plot moving along at a nice pace that isn’t too slow or too fast. There’s a little court intrigue, a little adventure, a little mystery, a little war, and some fun balls. There is also a touch of romance, but the plot focuses primarily on Creel’s adventures (though I wish there was just a teeny, tiny, little bit more romance. Just give me *that* kiss). I was so into the book and the characters that I even cried at one point! This is a Special Shelf book for me for sure.

This is the first book in a series of three, but it works just fine as a stand-alone story. The book is light enough for middle graders but fully developed enough for YAs to enjoy as well.

 Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Looking for another lighthearted fantasy? You might like: 
The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker


  1. I am not a huge fan of fantasy reads but since this one is light, happy and sweet it might be more to my liking. Another great review :)

  2. This one sounds cute! I've never heard of this book before now.

  3. Hmmm...this does sound interesting. Not just a dragon book. The embroidery part reminds me of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. Have you read that? It's good.

  4. Sounds great. I need to read more books like this, "light,sweet and happy". I would have never know this book or author existed, if not for your review. Thanks for bringing both to my attention.

  5. I have never read any books by this author although they sound my kind of thing. Thanks for bringing her to my attention :D

  6. I LOVED this book! And the sequel. Haven't read the third one though. Great review!

  7. I really need to read this book! I read her East of the Sun, West of the Moon and really enjoyed it and I've heard such great things about this series. Your review motivated me to check it out!:)

  8. Nic, Thanks! This one is definitely happy, light, and sweet. Like cotton candy.

    Leanna, It really is very cute, but also not too young either, which I liked.

    Alison, Yes! I adore Brightly Woven. The embroidery does remind me of Brightly Woven, but as in they’re both really good, not like one feels like it’s stolen from the other book.

    Gina, You’re very welcome. I’ve so far read four of her books and I’ve enjoyed them all. My other favorite, and I can’t recommend it enough, is Princess of the Midnight Ball, which is a (I thought) very good retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.

    The Slowest Bookworm, You’re welcome! She’s really great. I love how she is able to so vividly paint a picture in my head. I hope you enjoy her.

    Jana, Yes! Another fan! I enjoyed the sequel, but not as much as this first one. I haven’t read the third one yet either, but I do plan on it.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen, Yes you do! I still haven’t read East/West yet, but I keep meaning to at some point. If you liked that one, then definitely check out her other fairy tale retelling Princess of the Midnight Ball. I loved that one.

  9. This sounds right up my alley. I'll have to add it to my TBR list. I think it's so good you're featuring some older titles!

  10. I hope you like it :) I'm glad you like the older titles! There are so many older books I've missed. I really need to play catch up.

  11. AH! Thank you for posting the Wide Awake Princess link, I couldn't remember where I had seen it and wanted to read it!! It was YOU who reviewed it!!

    Great review. I'd check it out on your recommendation! I kinda like it when books make me tear up lol I know, weird.

  12. I've been wanting to read this. I have all her teen novels, but not her middle-grade. I took the first one out from the library once, but didn't have time to read it. Since you liked it so much, I might just go and buy it! :)

  13. I like the cover and the name Creel. I'm usually not big into dragon stories, but the embroidery projects caught my attention. I always like when books have balls or dances. I'm going to see if my library has this one! Sounds fun :)

  14. I liked Princess of the Midnight Ball and so will definitely consider this one when I have time to read some MG. In the mean time, I'll be recommending it to my cousin since you gave it five stars.

  15. Lazy Girl, You’re welcome! :) I love it when books make me cry. I feel like I’m more invested in the story. It was the scene with the windows, btw. When you read it, you’ll know what I mean. :(

    A Backwards Story, Even though this book is MG, I didn’t notice much of a difference between her MG and YA books. I hope you enjoy it!

    Julie, I like her name too. It’s actually her nickname and her real name is something much longer and very “fantasy” novel, but she’s only really ever called Creel. The embroidery really is a lot of fun. Her dressmaking takes up a significant part of the book, but it is never boring. At least, I was captivated. I hope you like it :)

    A Canadian Girl, Yes! I loved Princess of the Midnight Ball. The tone is very similar in Dragon Slippers. Dragon Slippers doesn’t feel younger like some MG books, at least it didn’t to me.

  16. Every once in a while I'm in the mood for a truly light read and this one sounds pretty awesome (especially Creel!)! Totes adding this to my TBR now. Heh, as if I needed another book added to my TBR :)

  17. :) TBRs are best when overflowing. I hope you enjoy it! Creel really is a great character.

  18. This sounds like a fun read and one that I will definitely check out! Thanks so much for your review!

    Oh, and thanks so much for letting me know about the event A Cornucopia of Dystopia! I will mark my calendar! :)

  19. You're welcome for both :) I hope you enjoy the book!

  20. Thanks for the review. I wondered about this series.

  21. Just picked this one up on sale at Amazon.com for less than $2.00. I'm excited about reading it, since its highly recommended by you.

  22. Gina, That is a FANTASTIC price! I hope you like it :) I never would have guessed an author could make embroidery and stained glass windows so enchanting, but JDG does it! I'm crossing my fingers you'll love it as much as I do.

  23. I've seen this book around, and have wanted to give it a try, but again with it being more MG haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Don't ge me wrong, I love MG, but sometimes I just need something a bit more adult.

    Glad this one warranted 5 stars, though! Will be trying it out for sure!!

  24. Scarlett, I understand, but I can see you liking this. :)


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