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Two sisters reread their favorite YA fantasy classics and discuss why they may be even better for adults.

Two sisters reread their favorite YA fantasy classics and discuss why they may be even better for adults.


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Two sisters reread their favorite YA fantasy classics and discuss why they may be even better for adults.






Episode 68 - The Castle of Llyr, by Lloyd Alexander

Head out on an adventure while a magically large house cat lays eternal chase - we’re covering The Castle of Llyr, by Lloyd Alexander. The third book in the Chronicles of Prydain makes excellent use of Alexander’s well-developed, charming characters as they get into scrapes outside of the series’ main storyline. Eilonwy determines her own path and every character investigates their identity - but sadly, Gurgi rarely opens his everlasting food wallet. Many listeners have requested that we...


Episode 67 - The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke

Continue your quarantine reading adventures with a magical trip to Venice! The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke offers up plenty of capers, endless ice creams and a surprisingly complex look at class issues. Follow a group of runaway kids living in an abandoned theater as they outsmart and ultimately befriend a quirky detective - and seek out a mysterious stolen carousel with long-rumored magical powers. Just look at that last sentence - how can you resist?? We certainly can’t. This episode was...


Episode 66 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

We revisit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and conclude that we are currently down a much less fun rabbit hole. Grace and Madeleine attempt to draw a link from Lewis Carroll’s works to the existence of Hot Topic, unpack some of the book’s historical context to better inform its many controversies and consider what a treacle mountain might look like. While we may not have any groundbreaking insights to offer, we do have Adventure Time and Oblivion references! This episode was a listener...


Episode 65 - The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by Patricia A. McKillip

We’ve found the perfect quarantine reread! A lyrical, masterful meditation on solitude, power and the glory of big cats and magical boars, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip is a delight. Grace and Madeleine discuss the appeal of going it alone in your crystal wizard dome vs. the more realistic outcome of heading to Sirle to get married. Whether you’re in total isolation or holed up with your foster son, riddle master boar and insatiable yearning for the Liralen, we think...


Episode 64 - The Borrowers, by Mary Norton

Return to the warm embrace of a beloved childhood classic that’s surprisingly disturbing and sad! The Borrowers by Mary Norton is a weird, fun read for human beans of all ages. Madeleine and Grace explore the complex messages, tiny foodstuffs and flawed worldviews that make up Arrietty Clock’s life. Plus: was Parasite inspired by The Borrowers? Do you love shrimp salad? And a bonus Easter egg hunt interlude! MUSIC - Pippin the Hunchback and Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod...


Episode 63 - The Witches of Worm, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Has a kitten recently approached you and demanded that you perform increasingly dangerous pranks? Get everything you need to handle the situation (including a step by step exorcism!) with The Witches of Worm, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Grace and Madeleine explore Snyder’s subtle blurring of the line between fantasy and reality, indulge in a TV dinner reverie and even return to Madeleine’s Law Corner. MUSIC - Pippin the Hunchback and Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) -...


Episode 62 - The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest, Edited By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Just in time for quarantine: a super-sized Dragon Babies special! We’re covering the anthology The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Ease yourself into the soothing power of the wood and leave your troubles behind. Unfortunately, this episode does have a few sound issues - our apologies! Guess the wood sprites weren’t into us discussing their secrets. Works included in this anthology: - Going Wodwo by Neil Gaiman - Grand Central Park by...


Episode 61 - The Homeward Bounders, by Diana Wynne Jones

Grace and Madeleine continue on in their quest to become the preeminent Diana Wynne Jones podcast by diving into the warped, nihilistic worlds within The Homeward Bounders. We discuss why this may be Diana Wynne Jones' best book, Helen's unparalleled Look, and the joys of Jamie's first person narration. Whether you've found Home again or you're still out searching for the next Bound, hopeless or still with a kernel of optimism somewhere in your soul, this incredible book has something to...


Episode 60 - Wolf Tower, by Tanith Lee

Ready to leave the House behind and head off on an endless journey with an obnoxious prince? Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee gives us access to the thoughts of relatable, tenacious Claidi through her journal entries. She travels across the not-so-horrible-after-all Waste while ruminating on young love, the pointlessness of human rituals and her true identity. Madeleine and Grace get into just why Claidi is so appealing, and why the CLOCK is now their personal religion. Join us! Note: this book is...


Episode 59 - Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

We’re traveling to Trewissick to embark on the best summer holiday of our young lives! Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper brings the battle between the forces of Arthurian good and evil to the sunny Cornwall coastline. We dive headlong into our own summer reminiscences, recalling childhood conspiracy plots and wishing we’d had some real-life Withers rogues to battle along the way. Plus, some particularly robust Pretend Food and discussion of fantasy on the fringes of a good ol’ mystery...


