Title: Talking to Dragons
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
What it's about: So, one day a wizard shows up at the cottage where Daystar and his mother live on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. Daystar's mother sends him into the forest with a sword and orders to not come back until he knows why he had to leave. Although his mother trained him well, Daystar's still pretty confused, but he gets help along the way from various allies, including a lizard named Suz and a witch named Morwen. He also makes some new friends, including a fire-witch named Shiara and a young dragon.
What I thought: This is my favorite of all the books in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I like Daystar as a protagonist. While he knows enough stuff about dealing with the world of the Enchanted Forest, like not making foolish promises and being polite, he's also not such a know-it-all that he's unlikeable or that there's no challenge. And while it's usually annoying when the protagonist is sent off on a quest without being told much, in this case we find that there's actually a good reason for it. Daystar's sensible without being annoying, virtuous but not to the point of stupidity. Overall, a realistic, likable character. Shiara's good, too, with her rudeness actually having negative effects, even annoying Daystar. So this isn't a case of rudeness masquerading as spunkiness and annoying the reader. This book, I think, is just the most solid as its own adventure without having to rely on fairy tale parody out of the four books in this series.
Overall: Definitely worth reading up to this point.