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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Path of the Dragonfly by Kathy Ann Trueman picks up when Shak has been freed from prison, which allows him to continue his revenge against Lord Sefal. Before he can enact his plan, his grandmother sends him on a different mission that forces him to face his past and the two children he left behind. He must take the children home, but the journey won't be easy as neither remembers where their families are now. All he knows is he must take them to Crystal Valley and put his need for revenge aside until he fulfills his word. As they travel, he uncovers secrets about the children's origins and is forced to confront his past. Shak expected to pick up right where he left off and continue on his journey to get revenge on Sefal. The two have a deep and complex history which slowly unfolds as Shak journeys to return the children home. Their relationship isn't a simple antagonistic dynamic as the two have a deep connection going back to their youth and this history adds to what pits them against each other. How this revenge plot unfolds is unexpected as their dynamic goes further than just being enemies, with Kathy Trueman adding layers to their relationship and uncovering surprising secrets.
Falin and Celia are at the root of Shak's story and how everything moves forward. Falin's personality is brash with a snarky attitude and a knack for stealing because his time with bandits has influenced his behavior. Celia was with elves so she's more proper and specific with her speech, more reserved with her emotions. Both had to grow up fast, but they have an innocence that shows they're children who are lost and in need of a loving home. Their relationship with Shak is emotional and beautifully written as they allow Shak to find a connection other than his revenge. His grandmother has a constant presence throughout and is a powerful figure driving Shak forward in attempts to keep him on the right path. An amazing journey from beginning to end with surprises and dragons, The Path of the Dragonfly is brilliantly written with complex dynamics and well-rounded characters you'll fall in love with on an emotional journey confronting the past and facing the future.