“THE MARK OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON,” by L.A. Meyer, Harcourt Children’s Book Group, Boston, 2011, hardcover, 384 pages, $16.99.
Jacky Faber continues her world travels, just ahead of the law, in this ninth installment of the “Bloody Jack” young-adult series by Corea author Meyer.
The novel begins with Jacky and friends floating away from the penal colony in Australia where she was supposed to be housed. But it’s never smooth sailing for Jacky, and she’s soon cut off from all those she holds dear.
But the plucky heroine makes new friends in Burma and comes up with a scheme to get herself back in the authorities’ good graces at home in England. She even hooks up with some old friends again in a most unlikely manner.
When she arrives back in England, Jacky finds out she has a problem: her first true love, Jaimy Fletcher, who thinks she is dead, has gone quite mad, and has gotten himself in trouble tracking down those he blames for Jacky’s death. So now she must find Jaimy and rehabilitate both of their reputations.
Still she manages to have a good time while doing so, mingling with the British hoity-toities dressed as an exotic creature from the East during the time that her involved plan comes together. This includes a dalliance with returning cavalry Captain Richard Allen, who manages to turn her head despite her best intentions.
“The Mark of the Golden Dragon” is another rollicking entry in this enjoyable historical series for readers both young and old. Jacky again doesn’t get her happy-ever-after, but those who consume this novel will be left satisfied.