Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

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Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Series: N/A
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Published January 15th 2019
Genres: Middle Grade, Sci-fi, Mythology
Pages: 304
Format: Hardback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21I was super excited to read this since I’ve never read much of Korean mythology. But being a sci-fi I had my doubts it was gonna be for me… So to my surprise, this was a space book I actually enjoyed!

We follow Min, a 13yo girl from a poor background, traveling to other worlds in search of her brother Jun and what really happened to him. But she is carrying a secret with her. She and her family have fox-magic – she can use Charm and shape-shift – which is unliked by everyone, people dimming those persons as untrustworthy. It all started when an investigator showed up at her house, accusing Jun of deserting the Space Forces to pursue an old artifact called Dragon Pearl, capable of incredible things. Min deeply believes that to be impossible and so, after that, she does everything in her power to reach the truth, her brother and the Dragon Pearl!

This book features Korean mythology such as Shamans, Gumiho / Kumiho – spirit fox, Dokkaebi – Korean goblins, Dragons and Tigers (shape-shifted into humans) and Ghosts. While it was not as complex as the previous mythology books I read from Rick Riordan Presents, it was still really interesting. It kind of felt more like fantasy and not so much like mythology, but after searching online for some things (for ex here) and seeing all the terms at the end of the book, I got to understand it a bit better. Korean mythology is quite different from what I’m used to reading. It has a lot more fantastic elements to it, and to be honest I really enjoyed reading about them, but I was still wanting more mythology in it than I got.

As for the mythology we got, I especially love the Gumiho. Fox spirits are present in several different East-Asian mythologies, and I’ve previously read a bit about them. I’m fascinated by them and this book really made me even more excited. I love Min and how good she is. She tries her best all the time and she would put anyone she loves before her. She is quite intelligent and learns incredibly fast, using that to her advantage. She is such a great girl! I loved all the dangerous adventures with her and I really hated how many bad parts she had to go through… There’s a LOT happening in this book and it’s incredibly exciting!

There’s a lot of friendship; family love and their problems; comradeship; interstellar war; and so much more! It’s an incredibly exciting book, full of magic and amazing characters and although I still wanted a bit more from the mythology part, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

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