Review: Dragonfly By Julia Golding

Title: Dragonfly

Author: Julia Golding

Series: N/A

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary (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?

What’s Good About It

You know those sorts of books that you enjoy so much that as soon as you are finished you want to pick it up and read it again? For me, Dragonfly was one of those books.

It’s a really interesting read, with loads of good exploration of cultural differences that highlights important messages about acceptance and understanding without beating you round the head with the obvious stick. I loved the stilted ritual of Tashi’s society and how it was her solace in times of difficulty – how she never abandoned the identity it gave her, even though it looked much easier to live without the rituals. I loved how Ramil gradually came to understand and accept her culture, and how he matured as a character – going from a roguish lout, lacking charm (though the potential was always there for charm to develop, of course) to a true hero and dashing, swoon-worthy love interest.

Everything was well developed – from the history and culture, to the conflict and characters. It was this richly detailed landscape that made me want to dive right back in once I’d read the final line. It’s a shame, in a way, that this wasn’t the start of a series – as I would definitely have gone back for a second helping – but at the same time, sometimes it’s nice to have something stand alone.

Reading Dragonfly made me want to read everything else Julia Golding has written. I haven’t ordered her entire back catalog, but seeing a book of hers in the library always makes me itch to pick them up. Which is bad, because I have a hundred and one other books to read…

What’s Not So Good

Honestly can’t think of anything.

Rating: 5/5

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