Friday, March 25, 2011

Fantasy Friday: Dragonfly

Dragonfly, by Julia Golding

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corp
Pages: 390 (hardcover)
Reading Level: 12 and up
Enjoyment Level: High

This is another fantasy that I absolutely enjoyed. I remember more and more how much I loved fantasy novels as a kid, and I’m glad to see so many of them around in the YA market now.

From GoodReads:

Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he's not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.

When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape--from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure--including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen--help them or betray them to the enemy?

As pure fantasy goes, this hits the spot. I loved it from start to finish. The plot kept the tension going and there were a lot of twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Adventure and danger added to the fantastical, so it wasn’t just your typical quest-type book or even hero-journey.

The characters are great. I loved the blending of cultures and personalities. Taoshira is excellent as a princess who is struggling to fit into her own world. Once she’s thrown into the land of Gerfal, all she has are the customs and rituals she’s been taught. I particularly liked watching the changes and growth she goes through as a character when her religion and faith are tested after she’s kidnapped. The faltering of her faith is natural and it gives her dimension.

Ram is also a great character. His growth and development are complemented by Tashi’s and it was so nice to see the connection between the two of them solidify as Ram learns about himself on their journey. He matures and becomes the leader he needs to be.

This book didn’t get much attention when it came out, but I highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy. On the surface it appears to be a fluff piece of fantasy, but the themes of faith, maturity and love push the story to a different level.

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

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