Literature: The Dragonslayers

Let's play the "Which one's really the Rebellious Princess" game!

King Mildred raised his hand and said, "I pronounce you the Dragonslayers! Now go forth and slay this mighty beast."
He didn't notice the look in his daughters face, nor hear her mutter to herself, "Not if I get there first, Daddy."

Grizelda: (Singing)
"Revenge can be sweet
Can be fun
Can be fine"

The Dragonslayers is a both a musical and a children's book based off it (the latter written by Bruce Coville). It's the typical tale of a princess who needs to get married soon. Her parents are in despair, as she is not interested in anyone.

And then the dragon attacts the kingdom. But even with the king offering half the kingdom, and the princess's hand in marriage to the one who kills said dragon, no one is willing to take up the job except Elizar, who is old enough to be the princess's father. Naturally, she's not happy with this. Disguising herself as a boy, she runs off the kill the dragon herself. But the dragon isn't a "normal" dragon, and instead it is the creation of a witch, who wants revenge for something...

Along the way, the Princess-disguised-as-a-boy runs into Elizar (who is really the Kingdom's oldest squire), his page, Brian (who has a birthmark that could explain a lot of things), a talking bear, fox and cat and the one who created the dragon in the first place.

A CD with the songs from the musical can be bought from the website here.

This book contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: The princess.
  • Distinguishing Mark: A dragon-shaped birthmark.
  • Fiery Redhead: The princess.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The witch Grizelda, once everyone finds out what happened.
  • Heroes Want Redheads The end result, as Brian marries Willie.
  • "I Want" Song: At least three in the musical.
    • "Why Can't a Girl?" (Willie's Song)
    • "Revenge" (Grizelda's song)
    • "Father's Lament" (King Mildred)
    • "One of the Boys" (Brian)
  • I Owe You My Life: Throughout the book Willie, Brian, and Elizar each save a Talking Animal (Elizar quite by accident), who subsequently decide that the best use of their time is to help them on their quest, regardless of they can actually be. (A bear, maybe. A housecat and a fox can only do so much where a dragon is involved.)
  • Orphan's Ordeal: What Brian went through.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The dragon in this story is a magical construct, who can only be killed if you learn its true name. It's Fear.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sort of. Elizar and Grizelda were married, but Elizar went off to war, and didn't come back. Later, Grizelda was working in the fields, and she got back to her house, it was on fire and her son was gone.
  • Rebellious Princess: Guess who.
  • Red Headed Heroine: The princess (again).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Grizelda's reason for unleashing the dragon.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: The princess (yet again).
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • King Mildred
    • Princess Willhelmina (aka Willie).