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Wren to the Rescue

(Wren #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,399 ratings  ·  118 reviews
All her life Wren has hoped for an adventure. Now she has one-with a kidnapped princess, a handsome prince, and a magician. What does it matter if the princess is only Tess, her best friend from the orphanage; if the prince is a youngest son with no chance of becoming king; and the magician is an apprentice? Wren leads the other three over mountains and past killing spells ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 24th 2004 by Firebird (first published September 1st 1990)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  2,399 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
Jun 06, 2009 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I wish they would show the original covers, which are so very much nicer.

This series was conceived when I was in high school. What happened was, a friend from Dutch Indonesia asked me somewhat wistfully to write a story with a heroine who wasn't tall, with pure white skin and golden hair and blue (or emerald) eyes. So I proposed writing a story about a brown girl with brown eyes and dark curly hair . . . but another friend scolded me, saying that a WASP like me should not presume to write about
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, younger
I just reread this to see if it would be good for my niece. It help up pretty well to adult reading -- in fact I think I may have enjoyed it more. I can't have loved it as a kid since I didn't reread it or continue the series beyond the second book, which I don't recall the plot of. Maybe it felt too juvenile to me then (I think that was how I felt about Smith's YA books as teen, as well). Now I may actually look for more with Wren. After all, the evil king is sure to try for revenge, and I'm cu ...more
Re-reading this series as a kind of palate cleanser - so wonderful to have scads of female characters - especially ones who aren't aliens from Planet Women-Are-Inscrutable-Vixens.

Wren is indefatigable - but my fave is Idres, a powerful mage with a bad reputation.
I love just about everything about this book except the front cover--Wren looks like a total derp.
Otherwise, it is a truly fun story about magic and friendship. The princess gets kidnapped by an evil magician and Wren sets out on a quest to save the day. It is familiar storyline but executed well.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my childhood favorites, and although it's aimed at a younger audience I still occasionally re-read it as an adult.

I found the title a little silly even when I first read it at age eleven, but the unusual name (Wren) drew me to at least read the summary on the back, which lead me to read the first page... and then I was hooked. Wren is a cheerful, energetic protagonist who immediately captured my heart, I quickly grew fond of the other youthful protagonists, and I loved readi
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Wren is a young orphan whose bff Tess confesses that far from being an orphan too, she's actually their country's princess. The time has come for Tess to stop hiding from her parents' enemies, and she takes Wren along to the palace for courage and companionship. Once there, they see the king and queen--but Tess is abruptly kidnapped! While the powerful nobility gather their forces for war, Wren slips away unnoticed to mount her own rescue attempt. She is quickly joined by two Mage prentices, who ...more
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young adult girls
Recommended to Melissa by: amazon
This was a fun girls adventure book. I like it when characters have to go on a quest. The book was a little jumbuly. She adds characters that you wonder why they are here in this book, they have no relevance (the brother with the army)(the Uncle) but I think they are set up for the next book. You can tell the author has this whole world detailed out in her head and we just get a glimps of it in this book. I liked Wren she is funny, plucky and knows when to keep her mouth shut. I thought it unrea ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This series appears to be more for young adults than the Crown Duel/Court Duel duology. Wren and Tess, best friends who live in an orphanage, are around 12-13 years old when Tess tells Wren her secret - she is a princess who has been in hiding from a magician who threatens her. Now it's time to go back to her family, and she asks Wren to come along. But when Tess is kidnapped, Wren is fiercely determined to do anything she can to get her back. With the help of a prentice from the magic school an ...more
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fairly simple read and a semi-classic fantasy. Prisoner taken, questors head off to the big-bad fortress to rescue said prisoner. But still, it was a fun, and fairly light read. The children were a bit younger than I expected, but they came across well enough to be able to handle the adventure, and when the main character gets shape-changed things take an interesting little twist.

Good ending, and all comes right, as a proper story should. Nothing to heavy or dark in the story, so it was quite
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
I absolutely ADORED this series when I was a little kid. I remember thinking that while it was kind of a worn-out story (orphan girl suddenly realizes she's a princess with powers!) it was a lot more complex than other fantasy books I was reading at the time (I was all of 9. So.) There was a lot more discussion of politics and how each character had something they wanted, and those wants often conflicted. I think it was the first book I read that actually made me think about whether or not I agr ...more
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Re-read! I read this not too long after it first came out, when I was in 8th or 9th grade, and I've re-read it several times since. Still a cracking good adventure and a comfort read.

