Today, I want to take a moment to share one of my favorite YA books from when I was that age. This is the first of nine posts about books in the Young Adult genre that changed me and countless other readers.
This is the last of four books in the series The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I actually read it before the others (apparently most people did when it first came out in 1985, because it was published first, as a standalone. I picked it up in the 90s and was none the wiser). Thanks to a strong attraction to the cover illustration and back copy (plus the other books in the series being sold out!) I ignored that “Book 4” business. My mom bought it for me, and I read it multiple times.
The thing is, Talking to Dragons is great on its own. It’s the only book in the series that jumps ahead to the next generation, though reading it first did spoil major plot points of books 1-3, which I then read like prequels. I will always wonder what it would’ve been like to discover it right side up (you had to go out to a bookstore then, so I’m guessing the wait to get #4 was devastating). But learning everything alongside the main character and having that element of surprise is worth it.
It all starts (finishes?) with Daystar, a boy living alone with his mother, suddenly discovering that his mom can use some pretty powerful magic. I won’t spoil what happens next except that Daystar ends up leaving home on a great and perilous adventure with some odd new friends he finds on the way. I laughed, I wanted a dragon (would give him some Jell-O dessert), and I kind of identified with the fire witch. It was a wonderful world and story that invited me to dive in and join in my own way.
I recently found the series (I’m Kon-Marie-ing) in a Ziploc, tucked away in a storage container with many of my other treasures. As I prepare to possibly donate my set of four to the library, I hope to be passing on my love of this series to others. And getting a new digital copy, of course.