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Reviewed by Jose Cornelio for Readers' Favorite
Dragonfly Wings: A Historical Novel of Japan is the second book in the Dragonfly Trilogy by Elizabeth Ann Boyles and a compelling read for fans of romance. Set in Japan in the mid-1800s, the story follows two strong characters: Sumi Taguchi and John Cardiff. Sumi is the daughter of a samurai and an offspring of a line that honors tradition strictly. She is an exuberant and outgoing woman with a strong desire to explore the world beyond her traditional boundaries. Offering tutoring services to the American Consul in Nagasaki doesn’t pose any danger until she begins to fall irresistibly for him. John Cardiff has a fiancée back home and he misses her. But now he is developing strong feelings for the Japanese tutor. It becomes complicated when a conservative samurai gets involved and threatens not just what they feel for each other but their lives as well. Can they protect their budding romance and their lives? It will be a great adventure to read how they handle this.
Elizabeth Ann Boyles’ novel is transporting, pulling readers into Japanese traditional society with well-defined customs and way of life. It is a very conservative society and it is a time when fathers chose husbands for their daughters. I was hooked from the beginning by the intriguing manner in which the female protagonist is introduced. She appears to be inquisitive and expansive, qualities that defy the expectations of the traditional Japanese world for women. John is also an elaborately developed character. A man who is already in a relationship but who gets swept away by the beauty and charm of his tutor. While this is a love story between two strong characters, it is also a tale of the clash of cultures, written in beautiful language and littered with facets of Japanese culture. Dragonfly Wings: A Historical Novel of Japan is well-paced, intriguing, and a delightful read.