Patricia Wrede

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Patricia C. Wrede
Pat Wrede-ddb 20040306 010-022.jpg
Pat Wrede
Born (1953-03-27) March 27, 1953 (age 64)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Children's literature, fantasy and science fiction
Notable works Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Patricia Collins Wrede (/ˈrdi/; born March 27, 1953) is an American fantasy writer from Chicago, Illinois.[1] She is known for her Enchanted Forest Chronicles series for young adults, which was voted number 84 in NPR's 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels list.[2]

Personal life[edit]

The eldest of five children, she graduated from Carleton College in 1974 with a BA in biology, married James Wrede in 1976 (they divorced in 1991), and obtained an MBA from University of Minnesota in 1977.[1] She finished her first book in 1978, working as an accountant and financial analyst in the meantime.[1] She was a founding member of The Scribblies, along with Pamela Dean, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Steven Brust and Nate Bucklin, in January 1980, "to which [she] belonged for five extremely productive years."[1] She sold her first book to Ace in April 1980 and it was published in 1982. In the fall of 1980, she met Lillian Stewart Carl who introduced her to Lois McMaster Bujold. In 1985, shortly before her fifth book was published, she became a full-time writer.[1] She is a member of the Liavek shared-world anthology.

She is a vegetarian and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two cats.[1][3] She has no children of her own, but has four nieces and four nephews (three in Alabama, three in Illinois, and two in Maine).

In 2009, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.[4]



These books share a common setting on a world named Lyra, and are listed here in order of publication. As the books are only loosely connected, they may be read in any order, though order of publication is probably preferable.

  1. Shadow Magic (1982)
  2. Daughter of Witches (1983)
  3. The Harp of Imach Thyssel (1985)
  4. Caught in Crystal (1987)
  5. The Raven Ring (1994)

The actual chronological order of the books is Caught in Crystal, The Raven Ring, Shadow Magic, Daughter of Witches, and The Harp of Imach Thyssel. The last three are set in the same time period but different nations while the first two are space widely apart chronologically and happen well before the events of the last three. A timeline and short world history at the end of Shadows over Lyra ties everything together and answers a lot of questions.

The omnibus edition of Shadow Magic is a revised one; the writing is significantly different from that in the original, and reflects her greater experience as a writer. It seems that Wrede rewrote the story for the omnibus, but this is not actually noted anywhere in the book itself.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles[edit]

This series features Princess Cimorene, as she becomes a dragon's princess, rescues said dragon, falls in love, and ultimately saves the enchanted forest. It is usually marketed for young adults. The fourth book (told from the perspective of Cimorene's son, Daystar) was written and published first, but is considered to properly go last in the series. The 1995 edition of Talking to Dragons is significantly different from the original 1985 edition, mostly to make it more consistent with the story in the other books.

  1. Dealing with Dragons (1990)
  2. Searching for Dragons (1991)
  3. Calling on Dragons (1993)
  4. Talking to Dragons (1985, revised 1995)

Cecelia and Kate[edit]

with Caroline Stevermer

The authors tell these stories from the first-person perspectives of cousins Kate and Cecelia (and, in the third book, two additional characters), who recount their adventures in magic and polite society. These works are unusual in modern fiction in being epistolary novels, written using the style of the letter game.[5]

  1. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot:''' Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country (1988, reprinted 2003)
  2. The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia:''' Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality (2004)
  3. The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After:''' Being the Private Correspondence Between Two Prominent Families Regarding a Scandal Touching the Highest Levels of Government and the Security of the Realm (2006)

- The first two books in this series (Sorcery and Cecelia and The Grand Tour) were published in an omnibus edition, Magicians of Quality in 2005.

Plot At the beginning of the first book, Katherine Talgarth ("Kate") and her beautiful younger sister Georgina have been taken by their Aunt Charlotte Rushton from Rushton (in Essex) to London to experience part of the Season. Kate's parents, George Talgarth and Celia Rushton, have both died at least five years before. Kate's favorite cousin, Cecelia Rushton ("Cecy"), has been left at home with her brother Oliver and their father, the antiquarian Arthur Rushton, at Rushton Manor. Oliver and Cecy's mother died when Cecy was quite young. Their father's other umarried sister, Aunt Elizabeth Rushton, lives with them at Rushton Manor.

Magic and Malice[edit]

"Mairelon" is a gentleman wizard with unusual talents, and Kim is his streetwise protégée. Together, they foil plots and generally get into trouble. From a reference to the date being thirty years since the Terror, the novels take place about 1823, during the Regency period in its broader sense; however, the author has personally stated that the events of Magician's Ward take place in 1818.

  1. Mairelon the Magician (1991)
  2. Magician's Ward (1997)
  3. Magic and Malice (1999) — omnibus of Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward
  4. A Matter of Magic (2010) — paperback omnibus of Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward

Frontier Magic[edit]

A trilogy narrated by Eff Rothmer, the "thirteenth child" of the opening book title. Book One covers her childhood, from the age of five (when her parents move west to the edge of the expanding U.S. frontier) to shortly after her eighteenth birthday. Books Two and Three deal with an adult Eff's work as an explorer, scientist, and magician beyond the edge of the frontier.[6]

  1. Thirteenth Child (2009)
  2. Across the Great Barrier (2011)
  3. The Far West (2012)


The Seven Towers is a stand-alone fiction novel.

Snow White and Rose Red is also a fairytale fantasy, being a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Snow White and Rose Red" (not "Snow White") set in Elizabethan England, and including elements of the Thomas the Rhymer ballad as well.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Biographical Information for Patricia Collins Wrede". Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels". Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  3. ^ "Patricia C. Wrede: YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-fi". The Authors Road. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection Archived June 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Northern Illinois University
  5. ^ "Interview with Patricia C. Wrede". The Enchanted Inkpot. Retrieved 27 February 2016. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Wrede, Patricia. "Frontier Magic". Patricia C. Wrede: Six Impossible Things. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 

External links[edit]