Golding, Julia. Dragonfly. Marshall Cavendish, 2009. ISBN 9780761455820. $17.99. 390 p.
Reviewer: Tessa McMillan
Reading Level: Young adult
Genre: Fantasy fiction;
Subject: Duty--Juvenile fiction; Interpersonal relations--Juvenile fiction; Princesses--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Tashi is one of the four Crown Princesses for the Blue Crescent Islands. When she begins to feel more comfortable in her position, news arrives that the invader, Fergox Spearthrower, has been taking over most of the lands in the Known World. One of the free countries, Gerfal, needs military help and has asked the four Crown Princesses that a marriage alliance be made between their two countries to seal their loyalty. Tashi is chosen to wed Gerfal's prince, Ramil, but once she arrives, Ramil tries to make her feel unwanted. Later Ramil realizes that he must go through with the alliance or the Blue Crescent Islands will make war on Gerfal. When Ramil takes Tashi out riding, a circus group captures the two of them and takes them to Fergox. Fergox tries to sway Ramil to join him, and he tries to make Tashi convert to his bloody religion. Ramil, Tashi, and the loyal giant, Gordoc, escape Fergox and meet up with a resistance group. Tashi realizes that she can help win the war by getting the Blue Crescent armies to join forces with those who oppose Fergox. Tashi, Ramil, Gordoc, and two other resistance members head off on her mission, but Tashi is separated from them. The others are taken to Fergox's main capital, Tigral. Ramil starts a slave rebellion in Tigral to draw Fergox away from invading Gerfal. Tashi returns home and helps to send out the islands’ armies. But Tashi's return is not welcome because her fellow princesses see that she has become too much like the Easterners. Tashi is sentenced to live like a nun for the rest of her life. After overthrowing Fergox, Ramil arrives at the islands requesting Tashi's hand to seal the past marriage alliance and rescue her from her “imprisonment.”
Golding’s book is cleverly written and a definite page-turner. Golding’s background as a diplomat and lobbyist show through in creating believable cultures in this fantasy world. Dragonfly could be a good book for teaching about merging cultures together and the importance of respecting other cultures for their differences.
Volume 30, no. 4 (March/April 2010)
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.
The information available on this site, including any text, computer codes, data, artwork, video, audio, images or graphics (collectively the "Material") are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Parties other than Brigham Young University ("BYU") may own copyright in the Material. We encourage the use of this Material for non-profit and educational purposes only, such as personal research, teaching and private study. For these limited purposes, Material from this web site may be displayed and printed, and all copies must include any copyright notice originally included with the Material. Additionally, a credit line must be included with each item used, citing the article or review author, title or article or review, title of the database, sponsoring agency, date of your access to the electronic file, and the electronic address.