Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Fergox Spearthrower, has invaded several countries in the Known World. The remaining nations must join forces to survive Fergox’s tyranny. To begin this international alliance, Princess Tashi of the Blue Crescent Islands must marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. Tashi is sent to Gerfal but when she finally meets Ramil, he rejects Tashi’s sacred gift of respect. This rejection makes Tashi feel trapped and alone in a country that doesn’t understand her cultural beliefs. Ramil is against the marriage, but he must go through with it or the Blue Crescent Islands could make war on Gerfal. Feeling constrained to help his country, Ramil tries to patch things up with Tashi. But as the two are away from Ramil’s castle, they are kidnapped by a circus group loyal to Fergox.

Dragonfly is a beautifully conceived coming-of-age story about culture, adventure, respecting differences, doubts, religious beliefs, and love. As the book opens, readers meet Princess Tashi. Tashi starts off as a somewhat demure character who reluctantly accepts her country’s charge to marry Ramil. But Ramil's rejection causes Tashi's reserved nature to crack. Then when Fergox meets Tashi, he tries to break her by threating all the beliefs she has ever held dear. That final experience causes Tashi to decide who she really is thus making her immovable and strong. Ramil even sees this transformation and he grows to respect and love her for it. Even though this is a fantasy book, Golding creates a believable and richly diverse world. An incredible story great for readers 12 and up.

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