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Literature / Dragonskin Slippers

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A series of three novels by Jessica Day George, Dragonskin Slippers, Dragon Flight, and Dragon Spear are about the adventures of a seamstress that befriends dragons.

Creelisel, called Creel, is no ordinary girl. How many girls, when their relatives offer them to a dragon, can talk their way out of it? Not many. But not only did Creel do it, she went one step further. She convinced the dragon to give her a piece of his hoard; a pair of fine blue shoes. Dragonskin Slippers.

How many commoners could befriend a prince their very first day in the capital city? How many humans could befriend the King of Dragons? How many farm girls could stop a war?

No, Creel is no ordinary girl.

Dragon Slippers contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Creel's aunt is a terrible Parental Substitute, so terrible that Luka and Marta don't believe Creel's stories until they see her aunt in the flesh in Dragon Spear.
  • Action Girl: Creel becomes this by the third book, and her friend Marta also is this, especially in Dragon Flight.
  • Bait the Dog: Larkin at first appears helpful and merely not wanting to get in trouble with anyone. Then she steals Creel's dragon slippers and gives them to Amalia, makes insinuations about what Amalia will do to Shardas and shows no remorse when Amalia starts a war and takes Prince Miles hostage.
  • The Beastmaster: The slippers give the wearer this power over the dragons.
  • Beta Couple: Marta and Tobin. They get married by the end of the series, and Marta even lends Creel her wedding dress.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Azarte
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Princess Amalia.
    • Larkin as well.
  • Bound and Gagged: Luka and Creel have to do this to Larkin when the latter catches them sneaking into the occupied palace, and she nearly calls the guards. Creel takes the opportunity to toss away the gold bracelet that Amalia gave to Larkin as a reward for the slippers
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Amalia uses the slippers to control all the dragons in Feravel. In the second book Krashath kidnaps dragons and forces them to serve as the steeds of the Citatian army using collars that cause this.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Derda retires by the end of the first book and never appears again.
  • Cock Fight: Part of the backstory between Krashath and Shardas over Velika.
  • Cool Old Guy / Cool Old Lady: The Duke and Duchess of Mordrel would qualify as these if they had more screentime.
  • Dark Action Girl: Princess Amalia.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Creel does not have good luck in Dragon Spear where her wedding dress is concerned, even when it's borrowed.
  • Dragon Hoard: Few if any of the dragons actually hoard gold. They are more along the lines of collectors, each deciding on something they find interesting and forming collections of whatever that happens to be. Some of the hoards mentioned in the books include stained glass, tapestries, books, dresses, dogs, shoes, and humans, although this practice is looked down on and considered revolting by the majority of the dragons.
  • Dragon Rider: Appears to some degree in all three books, but featured most heavily in Dragon Flight, when the dragons are being mind-controlled by another dragon into the mindless steads of an invading army. Overall, dragons are happy to give rides to their friends, provided they ask first.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Triune Gods, Regunin, Caxon, and Jylla, as well as the dragon First Mother.
  • Gold Digger: Creel's aunt, at least to get everyone in the family married off to wealthy people. Come Dragon Spear she invites herself and her family to Creel's wedding, insists on being treated like royalty until Creel has to produce paperwork showing she's not a princess until after the wedding, and tries to fire Creel's employees from her dress shop.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Luka every time another prince gets doe's eyes for Creel.
  • Handicapped Badass: Tobin, who is mute, is Luka and Miles' bodyguard.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Creel in Dragon Spear uses her wedding dress to save Velika's eggs.
  • Heroic Willpower: Shardas has this. It allows him to resist the control of the slippers until they are physically in his presence, and even then is able to stop himself from killing Creel when Amalia ordered him to. He is able to completely shake off the control once he discovers Velika is alive. Averted by Feniul, in that he only manages to resist the slippers due to his fear of being seen by humans.
  • Humble Goal: Creel at the end of Book One only asks for a dress shop as a reward for stopping the war. The king begrudgingly gives this to her after she turns down a marriage proposal to Miles.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: The gown that Amalia sends to Creel as "payment" for the dragon slippers. Creel manages to do it over in time for a merchants' ball.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: For stealing the dragon slippers and committing treason by serving as Amalia's maid, Larkin gets lifetime imprisonment. She also gets put into an Ironic Hell by being forced to roll bandages for the hospital and sew seams for the beds.
  • Living Macguffin: Velika in Dragon Spear.
  • Made a Slave: Rannym picks Creel to be his servant after she is captured in the third book.
  • Matriarchy: The dragons have one, the queenship passing down the female line and the kingship going to the queen's chosen mate. Somewhat of a theocracy, as the queens are the direct descendants of the dragons' First Mother, who appears to fill the role of their god.
  • The Medic: Leontes
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Few call Creel by her full name, Creelisel.
  • Pregnant Hostage: In the third book, Velika is kidnapped shortly before she is ready to lay her eggs.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Derda, by the standards of the time. She does pay her apprentices a pittance and take credit for their designs, but so do many other masters. In addition she helps Creel not have to give away her slippers to Princess Amalia, makes Larkin pay for half the new shoes when Larkin steals the slippers and gives them to Amalia and helps with making the No-Sell collars.
    • Crown Prince Miles, which the dragons note.
  • Royal Brat: Princess Amalia
  • The Protagonist: Creel, although she does have some trace elements of both The Hero and The Heart.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Krashath controlled the king of Citatie using an enchanted helmet.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Creel is stunning, particularly when wearing dresses she designed herself.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Subverted. While Luka's father isn't excited about Creel marrying Luka, there isn't much he can do since Luka is the second son and not the heir. Plus, Creel is popular among the people.
  • Standard Heroine Reward: King Caxel offers to marry Creel to his elder son Miles. Creel turns him down, but later muses that King Caxel offered the wrong prince.
  • Stockholm Syndrome / Lima Syndrome: Peder No-People grows rather fond of Shardas's group, and shows some reluctance to return to his mother. On their end, his captors feel badly for him, and only keep him prisoner to protect themselves from discovery. By the time he is released, he and Roginet are shown to have become rather fond of each other.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Seamstressing is Creel's day job. Embroidery is her gift.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: King Milun the First. While everyone thinks he was a great friend of the dragons, explaining their participation in Feravelan wars, Milun really cut hide from the Dragon Queen to make the titular slippers, using their power to make slaves of the dragons. Shardas the Dragon King and his people all know this, but what no one knows until Creel starts poking around Feravel's dirty laundry at the end of the first book, is that Milun imprisoned Dragon Queen Velika in the palace catacombs rather than killing her.

Alternative Title(s): Dragon Slippers