Like Gail Carson Levine's books, Merrie Haskell's middle-grade fantasy / adventure Handbook for Dragon Slayers mixes magic, mythical creatures, thrilling action, and a wonderful cast of characters.
Political upheaval sends Princess Tilda fleeing from her kingdom in the company of two hopeful dragon slayers. The princess never had any interest in chasing dragons. The pain from her crippled foot was too great, and her dream was to write a book.
But the princess finds herself making friends with magical horses, facing the Wild Hunt, and pointing a sword at the fire-breathing creatures. While doing things she never imagined, Tilda finds qualities in herself she never knew she possessed.
Handbook for Dragon Slayers is a deeply satisfying coming-of-age tale wrapped in a magical adventure story.