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Summary: The arranged marriage between Prince Ramal of Gerfal and Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands will seal a royal alliance against a common enemy of their respective realms. It does not matter that Ramal and Taoshira object to the match. When a romantic outing turns into disastrous date, Taoshira calls off the marriage entirely. Before Ramal can react to her announcement, both are kidnapped. Initially Ramal and Taoshira believe someone is playing a joke on them, in an attempt to bring them closer together. By the time they realize the truth, they are now prisoners in the heart of their enemy’s territory! Will they ever be able to trust each other and abandon their cultural hostilities?
This is a wholesome adventure novel for teens and young adults.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 11 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: Golding excels in painting scenes with vivid details and skillful word choices that reveals tone, character, and imagery very precisely. The story rotates among a few characters, each of whose distinctive personality comes through. Readers get the impression that amid the action of the main plot, there are multiple individual stories unfolding, as well. Rami and Tashi's personal struggles enhanced the story and give readers a deeper understanding of the characters that give their actions more meaningful. The few flaws focus on a rushed scene or two. Dragonfly is categorized as a fantasy, but it also has qualities for realistic fiction, with historical and cultural content. Dragonfly is probably more suited for teens, but I highly recommend this book to anyone with a soft spot for adventures with romance.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Well developed characters and cultural themes create an intriguing, meaningful novel for teens and young adults.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. You'll be hooked on Dragonfly, but you probably won't keep it on your home shelf.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, middle grade, young adult
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.