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Dragonfruit by Makiia Lucier
Young adult

Dragonfruit

by Makiia Lucier

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Quick take

Hop aboard, we’re embarking on a proper adventure with dragons, pirates, island myths, and epic second chances!

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical

    Magical

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Underdog

    Underdog

  • Illustrated icon, nature_icon

    Nature

Synopsis

In the old tales, it is written that the egg of a seadragon, dragonfruit, holds within it the power to undo a person’s greatest sorrow. But as with all things that offer hope when hope had gone, the tale came with a warning.

Every wish demands a price.

Hanalei of Tamarind is the cherished daughter of an old island family. But when her father steals a seadragon egg meant for an ailing princess, she is forced into a life of exile. In the years that follow, Hanalei finds solace in studying the majestic seadragons that roam the Nominomi Sea. Until, one day, an encounter with a female dragon offers her what she desires most. A chance to return home, and to right a terrible wrong.

Samahtitamahenele, Sam, is the last remaining prince of Tamarind. But he can never inherit the throne, for Tamarind is a matriarchal society. With his mother ill and his grandmother nearing the end of her reign, Sam is left with two choices: to marry, or to find a cure for the sickness that has plagued his mother for ten long years. When a childhood companion returns from exile, she brings with her something he has not felt in a very long time: hope.

But Hanalei and Sam are not the only ones searching for the dragonfruit. And as they battle enemies both near and far, there is another danger they cannot escape…that of the dragonfruit itself.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Dragonfruit.
Dragonfruit

1

By the time Hanalei turned eighteen, five hundred dragoners roamed the Nominomi Sea, ships built to hunt the seadragons that called the waters home. Every part of the creatures commanded a high price: their scales for armor; their oil for lamps; their eyes, chopped and stewed, or their tongues, dried and powdered, to preserve youth and beauty. And their eggs, most precious of all, though no one had laid eyes on dragonfruit for years.

Five hundred dragoners to capture and kill. And then there was Hanalei.

“Sixty feet, would you say?” Hanalei crouched beside a wild, bushy fern, careful not to be seen. “The blue one there?”

“Sixty feet, yeah, looks good.” Her guide’s name was Moa, and his response came after much neck craning as they peered from high above the grotto into the watery cavern below. The trouble with seadragons was that they had to be observed at a distance. Unless one was willing to risk death or dismemberment, which Hanalei was not. And so practical matters: measuring their length from snout to tail, or determining eye color and approximate age, these were all things that had to be done from afar.

Three seadragons frolicked in the waves. One red, one gold, one the milky white of pearls. Two more sunned themselves on a massive stone ledge above the water’s surface. The larger one lay flat on its belly, sixty feet long, a deep blue in color. The seadragon sprawled beside it was the green of limes. Smaller by ten feet, Hanalei guessed, with a mane, or frill, that was also green. She watched its mouth open in a tremendous yawn, red tongue lolling, and felt her lips curve. It had been a long time since she had seen a pod of seadragons look so at ease, so utterly without guard.

“They are magnificent,” she said.

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Why I love it

Don’t you love when a book’s design actually matches its contents? Makiia Lucier’s Dragonfruit is as colorful as its cover—from its characters to its writing, this story will sweep you away to magical islands inhabited by sea dragons, pirates, and royalty.

When young Hanalei and the princess of Tamarind were poisoned, a seadragon egg was their only hope for survival. In choosing to save his daughter’s life and steal the last remaining egg, Hanalei’s father condemned the future queen of Tamarind and forced him and his daughter to flee the kingdom. One single act, born from her father’s love and desperation, pushed Hanalei away from her home and her people.

After living in exile for a decade, Hanalei is finally able to return to her island. While she has lived a life of hardships, the princess has not lived at all. Slowly deteriorating in a comatose state, the last and only hope for her is another seadragon egg. Determined to right a wrong, Hanalei joins her childhood best friend, the prince of Tamarind, in a quest to save the future Queen. Together, they must find a seadragon egg before the pirate, whom Hanalei happens to be running from, beats them to it.

A gorgeously written fantasy inspired by Pacific Island mythology, Dragonfruit is sure to be unlike anything you’ve read before. Delve into this uniquely magical story about love, family, sacrifice, and seadragons this month!

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