I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons

The usual fairy-tale suspects receive a delightful makeover from beloved fantasist Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn; The Way Home) in this charming, archetype-bending novel about a princess, her prince, and the royal dragon exterminator.

Gaius Aurelius Constantine Heliogabalus Thrax, who prefers to be called Robert, inherited his occupation in dragon pest control from his father. The work of killing the usually tiny dragons has never sat well with him, as evidenced by the number of dragonlets he's smuggled home and tamed. He secretly dreams of becoming a great prince's valet. "All right," Robert admits, "it wouldn't have to be such a great prince." When he's summoned to the local castle to perform a major dragon removal as part of Princess Cerise's campaign to impress handsome itinerant hero-in-training Prince Reginald, Reginald's own valet offers to teach Robert everything he knows in exchange for the not-small favor of helping the prince find and dispatch a very large dragon. What should be a straightforward task turns to catastrophe as a retinue led by Robert, Reginald, and Cerise encounters not only dragons but also an evil from the past bent on destroying them all.

Beagle puts a humorous spin on the traditional fairy tale with a blue-collar hero, a brainy and brave princess, and a prince with daddy issues. His trademark narrative warmth and folksy quips perfectly fit the whimsical bent of his nostalgic magical kingdom setting. Fans of T. Kingfisher's fantasy novels and Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series will adore this heartfelt, sometimes wistful adventure. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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