New York Times Bestseller
Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island’s Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.
With the help of her master teacher, Metatron, Yu-ning embarks on a dangerous journey to overcome not only the darkness attacking her home, but also the scars of sadness that mark her own heart. And while most people just see a normal kid, Metatron and a few other unlikely allies pledge their lives to the dark-eyed little girl with a magic bow and a crooked grin.
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Christie Hsiao is the founder of Serenity Media Group, Inc. Hsiao believes in the unique power of story to raise awareness and to compel societal transformation.
Hsiao has produced several independent films, including The Gold Retrievers with Billy Zane, Steve Guttenberg and Curtis Armstrong, Dark Honeymoon with Roy Scheider, Eric Roberts, Tia Carrere and Daryl Hannah, and Love Is the Drug with Lizzy Caplan, John Patrick Amedori, and Daryl Hannah.
Originally from Taiwan, Hsiao moved to California to pursue her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, Hsiao majored in Communications and East Asian Studies and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. Hsiao went on to study film at NYU, where she wrote, directed, and produced several well-reviewed short films.
Gr 4–7—Eleven-year-old Yu-ning lives an idyllic life on Rainbow Island. Though she does not know who her parents are or what has become of them, she is lovingly cared for by the adults on the island and all of the other children look up to her. The perfection of the island is marred when the evil sorcerer Hobaling revives the race of dragons called Obsidigons, thought to have been destroyed a hundred years ago in the Great Obsidigon War. Yu-ning is called upon to fight using the light and love inside her heart, because she is one of a race of warriors known as Darq Renders. She must first leave Rainbow Island to locate a legendary weapon, her only hope for destroying the dragons. As Yu-ning journeys from one island to another, she meets a variety of people beset by various problems, but she is always able to solve them by helping others discover their faith and the light inside their own hearts. This preachy story has little to recommend it: characters are flat, either all-wise and good like Yu-ning and her teachers, weak and easily converted by Yu-ning's superior wisdom, or entirely evil. The contrived plot moves from one episode to the next in a predictable fashion, though contrary to the title, Yu-ning spends most of the book journeying away from Rainbow Island, and the final conflict takes place in the Imperial City. Stilted dialogue makes the story even less engaging, and the computer-generated illustrations add little to the book. Readers looking for fantasy with strong and diverse characters should instead try Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix (HarperCollins, 2009) or Alison Goodman's Eon (Viking, 2008).—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH
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