Magic Carpet Books (Harcourt), 1990
Cimorene is the youngest of the King of Linderwall's seven daughters, and she hates being a princess. In order to avoid royal life and marrying a prince she considers dull, Cimorene volunteers to become a dragon's princess. Although traditionally princes save princesses who have been taken by dragons, Cimorene relishes the relative freedom and becomes caught up in a plot involving wizards, dragons, and a magic stone.
Cimorene is a character that might result when the Paper Bag Princess got a little bit older: brave, smart, independent, and with no interest in being rescued by a prince. Cimorene is also perceptive and witty, and I liked her a lot (I imagine it would be quite difficult to dislike Cimorene). I found the vast majority of the characters to be entertaining and consistent, from Alianora to Kazul. Even Moranz was fun.
In fact, the my entire experience with Dealing with dragons can be summed up with that word: fun. The plot was suitably thick, the wit was quick, new and unexpected characters were delightful, and I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series.