Dragonfly Song is Junior fiction and what I would describe as “legendary history”, i.e. it draws on what we know of real history, but also invokes the stuff of legends, in this case those of Bronze Age Greece/Crete, and includes at least a hint of magic.
The book tells the story of Aissa, the daughter of a priestess-queen who is cast out at birth and must learn to survive in life’s school of hard knocks. Later, she is selected by lot as a tribute to the Minoan kingdom of Crete where she must learn to “dance with the bulls” — or die.
The story is well written and well researched, but what makes it special is the “voice” and character of Aissa. I also loved the way the story is told, in a mix of prose and poetry — or at least prose that is poetic in form. It’s also a book with a great deal of what I call “heart”, which comprises both the integrity of the characters and the emotional depth of the story.
In short, I think Dragonfly Song is wonderful: I loved it.
If you enjoy historical fiction by writers such as Rosemary Sutcliff or Gillian Bradshaw, or fantasy works such as those by Patricia McKillip, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, or my own Thornspell, then you may enjoy Dragonfly Song, too.
I read the AU/NZ paperback edition, 393 pp, published by Allen & Unwin (2016.) I purchased my own copy rather than reading one made available by the publisher or author.