Dealing With Dragons
by Patricia C. Wrede
Jane Yolen Books / Harcourt Brace, 212p.
Princess Cimorene is interested in many things: fencing, cooking, magic, and Latin all appeal to her. But her parents - and pretty much everyone - tell her that this isn't proper for a princess. When her parents try to arrange her marriage to a boring prince, she takes the advice of a frog and runs away to become the princess to a dragon. This is also improper as normally princesses don't volunteer for dragons. But Cimorene and the dragon Kazul are both happy with the arrangement.
This is a young adult novel about finding your own way in life - even if it's not what's "expected," and Cimorene is an intelligent and rebellious young adult who's fun to spend an afternoon with. The book is fairly short, and for the most part goofy fun with an appealing lesson about making your own way that's delivered, if not gently, at least not with a sledgehammer. (For those that like that kind of thing, there are several sequels.)