Author Spotlight: Patricia C. Wrede

(Administrative note: Travel blogging is coming, I promise! Look for the first post — with pictures — in a few days…)


The Author Spotlight is a series of posts designed to showcase writers you may not have heard of. In this Author Spotlight, I’m showcasing the works of YA fantasy author Patricia C. Wrede. She was a favourite of mine growing up, for her humour and quirky takes on fantasy tropes. So come on in and let’s talk…

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

I discovered this series at just the right age. It features a spunky princess, Cimorene, who upon learning that she is betrothed to be married decides to run away from home. She ends up cooking for a dragon and living next to a forest full of magic. Its inhabitants include everything from a witch to a prince who, as it happens, is much more sensible than Cimorene’s betrothed, and handsome besides. Adventures ensue…

There are four books in the series — Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons. Three are from Cimorene’s perspective and one from the perspective of her son. Wikipedia tells me that the fourth book was actually written first, and was later rewritten to line up better with its prequels, but I’ve only read the original version.

Magic and Malice

As much as I loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, I loved the duology of Mairelon the Magician and Magician’s Ward even more. Set in an alternate Regency England where wizards exist, it follows the adventures of a street urchin, Kim. I mean, Regency and magic? Yes, please!

Kim is tasked with stealing an item from the wagon of a performing magician, someone who does no more than sleight-of-hand. What she doesn’t know is that his magic is real, and he’s a gentleman wizard in disguise, trying to solve a theft for which he was framed. Together, Kim and Mairelon — and Mairelon’s mournful henchman — travel across England, tangling with gentry while trying to clear Mairelon’s name.

More Recently…

Wrede is still writing today. I haven’t had the chance to read her more recent work, but here’s what’s on my list to check out…

  • Cecilia and Kate. Co-written with Caroline Stevermer, this is now a trilogy of novels in the form of letters written between two young ladies, also set in a Regency with magic.
  • Frontier Magic. The Wild West with magic? ‘Nuff said!

Your turn. Are you a fan of Wrede’s work? Which is your favourite?


4 responses to “Author Spotlight: Patricia C. Wrede

  1. I loved the Enchanted Forest books. She also has a short story collection, with a Sleeping Beauty-inspired story that still makes my heart ache.

  2. You know, I think I read that collection, but it was so long ago that I can’t remember the story. I wonder if my mother still has the book…

  3. Ha! How timely, considering my first write-up for my Enchanted Forest Chronicles re-read goes up tomorrow!

    I credit Ms. Wrede as one of my major influences in my own work. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles especially, and she is one of my very favorite authors.

    That said, my favorite is probably Sorcery and Cecilia. I love it an unholy amount, and a few of my own stories have started out because I yearn to be able to write an epistolary novel that’s even half the book that is.

    The short story collection may be the Book of Enchantments. Dunno if she has more than one.

  4. Favourite authors are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Sounds like I’ll have to check out Sorcery and Cecilia first!

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