Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dragonfly by Julia Golding

"It's alright, Your Highness, I do not need you to swear your innocence to me. I will not accuse the Blue Crescent Islands of an act of war. I have a higher opinion of your honor than you do of mine. No, I think respoonsibility lies elsewhere: we share a common enemy." Ramil lay back on the straw and closed his eyes. "Either that, or it's a joke in desperately bad taste by my friends to throw us together."
"You think this is possible?" asked Tashi, bewildered.
Ramil sighed. "No, that last suggestion was a joke of my own." Was he never going to find the right note of conversation for this girl? She took everything so seriously.

The Blue Crescent Islands lie to the west in the known world. Their rulers consist of four Crown Princeses, one from each of the islands. Princess Taoshire id the Fourth Crown Princess and the youngest at sixteen. Tashi's life is dictated by the religious rituals she must conduct each day to Goddess.

To the northeast lies Gerfal, King Lagan is worried about his nation's future. The warlord, Fergox Spearthrower of Holt, has recently conquered the nation of Brigard and it is feared that Gerfal is next. King Lagan believes if a pact is made with the Blue Crescent Islands and their powerful navy, Gerfal would stand a chance against an invasion from Fergox. An arranged marriage between Princess Taoshira and Lagan's son, Prince Ramil, is desired.

Where Tashi's life is refined and disciplined, Ramil's days are taken up with horseback riding and hunting. Neither is happy with the idea and things go from bad to worse when they meet. Not understanding Tashi's customs, Ramil knowingly and unknowningly offends her. She takes to her rooms and refuses to come out. When Ramil realizes how he has treated her and is berated by his father, he decides to take Tashi horseback riding since she has shown an interest. Having been confirmed to the castle, Ram is excited to ride and enthuasicatically takes off. Having never ridden before, Tashi becomes terrified and screams to stop. Fed up, she takes off on foot and heads back to the castle. Ram soon realizes he has made the situation worse and takes off after her.

Ramil soon discovers that Tashi is gone. In looking for her, Ram is caught in a net and captured by a traveling circus troop. He is thrown into a tiger's cage and soon realizes his fellow prisoner is Tashi. Each is sceptical of the other but soon discovers that a third party is responsible. Can Ramil and Tashi put their differences aside abd escape or are they doomed to be pawns in someone else's game? Join Ramil and Tashi's journey as they discover not only who they are but the other as well.

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