Thursday, 19 April 2012

Review ~ Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Paperback purchased by myself

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?

My Opinion

What can I say about this book without sounding like a total gushing, weird fan? Julia Golding was the first authors I willing read of my own accord and her Cat Royal series is what got me hooked on books. Naturally, because I loved her writing so much I went out and bought every book written by her (under this name and every other name). However, Dragonfly is by far my favourite. Although I love Cat's attitude and the adventure in that series, there is something about Dragonfly that keeps me coming back to it. 

I didn't have a blog when I first read this book but I have recently re-read it so decided to recommend it to you all. Dragonfly is one of my all time favourites and I have re-read it so many times the pages are falling apart. Even on this read (around the 25th time) it still makes my heart melt with love, sympathy and hope for the characters and I enjoy their adventure.

The main thing that I love about this novel is the fact that Tashi and Ramil obviously dislike each other upon first meeting and neither are pleased by the situation. Their lack of knowledge about each other's customs also adds to the drama and gives way to some humourous scenes because of each other's ignorance and Ramil's pigheadedness. Because of this start, it allowed the author to build the attraction and romance slowly as they undertake a journey to free themselves. The build up to a romance is always my favourite part in a book and I really enjoyed watching Ramil slowly fall for Tashi and vice versa. Ramil's stubborness and hotheadedness complimented Tashis's quieter, maybe slightly shy but determined mindset. 

Beside the romance in Dragonfly, the action kept me hooked and turning pages at a rapid rate. I don't want to reveal too much as there are many twists, turns and heart-wrenching moments that I don't want to spoil for those of you who haven't read Dragonfly. However, I could clearly envision every confrontation, location and person clearly as it was all described beautifully. The scenes with Fergox were weirdly the most enjoyable for me. These sections normally involved most action and they were slightly darker than the rest of the book as he worshiped Gods who liked sacrifice. They also created a character who you love to hate. This book had a great antagonist in Fergox which is what every adventure novel needs! You have to hate the evil one and you will definitely hate Fergox.

As they develop a plot to free themselves, Tashi and Ramil meet some interesting characters - Gordoc being someone who my heart just melted for. He could kill people with his bare hands but around Tashi he was like an older brother looking out for her and the care he put into every action was believable. Although he put a dampener on his IQ, Gordoc was an intuitive character who saw what was really going on. His advice to Ramil made me laugh at it's bluntness. I want a Gordoc!! And who can forget Thunder? The scene with Tashi towards the end with him was brilliant!

Overall Dragonfly is probably the book I have read most out of my vast collection. There is a subtle message of religious tolerance throughout but you aren't bashed over the head with it which is one of the many reasons I love this book. A lot of the things are subtle to start with and they build: action, friendships, romance, faith, tolerance. Everything is crafted beautifully. The emotions are real, the characters are believable and the writing immerses you in Julia Golding's land. If you haven't read Dragonfly or any work by this author you are seriously missing out. 

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