Cover image for Dragon pearl / by Yoon Ha Lee.
Dragon pearl / by Yoon Ha Lee.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles, California : Disney-Hyperion, 2019.

Physical Description:
310 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"Rick Riordan Presents."


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
LEE Book Junior Collection

On Order



Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee's space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you'd never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min's mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She's counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

Author Notes

Yoon Ha Lee ( is the author of several critically acclaimed short stories and the Machineries of Empire trilogy for adults: NINEFOX GAMBIT, RAVEN STRATEGEM, and REVENANT GUN. Yoon draws inspiration from a variety of sources, e.g. Korean history and mythology, fairy tales, higher mathematics, classic moral dilemmas, and genre fiction. Yoon's Twitter handle is @motomaratai.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this highly original novel by Lee (the Machineries of Empire series for adults), 13-year-old Min must venture to the stars of the Thousand Worlds in order to find her older brother, Jun, who is suspected of deserting the Space Forces to search for the legendary Dragon Pearl. Min's quick wits and technical prowess come in handy, but it's her abilities as one of the fox people to shape-shift and charm others that prove vital after she leaves her home planet of Jinju aboard the freighter Red Azalea. When her brother's former ship rescues the vessel from mercenaries, she poses as slain cadet Bae Jang, promising his ghost that she will avenge his death in exchange for impersonating him on the ship. Disguised as the dead cadet, Min is able to continue both quests, enlisting the aid of two of Bae's friends-female dragon Haneul and nonbinary goblin Sujin-all the while avoiding the scrutiny of Captain Hwan as the ship heads to the Ghost Sector, the probable location of the Dragon Pearl. Lee offers a perfect balance of space opera and Korean mythology with enough complexity to appeal to teens. Ages 8-12. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Thirteen-year-old Min is feisty and clever, and she has a powerful secret: shes a gumiho, a fox spirit disguised as a human. Min can shape-shift and use Charm (fox magic) to alter others perceptions and emotions. She enthusiastically wields these powers when she ditches her dismal life on the barren planet Jinju in order to track down her brother Jun, a Thousand Worlds Space Forces cadet whos gone AWOL. Mins epic adventure leads to run-ins with spaceport security guards, gamblers, and ghosts. She impersonates a dead cadet on a starship battle cruiser and encounters the legendary Dragon Pearl, a mystical orb that creates life. Lee has a knack for world-building. His richly detailed, cohesive, original vision is a lively mash-up of outer-space sci-fi and Korean culture and folklore: starships have gi, an energy flow; pirates fly in groups of four because its a number that signifies death; characters, both supernatural and human, eat gimchi and play the board game baduk; Min befriends a dragon cadet who can summon the weather?sometimes inadvertentlyand a dokkaebi (Korean goblin) who carries a magical spork. The dokkaebi is also a nonbinary character, whos referred to with gender-?neutral pronounsa small detail thats woven in matter-of-factly and just as smoothly as all the other strands in this engaging space opera. tanya d. auger January/February 2019 p 96(c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Review of Books Review

LANDFALL, by Thomas Mallon. (Pantheon, $29.95.) The latest of this author's Washington political novels imagines the goings-on inside (and outside) George W. Bush's White House in 2005-6, with a romance between aides figuring as prominently as Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. ALL THE LIVES WE EVER LIVED: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf, by Katharine Smyth. (Crown, $26.) In this elegiac memoir written in the wake of her father's death, Smyth turns to Woolf's masterpiece "To the Lighthouse" for comfort and insight. Her exploration of grown-up love, the kind that accounts for who the loved one actually is, gains power and grace as her story unfolds. LADY FIRST: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk, by Amy S. Greenberg. (Knopf, $30.) Greenberg argues that Polk, the slaveowning territorial expansionist who was married to the 11th president, was one of the most powerful and influential first ladies in history. BOWLAWAY, by Elizabeth McCracken. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $27.99.) McCracken's long-awaited new novel offers a rich family saga, a history of candlepin bowling and a burlesque chronicle of American oddballs. It's a crowded book, but McCracken's ironic perspective and humane imagination never desert her. THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS: Essays, by Esme Weijun Wang. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) Wang draws on her own multiple psychotic breaks and hospitalizations to present a picture of schizophrenia that never reduces it to pathology. She effectively explores the state of mind she enters when gripped by an episode, recasting it as simply another form of consciousness. WE CAST A SHADOW, by Maurice Carlos Ruffin. (One World, $27.) This ingenious novel, set in a futuristic American South and featuring a father willing to go to extremes to protect his son from racism, marks the debut of an abundantly talented and stylish satirist. NOTES FROM A BLACK WOMAN'S DIARY: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins, edited by Nina Lorez Collins. (Ecco/HarperCollins, paper, $17.99.) Collins, who died in 1988, is best remembered as the first black woman to direct a feature film ("Losing Ground"). But she was a skilled writer too, and this collection, edited by her daughter, probes complex interior lives. THICK: And Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cottom. (New Press, $24.99.) This profound cultural analysis, a model of black intellectualism, deftly mixes the academic and the popular. DRAGON PEARL, by Yoon Ha Lee. (Rick Riordan/Hyperion, $16.99; ages 8 to 12.) Elements of Korean mythology turbocharge this space opera, in which a shape-shifting fox disguised as a human seeks her missing brother. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: