Yo Hi’s life’s dream has finally come true: He’s been accepted into the Dragon Riding Academy. While his life will never be the same, unfortunately, some things may never change.
Sun Dragon’s Song #2 by Joyce Chng
Illustrated by Kim Miranda
Published: March 1st 2017 by Rosarium Publishing
Source: ARC via Netgalley
I reviewed the first issue here. The first issue is a solid introduction to Yo Hi’s life. Though the second issue expands upon the world-building and we learn more about Yo Hi’s personality. I was delighted to be immersed in the dragon riding academy life with Yo Hi. The windswept style of the sketched art coupled with colourful palette of the dragons and the academy also lent an air of whimsy to the world.
I liked how Yo Hi’s dreams are also balanced with his realistic attitude when it comes to tackling the pragmatic side of training. Young readers will relate to that sense of change that comes with a school year. Though with a fantastical edge.
Yo Hi’s peers are also supportive during training. He navigates the dorms, the different privileges in trainee life and in particular, reflects on an exercise that doesn’t necessarily accommodate for his physical disability at first. The focus on support through family is an important thread in the story.
I enjoyed how Yo Hi’s dragon academy lessons were focused on learning about the dragon’s life cycle in an environment of co-existence. There are other parts of the world-building which hint at a wider world – especially the reference to a matriarchal society. I also appreciated the mix of students at the academy. The sight of many older girls and women as powerful dragon-rider trainees and mentors warms my heart. It’s a world that my younger self would have loved to read about too.
In a way, this issue is still building upon the previous one in regards to setting up a world. Although the ending hints that an adventure is on the horizon. Each issue is short and compact, but I’m looking forward to the next one. Inclusive comics are a great way for younger readers to jump into stories. I would definitely recommend this comic to middle-grade readers looking for a fantasy adventure.
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