A Dragonbird in the Fern Published by North Star Editions on August 3, 2021
Source: Owned Paperback
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult Fiction / Disabilities & Special Needs, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / General, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / General
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When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’s older sister Scilla, her vengeful ghost is doomed to walk their city of glittering canals, tormenting loved ones until the murderer is brought to justice. While the entire kingdom mourns, Scilla’s betrothed arrives and requests that seventeen-year-old Jiara take her sister’s place as his bride to confirm the alliance between their countries.
Marrying the young king intended for her sister and traveling to his distant home is distressing enough, but with dyslexia and years of scholarly struggles, Jiara abandoned any hope of learning other languages long ago. She’s terrified of life in a foreign land where she’ll be unable to communicate.
Then Jiara discovers evidence that her sister’s assassin comes from the king’s own country. If she marries the king, Jiara can hunt the murderer and release her family from Scilla’s ghost, whose thirst for blood mounts every day. To save her family, Jiara must find her sister’s killer . . . before he murders her too.
A sister is murdered, and her younger sister, primarily thought to be stupid, must step up and take her place as the future queen of a foreign country. Jiara has struggled her whole life with reading and writing, and as a result, she is thought to be ignorant of things and able to be manipulated. As a result, she struggles to learn the new language of her husband but also ends up uncovering a plot to overtake the throne that no one saw coming. I loved how real jiara is and how she struggles but is determined to overcome any hurdles thrown at her. She trusts that she will uncover her sister’s murder before it is too late and that she can embrace this new country: a fantasy novel that wrenches your heart and is well thought out and a fantastic debut.