Reviews for Dragonfly
Booklist Reviews 2009 September #1
Golding, who penned the Cat Royal series, proves in this first title in a new series that she is as equally adept with fantasy as she is with mystery. Trouble is brewing in the Known Worlds. King Lagan ac Burinholt, desperately hoping to gain allies, arranges a marriage between his son, Ramil, and Taoshira, Fourth Crown Princess of the Blue Crescent Islands. The betrothed pair loathe each other on sight, but after they are both kidnapped, the story takes off. Descriptions of the Known Worlds are vivid and include intricate religions and fascinating political machinations. It is clear from the start that Ramil and Tashi will fall in love, and their evolving relationship powers the story. The cast of characters is large and appealing, especially a circus strongman and a horse with immense personality. Golding ramps up the action with plenty of danger, battles, and narrow escapes, and she nicely resolves her various plotlines in a satisfying conclusion. Perfect for fans of political fantasies like Hilari Bell's Farsala Trilogy books. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Tashi, the Fourth Crown Princess of her kingdom, is unhappily betrothed to Prince Ramil. Together, the two are thrust on an adventure supported by an unusual cast of characters. Filled with intrigue, humor, and romance, the story is familiar in its themes but will keep readers engaged up to the very last sentence. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 September #1
This familiar-feeling fantasy devotes much energy to culture creation and culture clash but disquietingly favors one over others. Taoshira, nicknamed Tashi, is the Fourth Crown Princess of the Blue Crescent Islands. Her existence is lonely and formal, as she recites ritual prayer after ritual prayer and helps rule. Prince Ramil, in the mainland nation of Gerfal, rebels against his father's plan that he wed Taoshira in a military alliance. Tashi and Ram meet, hate, spar and predictably fall in love as they survive kidnapping by a warlord, imprisonment, bandit attacks and separation. Pivotal military and romantic events seem oddly brief and anticlimactic. The Blue Crescents resemble a stylized Japan except for their inhabitants' repeatedly mentioned--almost fetishized--golden hair; Tashi, disturbingly, is an Orientalized blond who can only flourish in Ram's British/European-type country. Ram is interracial, his (dead) mother from a desert-dwelling, "dark-skinned people known as the Horse Followers," but his culture is the normative white one that the text and Tashi prefer. For large collections or critical race/gender study. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 November
Gr 8 Up--Establishing one's sense of self, working and sacrificing for a greater purpose, and accepting and understanding people's differences are all strong themes in this British import. The arranged marriage between the reserved and disciplined Princess Taoshira, 16, and the rogue Prince Ramil, 18, is not an appealing prospect to either teen. But their lands need to form a strong bond of diplomatic connections in order to fend off attacks from the bloodthirsty warlord Fergox Spearthrower, and they have been called upon to do what is right for their people. Their relationship gets off to a disastrous start and goes downhill from there. Taoshira is put off by his brash and loud behavior that fails to recognize or respect her values and traditions while Ramil finds her cold, unworthy of her title, and completely unappealing. When the two are kidnapped, a riveting adventure ensues and opposites attract. Although the arc of the love story is fairly standard, the subplots make it an engaging read for a variety of readers. Romance, trickery, graphic and bloody fight scenes, adventure, religious persecution, and politics are all a part of this compelling tale.--Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA [Page 108]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 December
The country of Holt threatens war upon the surrounding countries in the known world. Those countries form an alliance and make an unusual pact--requiring one prince and one princess to marry. When the Fourth Crown Princess of the Blue Crescent Islands arrives in Gerfal, she is unhappy with her new situation and insulted by Gerfal's lack of protocol. They know nothing of her ways. Taoshira is not used to such treatment and takes offense. Neither she nor her betrothed, Prince Ramil, are interested in this alliance. They realize that they must perform the duty their countries ask of them, but that was before their kidnapping, the religious persecution, and their imprisonment. Written in alternating perspectives, this novel flows beautifully and is addicting. The cover might not attract readers, but it reflects the tale's thematic elements. Tashi is depicted as a pious princess, but readers soon understand the depth of her character through her feisty attitude and independent streak. Ramil at first behaves in a childish manner, but he grows into a hero worthy of any princess. Secondary meaty characters round out the cast of outlaws trying to take down the evil emperor from Holt. Golding writes a fantastical romantic masterpiece full of adventure, betrayal, near misses, combat, and loyalty.--Jennifer Rummel 5Q 4P J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.