I loved this book so much! Jessica Day George sets up a whole world and has dragons inhabit it. Creel (best name ever) is a heroine that kids will cheer for and her friendships with the dragons and her fight to keep them safe was heart warming.
"Dragon Slippers" has Creel dealing with the death of her mother which has her and her brother living with their aunt and uncle. Like many fairytale relatives, Creel's aunt kind of sucks. She decides that the only way that the family will be able to live is if Creel catches the eye of a knight or lord after he saves her from a dragon. Problem is that there doesn't seem to be any dragons around. Creel's aunt decides to just make her stay in a cave (that a dragon used to live) with the hope that is enough to entice someone. Too bad though a dragon really does live in the cave and after Creel's relatives leave her there to be eaten, she is taken inside and gets to meet a dragon. They come to an arrangement and she ends up being let go with some shoes that she loves and is determined to make her way to the King's Seat in order to get a job working as a seamstress. Along the way Creel meets more dragons.
Creel was hilarious. I loved her up front saying she's not special, she can't spin straw into gold and isn't fair to look upon (subtle shade being thrown at the girl in Rumpelstiltskin and Snow White) but she does know how to sew. Her traveling to the King's Seat is fraught with danger and she is saved by another dragon (Shardas) when some bandits seem hell-bent on assaulting and stealing from her. Creel eventually gets to the King's Seat and realizes her working in a store for someone else isn't all it's cracked up to be. She meets one princes, a princess, and makes a ton of new friends. She also realizes that first impressions of people can be wrong and cause damage down the line. She doesn't know what the slippers do and it is odd at first that no dragon wants to tell Creel about them, but we know that they are special in some way. When it is eventually revealed why the slippers are so special and what they do I thought it was a wonderful reveal.
I loved the dragons in this one and how all of them collect certain things (like shoes, glass windows, dogs) and laughed at all of them throwing shade about hoarding gold (who would want to do that?)
The secondary characters such as Luka (one of the princes) and some of her fellow shop assistants shine. I thought there were some humorous bits and nothing too scandalous. I also think that there are some great villains in this one (no spoilers) that will have everyone hollering for their downfall.
The writing was really good. Nothing too complicated that would confuse children and it held my interest as an adult. I also loved how Creel realizes that the history that was told about dragons and one of the founders of the kingdom was based on a lie. I do think the flow gets a bit funky in the end, it just seemed at a certain point the book was in a holding pattern and nothing was happening.
The world building was great. We can imagine the kingdom, the warring families, and where the dragons that Creel meets are located.
The ending was so good and I was happy that I got an excerpt to read from "Dragon Slippers #2."