Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit

by Makiia Lucier

Narrated by Mapuana Makia

Unabridged — 8 hours, 12 minutes

Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit

by Makiia Lucier

Narrated by Mapuana Makia

Unabridged — 8 hours, 12 minutes

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Overview

From acclaimed author Makiia Lucier, a dazzling, romantic fantasy inspired by Pacific Island mythology.

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.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

01/15/2024

In this kindhearted romantic fantasy from Lucier (Year of the Reaper), legend has it that seadragon eggs, or “dragonfruit,” contain the power to undo a person’s “greatest sorrow”—for a price. Hanalei knows the tales are true; as an eight-year-old royal page on Tamarind, she and Princess Oliana both imbibed poison that induced an unwakeable sleep. The queen managed to procure a dragonfruit meant to rouse Oliana, but Hanalei’s father stole it and absconded to Rakakala, where he instead healed Hanalei. Days later, he died, leaving Hanalei alone. Hanalei finally returns to Tamarind at 18 after escaping dragoners intent on exploiting her seadragon researcher expertise to hunt a pregnant female. Her former best friend and Oliana’s son, 19-year-old Prince Samahtitamahenele, welcomes Hanalei warmly despite his mother’s continued slumber, and presents her with a worrying scenario: Samahti requests that Hanalei help him obtain a dragonfruit for Oliana, but doing so could cause him to share her father’s fate. Lucier dallies in establishing the story’s stakes, stunting early tension and drive, but richly textured worldbuilding dazzles from start to finish, taking inspiration from Pacific Island mythology and riffing on well-loved elements from the YA fantasy canon. Most characters have brown skin. Ages 13–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

"Full of adventure and fascinating lore, the world of Makiia Lucier's marvelous Dragonfruit is one I would have loved to linger in were I not so feverishly turning the pages. One of the rare books that had me at the first chapter. I LOVE THESE SEADRAGONS!"   — Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series

"Abundant with hope and second chances, this magical adventure stole me away with its pirates and seadragons, wishes and sea gods, villainy and homecomings. A winsome new take on how we should be careful what we wish for."
Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles

"Rich in worldbuilding, this gripping, warm-hearted fantasy is so vividly rendered you can almost feel the salt spray of the Nominomi Sea and hear the calls of sea dragons echoing through the pages. The lore is wonderfully unique and Hanalei and Sam are characters I couldn't help rooting for. A true delight." — Heather Fawcett, author of Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

"A mesmerizing, captivating Pacific Islands–inspired fantasy."  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A deeply satisfying standalone readers will race through and a rare Pacific Island–inspired fantasy that ­belongs in all YA collections." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"Richly textured worldbuilding dazzles from start to finish, taking inspiration from Pacific Island mythology and riffing on well-loved elements from the YA fantasy canon." — Publishers Weekly

"This refreshing magical adventure combines compassionate characters, a vivid tropical setting with unique magic (including fiercely lovable sentient animal tattoos), and a high-stakes story that switches easily between land and sea. Enchanting." — Booklist

School Library Journal

★ 05/01/2024

Gr 7 Up—With interest in dragon fantasy novels on the rise, Lucier's new adventure has exquisite worldbuilding inspired by Pacific Island mythos and a comfortable, slow-building romance. Lady Hanalei and Prince Samahtitamahenele grew up together on the matriarchal island of Tamarind, until the day their mother is poisoned, falling into a magical, unending sleep. Tamarind uses all of its resources to find the only possible cure: a rare seadragon egg called dragonfruit, which legend says can grant wishes to those who eat it. But those wishes come at a terrible cost, which Hana's father learns when he steals the dragonfruit, flees Tamarind, and saves his daughter. Hana, now 18, has lived as an exile, tracking and studying seadragons in the Nominomi Sea. She discovers one of her subjects is pregnant—the dragonfruit could be her way back home if she's willing to pay the price. Lucier has an incredible talent for creating strong relationships inside large cast of characters, bringing Tamarind and its matriarchal politics to life while layering the family dynamics with love and a painful history. Lucier grew up on Guam, and her love for the Pacific Islands and its diversity shines through while referencing the damage exoticism and colonialism have wrought on the region. Characters are cued Pacific Islander, with some additional diversity outside the main cast. VERDICT A deeply satisfying standalone readers will race through and a rare Pacific Island–inspired fantasy that belongs in all YA collections.—Emmy Neal

MAY 2024 - AudioFile

Mapuana Makia lends her rich voice to this young adult fantasy. Hanalei, of the island Tamarind, has been living in exile since her father stole a seadragon egg. There she meets Sam, a lost prince, also from Tamarind. Together, they discover they can go home if they find the dragonfruit, a coveted treasure with great power. Makia delivers a balanced cadence and an intrigued tone when recounting the story's world-building. She lends a strong voice to the equally strong lead characters in their desperate journey to return home. Every peril is revealed with suspense, and every mystery is narrated with wonder. Makia's performance offers the total package needed for a fantasy with abundant adventure. G.M. © AudioFile 2024, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2024-02-17
Given the opportunity to right a grave wrong from her past, a teen faces dangerous seadragon hunters in order to find the rare dragonfruit.

“In the old tales, it is written that the egg of seadragon, dragonfruit, holds within it the power to undo a person’s greatest sorrow.” However, “Every wish demands a price.” As a young girl, Lady Hanaleiarihi was the beloved descendant of a distinguished bloodline and a page to Princess Oliana of Tamarind—but her father stole a dragonfruit meant for the ailing princess in order to save Hanalei’s life, and he died soon after. Now 18, she lives in exile, researching seadragons in the Nominomi Sea. After she warns some seadragons of dragoner hunters, the ruthless Capt. Bragadin captures Hanalei and forces her to help his crew find the dragonfruit. After escaping, she ends up back home on Tamarind with a chance to make things right, and she searches for a dragonfruit with childhood friend Prince Samahtitamahenele, Oliana’s son. But she knows they face more than just the dangers of the sea and dragoners: The dragonfruit once cost her everything, and she’ll do whatever it takes to save the ailing princess and help Sam. Inspired by the lore of the Pacific Islands, this enthralling fantasy has action, adventure, mythical creatures, and magic. The worldbuilding is wonderfully crafted, including the beautiful island of Tamarind, its matriarchal society, and the community members’ deep connections to one another and their ancestors, gods, and traditions.

A mesmerizing, captivating Pacific Islands–inspired fantasy. (Fantasy. 13-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159634603
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04/09/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 283,757
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