I wish _someone_ would publish book 4 in this series! IIRC, Sherwood Smith has had it written for ages.

Also, re-reading it as an adult has made me want to know more about the adults, who are necessarily somewhat secondary to the kids in this one. Idres Rhiscarlan fanfic, anyone?
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It's a fun book, and even though they're off delaying a giant war it's interesting. The characters all have their own quirks, and it's told in a wonderful fashion. The characters have wonderful relationships between each other and this book can't help but make you smile. I've reread this for the fifth time and it's just as joyful as the first time. ...more
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grace
Wonderful, well-rounded, and relatable characters. Wren is imperfect but not the overused imperfectly perfect heroine. The kids are smart and spunky but not ridiculously precocious, and the adults are given their due as full characters, even the villains and antiheroes. The story sucks you in, and the world building is good.
Erin Good
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Okay, I'm aware this is a children's book but it's better written than many YA and adult novels I have read. Step up your game, people. There are lots of interesting plot details woven together into a story that is fun for both younger and older readers. Good stuff! ...more
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books_for_kids
This is a wonderfully written story about a young orphan and her friends and the quest that brings them all together. I enjoyed it immensely myself and would consider reading it to my children.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book is still on my self, and it barely holds together. Another tale of adventure from my childhood days that I found captivating!
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wren and Tess are best friends in the orphanage. When they're not weeding, darning socks or deterring bullies, they enjoy acting out adventures from old stories and plays. Then their lives become a real adventure. Tess returns to her true life as a princess, only to be kidnapped. Wren needs to go to her rescue, with a magic apprentice and a minor royal for company, and some assistance from complex older magics in the background.

The book is obviously written primarily for children, but it's also
Gypsy Madden
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each time I read a story with a quest that involves traveling across fantasy-world country, I can’t help but think and compare it to Lord of the Rings. And while there were some similarities (the creatures they met, the impending war, the evil mastermind lording over a bleak country…) there was plenty of originality to this, from energetic Wren (with some of the most creative phrases I’ve ever heard!), to Prince Connor (loved his reputation at the magic school! Though with his willingness to jum ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is an adventure book with a girl who is trying to rescue her princess friend who had been kid-napped for political reasons. There is magic, some adults helping out when most needed and it had no disgusting, horrible things happening. I'd call it a light read and a good one for young teenagers. I know Sherwood Smith has written a number of books, so I might seek out others. This one may even have a sequel. ...more
Lily Evangeline
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember, very vaguely, reading this book when I was much younger and loving it a great deal. I’d quite forgotten about it until I came across it on goodreads. Rereading it now, I’m not sure I can love it quite as purely as I did the first time around (such is the cost of growing up), but in the spirit of 10-year-old Lily, I liked it very much. It’s exactly everything a children’s fantasy book should be, and I appreciated the chance to be young and dreaming of adventure again.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clearly an early book, with a structure very much based on sequential threats dealt with and move on to the next. Some nice characterisation, but fairly mundane. (But I did buy the rest on Kindle, so there's that.)

Like many Brits I suspect, my initial reaction to the title was to think of a WW2 naval adventure!
A pretty average fantasy book. No character development or very interesting features at all. I like that the main character and hero is female but she has a big ego and makes very few mistakes, let alone learns from them.
Nov 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
This is a fun adventure story. Wren is a matter-of-fact main character - no emotional drama here, which is a nice change of pace from a lot of books in this genre these days. I'm not sure that I'll remember the plot or characters a year from now, though. ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This book felt comfortable, like a deep chair under a trusty lamp. I love Wren being the driver of her quest and ultimately the one to succeed in it.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
4.5 stars
Antoinette Lewis
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A good adventure a bit slow in some chapters but an all round good book with with some witty characters, magic, witches and sorcerer.
Jameyanne Fuller
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is everything I want in a middle grade book! So looking forward to the next book in the series.
Taylor Caruso - Bucher
Wren to the Rescue is a cute fantasy book for girls around middle school age. It was a quick and easy read and inspiring for young girls to be their own hero in their own stories.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked it. I'm an adult, but these kinds of stories just seem to grab me and take me away. ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun adventure with magic and quests

This has been one of my favorite books since childhood. Rereading it was a treasure full of magic and spunky characters. 12/10!
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Play Book Tag: Wren to the Rescue by Sherwood Smith - 4 stars 2 7 Dec 31, 2018 09:21PM  

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I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.


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