Title: Talking to Dragons
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Daystar has lived all his life near the Enchanted Forest. But when a wizard comes after his mother, she sends him off into the forest with a sword, telling him only that he’ll figure out where to go and what to do. This doesn’t sound promising to Daystar, but he obeys. Along the way he meets a rude fire-witch, a young dragon, and several helpful but stubbornly uninformative friends. And wizards. Lots and lots of wizards, all of them after him or his companions. Can Daystar figure out what his mother wanted (and not get killed or enchanted) and defeat the wizards?
I never quite liked this one as much as the other three, although it’s still a good book. Maybe the shift to first-person when the rest of the series is told in third, or the fact that the reader should, going in, know so much more than Daystar about who he is and what he’s supposed to do that it isn’t funny. In fact, Daystar is SO ignorant about his own place in things that this would be a perfectly acceptable place to start a reader new to the series.
That being said, it is interesting to get a ground-level view of life in the Enchanted Forest, or what a typical quest might look like. Daystar has a sword with peculiar magic, but it doesn’t always work for him, or do what he expects. He has his wits and his etiquette, though, and etiquette goes a long way in a place like the Enchanted Forest. Shiara is blunt enough for the both of them, and what etiquette won’t get done, rudeness might.
Also due to the way the book is set up, the end is basically a long explanation of everything Daystar didn’t know but anyone who read the first three books would. But at least Antorell appears to be gone for good.
Overall, this book wraps up the plot begun in Calling on Dragons, and serves as a decent cap on the series. As said, it’s ironically also a good point to enter the series, since it’s so different from the previous. I rate this book Recommended.