The Blue Dragon

Diana Brown, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (454p) ISBN 978-0-312-01393-6
A courageous yet emotionally vulnerable English heroine, her tempestuous relationship with an American adventurer and their experiences in exotic, politcally volatile Korea in the late 19th century are some of the intriguing components of this well-crafted historical novel. Following the death of her vicar father, Marigold Wilder leaves England for Korea, where she becomes an Anglican missionary. When she isn't fending off the clumsy amorous overtures of a British medical officer, Marigold is usually at the royal palace teaching English to the queen's scribe Lady Chu-sun, whom she hopes to convert to Christianity. Unwittingly, Marigold becomes entangled in a perilous situation when she learns that Chu-sun's lover, Kim Tuk-so, has been sent away by Queen Min so her repugnant son can wed the agonized girl himself. Touched by this story, Marigold agrees to deliver an urgent message from Chu-sun to Kim Tuk-so when she journeys up the Han River with Rev. Gifford Partridge. Along the way, they encounter numerous dangers and meet Mark Banning, a roguish, enigmatic gold miner who saves Marigold's life and captures her heart, yet resolutely refuses to commit himself to her. Brown's characterizations are complex, subtle and credible, and she expertly integrates historical detail into the exciting, suspenseful narrative. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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