Nat-a-lie  \ nat-ə–lē’\ – noun

1. Wife extraordinaire and happy Mama that loves do crafty projects.
2. One who likes to read as many books as possible– all while trying to find time to clean the house.
3. One who runs around like crazy.

Dragonly book

Golding, Julia. Dragonfly. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp, 2009.

The Fourth Crown Princess of the Blue Crescent Islands had sixteen rituals to observe from the moment of waking to when she broke her fast.  These included getting out of bed on the right-hand side; turning to the east to bow to the sun; submitting to having her hair groomed with forty strokes from a silver-backed brush by the Under Mistress of the Royal Chamber; and –

Princess Taoshira paused.  What have I forgotten?  Goddess rot the Etiquette Mistress’s rule book, I know there’s something else

A crown princess, a crown prince, an arranged marriage to unite the kingdoms against a common enemy – of course they immediately hate each other!  But that’s just the beginning of this story.

The Review

The first thing I noticed about this book was the dust cover – a beautiful picture of a firefly, and a HINT of a girl behind it.  It was so intriguing I instantly wanted to read it!  See – you CAN judge a book by its cover!

I thought the author, Julia Golding, did a very sweet retelling of a rather cliché (yet totally successful and fun!) premise.  I connected with both main characters, even though they are each very human and don’t always make the right choices.  I really liked how, after the initial contact, they show that they are respectful, kind, understanding people, and even normal.  I found that most of the other characters were merely supporting the two main characters, but there is one – the Second Crown Princess – that I really connected with personally, and adored, even though she is hardly even seen in the book.

I absolutely love how Ms. Golding related the religious aspects of this story, especially that she didn’t make everyone believe in the same religion even though they all live in the same world.  While it is somewhat naïve to imagine that religions can be so easily meshed in relationships, I believe we as people often make religion far too exclusive in general, and her approach really works in the book.

The conflict in this book is about equally external and internal, so sometimes it can drag a little if you’re used to less inner conflict, but mostly this was just a really fun, uplifting read – I borrowed it from a friend, and bought it the day after I read it!  I have already recommended this to a few girls in my neighborhood, and lent it to my cousin, who I think will love it!

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