Episode 58 - Into the Land of the Unicorns, by Bruce Coville

Madeleine and Grace travel to Luster and encounter plenty of childhood memories along the way! Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville kicks off the Unicorn Chronicles, introducing us to friends like Lightfoot, the Dimblethum, Thomas the Tinker and the inimitable Squijum. While discussing the warm embrace of Coville’s unicorn world, we reminisce about our bizarre childhood writing and harken back to Madeleine’s opus, “The Adventures of Stupid Turtle.” MUSIC - Pippin the Hunchback and...


Episode 57 - The Queen of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia has it all - back and forth kidnapping, multi-kingdom wars, spies, queasy love stories, and that scamp Eugenides continuing to fool us all. We’re continuing our exploration of the The Queen’s Thief series by Meghan Whalen Turner, and while we have a few issues with a romance that begins with amputation, we’re dazzled by Turner’s tricky plot filled with winking secrets. Listen in and experience Madeleine railing against the gods, Grace wondering at fantasy nihilism, and...


Episode 56 - Many Waters, by Madeleine L'Engle

We’ve arrived at our most scandalous episode to date, and it all starts with the saucy paperback cover featuring a shirtless Sandy and Dennys under a soft-eyed angel. Yes, we’re diving into Many Waters, by Madeleine L’Engle, and we’re rushing to get out of dodge before the flood while also wondering whether the Oasis deserves all this apocalyptic punishment in the first place! Madeleine and Grace take uncharacteristically opposing stances on this one, and debate the merits of a YA retelling...


Episode 55 - Beauty, by Robin McKinley

We revisited Beauty, by Robin McKinley, and were left asking the same question this centuries-old fairy tale always inspires: is this relationship… okay? You can probably guess our answer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out our journey into McKinley’s gorgeous, gothic fantasy story. We follow Beauty as she learns to love herself (inside and out) and appreciate a more melancholy, thoughtful Beast. Join us! MUSIC - Pippin the Hunchback and Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod...


MINI EPISODE - Over the Garden Wall & Children's Fantasy

This is a special Halloween mini episode about our favorite animated miniseries, Over the Garden Wall! We explore the children’s fantasy literature and fairy tales that influenced the series, as well as our own nostalgic twinges inspired by the Unknown. Thanks so much for the special episode idea, Amy! If you have a request of your own, get in touch at dragonbabiespodcast@gmail.com. We discuss a TON of pieces of animated ephemera in this episode - you can find links to all on our website,...


Episode 54 - Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood, by Meredith Ann Pierce

Are you searching for the Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood? Are you a knight who may or may not also be a fox? Do you get tired of all the grain growing in your hair? We’ve got the perfect episode to ease your troubles and end the ceaseless winter. Meredith Ann Pierce’s dreamy coming-of-age fairy tale has something for the Hannah in all of us. Listeners will also enjoy learning the unorthodox way in which Grace managed to convince her cat to come home last week. Grab your badger &...


Episode 53 - The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley

We're headed back to Damar with The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley! Grace and Madeleine investigate the treatment of colonialism in a fantasy world, and wish they had their very own giant cats to keep them company during naps and battles alike. Join us in investigating the connections between Aerin and Harry, talking about when anger is a positive force, and wishing for more Luthe. Also: please begin throwing small cakes at your wedding guests. This episode was a listener(s) request -...


Episode 52 - Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

Madeleine and Grace have officially been Chosen and are heading to the Collegium! Hop on your companion and join us in discussing Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey. We revel in the warmth of the community and beauty of small moments, and admire Lackey’s courage in writing a loving story about a bunch of absolute sweeties (with just a few mid-book bullies). We also unpack the book’s compelling discussion of processing trauma and turning empathy into magic. Are you an exhausted...


MINI EPISODE - Briar's Book (Grace's Reading Corner)

Grace finally finished her lil mini episode on Briar’s Book, by Tamora Pierce! This is a follow-up to our full length episode covering Daja’s Book, and we hope you enjoy. MUSIC - Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) - Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Episode 51 - The Darkangel, by Meredith Ann Pierce

It’s tough to write a summary for our episode on The Darkangel, by Meredith Ann Pierce - what can possibly beat the New York Times’ 1982 review titled “VAMPIRE ON THE MOON” ? We reveled in this dreamy, swooning sci-fi fantasy fairy tale. Listen in to learn how the titular vampyre triggered Madeleine and Grace’s teen manga-loving sensibilities and contemplate why magical bags of everlasting food don’t yet exist in our “advanced” technological age. This episode was a listener request -...