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Dragonfly song / Wendy Orr.

By: Orr, Wendy, 1953-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Crows Nest, New South Wales : Allen & Unwin, 2016Description: 393 pages ; 20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781760290023.Subject(s): Mythology -- Juvenile fiction | Bronze age -- Juvenile fiction | Bulls -- Juvenile fiction | Contests -- Juvenile fiction | Mute persons -- Juvenile fiction | Teenage girls -- Juvenile fictionAwards: Children's Book of the Year. Honour book. | Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2017 winner.Summary: The little girl found under a bush has no name and cannot speak. Is she a miracle child who escaped the raiders, or is she a bad-luck child, the one who called the Bull King's ship to the island? No one sees the mama-stone around her neck, with the sign of the dragonfly. And only Luki, in training to leap the bulls, knows that she charmed the viper who would have killed him. When the girl turns twelve, she discovers her name - Aissa - and she knows that her one chance to live freely is to become a bull dancer, and be taken away to the island of the Bull King.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Abandoned by the priestess of the island at birth, Aissa is an outcast, surviving by her wits - until she joins the acrobatic bull dancers who are sent away to compete on the island of the Bull King. A gripping and powerful adventure by acclaimed author Wendy Orr.

The little girl found under a bush has no name and cannot speak. Is she a miracle child who escaped the raiders, or is she a bad-luck child, the one who called the Bull King's ship to the island? No one sees the mama-stone around her neck, with the sign of the dragonfly. And only Luki, in training to leap the bulls, knows that she charmed the viper who would have killed him. When the girl turns twelve, she discovers her name - Aissa - and she knows that her one chance to live freely is to become a bull dancer, and be taken away to the island of the Bull King.

Children's Book of the Year. Honour book.

Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2017 winner.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Aissa is the firstborn daughter of the Lady, the village priestess, but the extra thumb on each of her hands makes her unworthy in the eyes of the gods. She is supposed to be left to die, but the Lady's wise woman quietly sneaks Aissa to a family of goatherds across the mountain. When that family is also tragically lost to her, Aissa finds herself back in the Lady's house, working as a servant and choosing to be mute. Abused, rejected, and knowing nothing of her true parentage, Aissa is eventually cast out of the city by the other servants. Each year, soldiers from Crete come for one boy and one girl tribute to dance with the bulls. If they survive, their community is freed from providing future tributes, but no one has ever come back. Aissa has nothing to lose and decides to dance with the bulls. The Bronze Age setting makes for a unique backdrop, and Aissa is a sympathetic character. Her struggles are heartrending, and made more so by the lyrical storytelling style. The descriptions of the dances are especially vivid. VERDICT Hand-sell this unusual tale to fans of Shannon Hale's historical fantasies.-Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

For some, to be chosen as a dancer by the Bull King is to be chosen for certain death. For Aissa, it is a chance at life. Abandoned by her mother at birth and relegated to a life of slavery, Aissa lives the first 12 years of her life in silence. Deemed cursed by those she serves death often comes to those who grow close to her she wants nothing more than to be chosen as a bull dancer, one of the yearly sacrifices to the Bull King. If only she can get to his island, Aissa is sure that she can win back her freedom. A retelling of the legend of the Minotaur, Orr (Nim's Island, 1999) tells Aissa's tale in a lyrical mix of narrative poetry and prose, using lush, vivid language to create an unparalleled fantasy world full of life and lively characters. While young readers with a special interest in history will immediately be drawn into this meticulously researched, literary story, its fast-paced, adventurous, epic feel will undoubtedly appeal to all readers.--Kuss, Rebecca Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Orr (Nim's Island, 2001, etc.) delivers a fantasy that follows an ill-fated girl's journey from abandoned to accepted. When Aissa is born with tiny, pink thumbs wiggling from her wrists, the Lady, her mother, is furious. Why have the gods forsaken her, the Lady wonders. Unable to bear the imperfection of her child, she demands that the wise-woman Kelya take the child and toss it off a cliff. Kelya cannot do it, however, and instead places the babe with a family that has just lost a newborn. Thus begins the arduous journey of a child forced to survive by her wits, who seems doomed to suffer loss after loss. Orphaned a second time and now a nameless servant in the palace, now-12-year-old Aissa sees opportunity in being chosen a bull dancer, one of the yearly sacrifices to the Bull Kingbut without a name, she cannot be chosen. Orr tells her tale in both narrative poetry and prose for an effect that is both fanciful and urgent, drawing a rich fantasy landscape filled with people and creatures worthy of knowing. An introductory note describes Orr's inspiration in the legend of the Minotaur, but her story is no retelling but a meditation on rejection and acceptance, on determination and self-determination. The shifts between poetry and prose build tension just as surely as the bull dances do. As mesmerizing as a mermaid's kiss, the story dances with emotion, fire, and promise. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.