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Dragon Pearl is a standalone novel written by Yoon Ha Lee and published by Rick Riordan Presents. It is set to be released on January 15, 2019.

Synopsis

A standalone middle grade novel starring Min, a teenage fox spirit whose brother is missing and thought to have deserted the Thousand Worlds Space Forces in order to find the pearl of the title, an artifact that may have the power to save their struggling space colony.

Development

When writing Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee reread Folk Tales from Korea by Zong In-Sob which he was entertained by as a child. It contains information on things that include gumiho (fox spirit) stories and the legend of Hong Gildong. Lee also read parts of Hong-Key Yoon’s The Culture of Fengshui in Korea as inspiration for the mystical star ships and Religions of Korea in Practice, a collection of essays edited by Robert E. Buswell Jr., for background on the smallpox spirits.[2]

On October 28th, Rick Riordan said this book was unlike any of the other books in his imprint. He said the book is like Star Wars combined with Korean mythology, only better, and gave sneak peaks at the book every Sunday calling it #SciFiSunday.[3]

Plot

Min RR

Min

This story takes place on the backwater planet of Jinju. Min is a teenaged fox spirit that can shapeshift into anything. She can also manipulate human emotions and make people see things that aren’t there. But she wants to join the Space Forces like her older brother, Jun, but fox spirits hide their true nature due to lasting prejudice. One day, Jun disappears and apparently abandoned his post to guard a relic that can transform worlds: the Dragon Pearl. Min decides to runaway from home before she can be shifted to the boondocks.

Min lives with her mother and four aunties, it will be two more years before she can take the Space Forces exam. She really wanted to sleep on the ancient quilt with everybody else, her oldest cousin Bora was snoring too loud. Legend has it, a Shaman used the Dragon Pearl to make Jinju, though Min didn't think the pearl existed. But then an investigator of the Thousand Worlds revealing Jun's disappearance and treachery. He has a message from him to Min, he says he made a lot of friends, exploring new worlds like dad, but has lots of chores. Min wonders what he said about "friends" and their dad, he died seven years ago and was a skilled technician, not an explorer. Min denies knowing anything about this, she refused to believe that Jun would steal the Pearl to help Jinju.

Fox Spirit

A fox spirit

Her mother decides to invite the investigator for dinner. After being ask to get the table ready, Min transforms into a table for mom to put the food on. She discovered that Kim was using Charm on the suspicious investigator, who threatened to open a general investigation into their family. Min got mad and suddenly transformed back into a human and attacked the man despite her mother's protests. He realizes that they were foxes and attack Min because if they'd go rogue in the Space Forces it would be really bad and the population would become paranoid about others being foxes. Min turned into a block of metal and crushed his foot, after returning to her human form again she knocked the man out with a saucepan.[4] The noise attracts the aunties, Min's mother makes her clean up the mess while she and the aunties take the investigator to their rug.


Nuvola apps important Then there was the little one...

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Characters

Chapters

The book consists of thirty-eight chapters.

Trivia

  • This is the first book covered under the Rick Riordan/Rick Riordan Presents banner to not be Urban Fantasy, but Science Fantasy (specifically Space Opera). 
    • Similarly it is the first book under the Rick Riordan/Rick Riordan Presents banner to not star a human or a human hybrid protagonist, as Min is identified as a Fox Spirit.
  • The book is dedicated to Arabelle Sophie Betzwieser, Lee's favorite "Dragon".
  • Following the announcement of a sequel to The Storm Runner, Dragon Pearl became the first stand alone Rick Riordan Presents title. 

References