Creel isn't the most fortunate of peasants. She lives with her aunt, and, in an effort to marry Creel off and get more money, her aunt sends her into a dragon cave and runs off to tell the local knight that a beautiful young maid has been captured by a dragon. Creel isn't especially beautiful, but her aunt has her hopes.
Since Creel doesn't want to be rescued by or marry the local knight, she reasons with the dragon and discovers that not all dragons have heaps of treasure after all. In face, most dragons don't like gold. Instead, they each have one thing they love. This particular dragon likes shoes. After a bit of bargaining, Creel manages to escape along with a new pair of shoes from the dragon's collection. They're like no slippers Creel has ever had before, but they're incredibly comfortable and fit her perfectly.
Instead of going back to her little village, Creel heads for the King's city in the hopes of becoming a professional embroiderer. But before she's even halfway there, she is set upon by a band of thieves! Not to worry, though, for a dragon named Shardas swoops out of the sky and carries her off to safety -- that or for his next meal.
Shardas collects glass windows, and Creel is immediately enchanted when she enters the dragon's lair. The two quickly become friends, and Creel stays with Shardas for several weeks while she expands her sewing examples. Neither friend wants to leave the other, but they know it's for the best.
But almost as soon as Creel sets foot in the King's city, she offends the foreign princess who has arrived to marry the prince. And when she finally escapes that ordeal and settles down in a sewing shop, she finds her troubles are not over. Not only is city life not all that she dreamed, but the snobby foreign princess is not gone forever. As Creel struggles to keep up her sewing, she uncovers a dangerous plot that not only puts herself at risk, but also her dragon friends!
This is a wonderful book. Creel is a great main character (and you know how rare those are), and the supporting characters really are just as great. Jessica Day George actually did an admirable job of steering away from some character clichés, though she knows which ones are classics for a reason. And then the plot was great as well! It goes from simply country girl trying to make her way in the city to a full-blown dragon war! *happy sigh* And it has a great ending as well. And you know how much I adore fabulous endings.
In case you hadn't noticed, I have a soft spot for both fairy tales and dragons, but even if you don't, I'm sure you'd like this book as well. I'd give it to fantasy loving tweens or teens, and fans of Patricia C. Wrede's Dealing With Dragons/Enchanted Forest Chronicles are also sure to love this series. There are two more books in the Dragon Slippers series, Dragon Flight and Dragon Spear that I'm just itching to get my hands on. And if you still want more George or if you're a fan of fairy tale retellings, she's got an ongoing series Princesses Of The Midnight Ball which currently contains two books.
Looking at Dragon Slippers, you probably wouldn't expect much, but it's a great fantasy story about dragons and sewing that is a must-read.