Magic Monday: Chung Jo and the Sea Dragon by Erica Laurie

Magic Monday is back, today with a review of a fantastical folk tale by Erica Laurie. The first thing that caught my eye about this book was its gorgeous cover.

The blurb that accompanies it is brief, but promises a lot:

The lonely sea dragon,Yong, wants a bride.

Chung Jo wants her father to regain his sight.

They will strike a bargain, and Chung Jo travels to Yong’s palace beneath the sea.

Beneath the sea, Chung Jo befriends a young servant of the sea dragon, and together they help Yong discover what it is to be loved.

 

This is a light, sweet romantic fantasy, with a strong female lead who possesses a kind heart. The events described in the blurb actually take about halfway through the story, which was unexpected but didn’t cause me any trouble–even though I knew where the story was headed, I enjoyed the journey and watching Chung Jo’s determination as she faced struggle after struggle.

My favorite part of the story is actually a character–the imugi dragon Iseul. He’s a small, beautiful dragon with a big heart and a strength of character that defies his size. I wish I was a mudang (a person capable of bonding with imugi) so I could bond with my own imugi!

I also liked Yong, the semi-antagonist of the story, though at times I did feel he was being overly dramatic (however, that worked in the story, which had a very fairytale-like feel to its writing.) I’ve often pondered what immortality is like, and how lonely it would be.

Though I knew how the story would end, it still made me smile. I love fairy tales for the ever-present gleam of hope they bring to the world, and this story accomplished that with ease.

Readers who enjoy Asian folk tales, dragons, and romance will find Chung Jo and the Sea Dragon a light and entertaining read with which to spend an afternoon.

If you’re intrigued, you can buy a copy here. You can also find out more about Erica Laurie on her website.