Dragonfly is a 2008 Adventure novel written by Julia Golding, who has written other children books including the series "Companion Quartret".
The story takes place in the setting of The Known World as two countries, The Crescent Islands and Gerfal, unite their kingdoms to form an alliance so they can take down the force of Fergox Spearthrower, a warlord from Holt that has already conquest Brigard and is planning on doing the same to the countries. By forming this alliance, Prince Ramil ac Burinholt from Gerfal and Princess Taoshira “Tashi” of the Fourth Crown Princess from The Crescent Islands are arranged to be married.
But Ramil and Tashi aren’t really thrilled about being betrothed and can’t stand each other due to their different culture backgrounds (and as Ramil later finds out, Tashi was chosen as a Princess as opposed of being a part of a royal family). When Tashi travelled from the Crescent Islands to Gerfal to meet Ramil and his father King Lagan, Ramil made her upset by showing the crumbled paper dragonfly that the she had made for him as a sign of her trust (his friend Lord Usk put it in his pocket so he can give it to him).
To make up for the crumbled paper dragonfly incident, Ramil takes Tashi out for horseback riding when the King noticed her fondness for horses. After an argument, Tashi storms off back to the kingdom and Ramil tries to follow her only to get trapped in a bag. Next thing he knew he’s in a cage with a white tiger chained to a corner, and to his surprise he finds that the girl in the corner is Tashi. They’ve been kidnapped.
Can Tashi and Ramil overcome on what is at stake for them on their adventure, and most of all, can they put aside their differences and help each other? Or would it just make them hate each other more?
Dragonfly contains examples of:
- Activist Fundamentalist Antics: In chapter 6, Fergox brings Tashi into the castle where she is forced to convert into believing in Holin the Warmonger. After Tashi refused, she is dragged into a cell and is to stay there until she converts.
- Against My Religion: Tashi is assigned to a priest who trains her to fight so she can be a warrior, but she doesn’t fight him because her religion believes in peace.
Priest: You must fight back or I will beat you until I have no more strength to raise my arm.
Tashi: I am fighting back, sir, in the only way my faith allows.
- All Lower Case Letters: The title of the book is spelled as "dragonfly".
- And Now You Must Marry Me: Fergox is planning on making Tashi his 5th wive which she is understandably horrified about this.
- But Not Too Foreign: Ramil and his little sister Briony are half Gerfalian/ half Horse Follower.
- Determinator: Ramil promised Tashi that he'll plan so that they can excape from Fergox, but as weeks pass Tashi starts doubting that he can't keep the promise. But he did, and they escape from his court with Gurdoc.
- Dark Action Girl: Junis, Fergox's older sister, is much of a warrior who loves to fight just as much as her brother does.
- Farmer's Daughter: Tashi is a daughter of a goat herder, which she is often called a "goat girl".
- Never Say "Die": Averted. The story isn't afraid of saying death and other variation whenever it is brought up.
- Polyamory: Fergox has 4 wives and wants Tashi to be Wife # 5.
- Rags to Riches: Before she became a princess, Tashi used to live in a farm herding goats until she was chosen. Turns out that Fergox bribed the priest on picking her for his plan.
- Unkempt Beauty: Ramil thinks that Tashi is beautiful when she isn't wearing heavy makeup.
- You Mean Xmas: The Known World celebrates a holiday called Midwinter festival, which is similiar to Christmas when family and friends celebrate together.