HMH Books for Young Readers, 2003. 978-0152046927
Synopsis: Morwen lives a quiet life with her cats in the Enchanted Forest…for the most part. Turns out wizards are still finding ways to cause chaos in the forest and stolen the King of the Enchanted Forest’s sword. Not to mention that the odious Arona Michaelear Grinogion Vamist – the self-proclaimed head of the order of witches – is launching a campaign to make sure witches are more traditional. So Morwen calls upon the magician Telemain, Cimorene, and Kazul to get the sword back and hopefully put a hole in the wizard’s plans.
Why I picked it up: Well, it’s a series and I had to know what happens next. Plus, we still don’t really know what the wizards are up to.
Why I finished it: Witches are a traditional staple of most fantasy literature, and I was particularly drawn to Morwen because she’s a clever enchantress that, like Cimorene, doesn’t want to adapt to the norm and go her own way. And by golly, if she wants nine cats of varying colors instead of one black cat, then she’s going to keep them. This time around, there’s some cleverly crafted references to other fairy tales that pop up throughout the story that gives fans of traditional fairy tale stories a little something extra. The reader is also introduced to some of the forest’s inhabitants and they are enlisted in the fight against the wizards in much the same way that Telemain joined the group in the previous book. Wrede’s world is still supremely imaginative and enchanting for the reader, and she has expanded it that much more as we journey out of the forest and beyond the Mountains of Morning along with our characters. Though the story didn’t quite conclude the way I thought it would, it does give a nice set up for the final volume in the series, which will no doubt help to connect any loose ends and give the characters a proper sending-off.
Other related materials: Dealing with Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book 1) by Patricia C. Wrede; Searching for Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book 2) by Patricia C. Wrede; Talking to Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Book 4) by Patricia C. Wrede; Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede; Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede; Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville; Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George; Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George; Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George; Half Magic by Edward Eager; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin; The Earthsea Cycle books by Ursula K. LeGuin; Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones; Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke; Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke; The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke; The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley; The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley; The Chronicles of Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander; Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine