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Dragon Pearl

(Thousand Worlds #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  7,701 ratings  ·  1,649 reviews
THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIN 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
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Rick Riordan Presents
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Sarah They are books that draw on different world mythologies (Mayan, West African, Hindu, etc.) that Rick Riordan edits. He's using his fame to draw attent…moreThey are books that draw on different world mythologies (Mayan, West African, Hindu, etc.) that Rick Riordan edits. He's using his fame to draw attention to diverse books he lacks the cultural background to write himself.(less)
Yoon Author here. Sorry, it's a stand-alone at present.--Yoon Ha Lee…moreAuthor here. Sorry, it's a stand-alone at present.--Yoon Ha Lee(less)

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Rick Riordan
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Thousand Dangerous Worlds

Min is just your regular teenaged fox spirit, living with her family on the dusty backwater world of Jinju.

Oh, sure, like all fox spirits, she can change shape into whatever she wants: human, fox, even a dining table. And, yes, she has the power to Charm -- to manipulate human emotions and make people see things that aren’t there. But that’s not very exciting when you’re stuck on the family farm, sleeping every night in a crowded common room with your snoring cousins,
I really enjoyed this one. RTC! <3

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This was the May pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! 🐉☕
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Dragon Pearl is Middle Grade Science Fiction at its BEST!!!

This rollicking Space Opera follows 13-year old, Min, on her quest to find her older brother, Jun.

When an special investigator shows up at Min's family home, accusing her older brother, Jun, of deserting the Space Forces, Min knows it has to be a mistake.

Jun and Min had always dreamed of joining the Forces and going on grand adventures together. Now that he is a part of that world, Min knows he would never disgrace their family by deser
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

The cover of this book is sooooo cute!

This was a really good middle-grade book!!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
may ➹
congrats Yoon Ha Lee you are the first writer I’ve seen to seamlessly weave nonbinary characters into everyday life in SFF
I really wanted to like it. What I got instead was annoyance and irritation. And I’m not happy about that.

It’s a pretty fast-paced story of a quest of a teenage shapeshifting fox girl Min who leaves a backward poor world in a union of spacefaring yet magical civilizations (think foxes, goblins, tigers, shamans, ghosts) to find her missing space cadet brother Jun as well as a very powerful McGuffin relic, the titular Dragon Pearl. Min has Charm - the ability to influence minds, as well as a perfe
Joel Rochester
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
i love it

i want a sequel pls
This is one of the best things I've ever read.

Dragon Pearl is a Korean-inspired space opera following a teenage fox spirit, set in a queer-inclusive universe. I can't believe I almost didn't read it just because it was middle grade; if I hadn't loved Ninefox Gambit so much, I would have never picked it up, and that would have been such a mistake on my part. It is middle grade, that's the target audience, but Dragon Pearl is the kind of book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

I had almost
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Well, this didn’t go as expected. Dragon Pearl was my most anticipated Rick Riordan Presents book because it's a space opera with Korean mythology elements. However, I didn't enjoy this as much as I wanted to. I was hesitant to round my rating to 3 stars because I feel I didn't quite like it at that level, but 2 stars was too low of a rating for it.

The main problem I had with this book is that it's bland. It's not exciting or mind-blowing, and I feel mostly neutral towards it. It's actu
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this specifically because it was penned by Yoon Ha Lee. I'm a completionist that way.

BUT, I'll be honest, I am not particularly fond of most YA. It tends to be cookie-cutter plots and characters that feel like dough. It's fine if you like fat and sweet things that aren't that good for you but still make you feel warm and fuzzy afterward. And sometimes not even that... sometimes there is just the gnawing guilt and the shame.

Not here, though! I really enjoyed it. Yoon Ha Lee proves he can w
Alexandra Elend Wolf
2.5 stars

“Seems to me, Min, you make your own luck.”

I entered this book with so many expectations -why do I keep doing this to myself?- and, oh so hype, the premise seemed really cool and, well, it didn't help up.

I kept falling asleep every time I read more than a couple of pages. I'm not even kidding, it was Every. Single. Time. I think I ended reading it more asleep than awake at the end.

It's probably just the fact that I had so many expectations, one of them being that the story was gon
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
let's go let's go gumihos

DRAGON PEARL is a sumptuous space opera sci-fi influenced by Korean mythology, and it's just so nice to see a Korean-American author take on a genre which traditionally has been white-dominated and create a world wherein all the characters and worldbuilding are Korean-coded. James Kirk? I don't know him.

It goes to show how accessible diversity can be in all genres and age brackets of literature. DRAGON PEARL is a middle grade, but the world is rich and textured, and the
Hannah Greendale
The lasting prejudice against us annoyed me. Other supernaturals, like dragons and goblins and shamans, could wield their magic openly, and were even praised for it. Dragons used their weather magic for agriculture and the time-consuming work of terraforming planets. Goblins, with their invisibility caps, could act as secret agents; their ability to summon food with their magical wands came in handy, too. Shamans were essential for communicating with the ancestors and spirits, of course. We f
April (Aprilius Maximus)
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020

representation: own voices Korean rep, non-binary side character, brief mention of a poly relationship (m/m/m).

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


I sooooo wanted to love this one, but for some reason I just didn't :( I do recommend it though and I can see why people love it!

trigger warnings: loss of loved ones, violence, suicide.
Amy Risner
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it

This is the May pick for the Dragons & Tea Book Club hosted by Melanie and me!

The Dates & Breakdown:
May 13th — Page 1 – 64 (Ch. 1 – 7)
May 14th — Page 65 – 124 (Ch. 8 – 14)
May 15th — Page 125 – 183 (Ch. 15 – 22)
May 16th — Page 184 – 242 (Ch. 23 – 28)
May 17th — Page 243 – End (Ch. 29 – 38)

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Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The "Rick Riordan presents" imprint focuses on writers of different cultural backgrounds doing for their traditions what Riordan did for the Greek myths. In this one Yoon Ha Lee explores his Korean traditions with a space opera setting (The Thousand Worlds) that includes dragons, goblins, tiger and fox spirits and ghosts and starships that rely on things like good fortune and gi flows.

Kim Min is a 13-year old fox spirit living on a poor badly-terraformed colony world with her family. Fox spirits
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3 stars

I’ve already recommended this to one of my library kids, so it goes to show that just because you don’t love a book it doesn’t mean you can’t recommend it to others.

I’m a cover lover and read this for purely shallow reasons. I listened to the audiobook and found myself not always wanting to listen or tuning out. But conceptually, this book is great. A shapeshifting fox girl who travels through space to save her brother, that’s a great unique plot kids will love.

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Sharlize D'Souza
Feb 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF'D at page 105. I really wanted to love it ..I just couldn't! ...more
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

To keep the family safe, 13 year old 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 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. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in s
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book by this author and I was confused why he'd need a "Rick Riordan presents" on the cover. I still don't know. But Rick Riordan has character art and more insight on his website so maybe he's writing in the universe of the thousand worlds?

We follow 13-year-old Min

as she is told that her older brother has deserted the military. To clear his name and possibly save him, she embarks on a journey all alone. Apparently, it all has to do with the mythical Dragon Pearl that can supposedly ter
julianna ➹
this felt... so long... and yet i somehow enjoyed it... i think i'm just really impatient


UPDATE 2021 (TWO YEARS LATER): i started the audiobook again... have no idea where i left off so starting from the beginning 😎 😎

-- review as of 2019
lmao yes I *am* starting this a week after I was supposed to finish it w/ the Dragons and Tea book club

edit: lmao yes I didn't even finish reading this book
I liked this fast-paced story a lot. When Kim Min, young fox spirit, hears that her older brother is suspected of deserting from his Space Forces post in a quest to find the Dragon Pearl, she accidentally knocks the Investigator who brought the news unconscious and decides she has to find her brother. (Now, if I'd just done that to someone, I don't think I'd be thinking of leaving the planet, but it's a great start to this story.) Min, after tricking her way onto a ship and getting injured in a ...more
Allison Hurd
This was a cute story, but not a complex one. I expected humor and brooding and epic space battles like the Hexarchate books but with less sex and no cursing. Instead it feels like he tried to write like someone else, so it felt stilted.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The magic. It's fun to see myths in space. I liked the dragons, goblins, fox people, tiger people and so on.

-The world. The ideas that put
Sofia Generali
3.5/5 stars

This book started out so promising!! Aaaand halfway through it lost almost all my attention.

I'm disappointed.

The book started out with such an interesting backdrop, with a girl named Min who was part of a fox family, who went in search of her missing brother. And it turned into endless pages of Min disguised on a spaceship carrying out menial duties and charming everyone in sight.



Thus far I've been disappointed by both this and Aru Shah, and it's not g
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Dragon Pearl is a great middle grade space adventure with Korean mythology and gender-bending mixed in! It blends sci-fi and fantasy in a really interesting way and the world-building is very good, especially for a middle grade story.

It follows a girl who is secretly a gumiho (magical Korean shape-shifting fox) who discovers her brother has supposedly deserted his post in the space force, so she decides to run away and find him. She's smart, brave, and learns a lot along the way. She also spend
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Loved this!
I thought this was such a delightful and fun space adventure. Can't wait to read Lee's adult SFF books now.

- Follows Min, a young teen who lives in the poorer fringes of the galaxy and is a fox spirit! She runs away from home to try and find her brother, who has been accused of being a deserter.
- It's a wonderful adventure where Min meets gamblers, dragons and dokkaebi and tigers that take human form, and eventually finds her way to a battle cruiser where her brother was stationed.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: releases-2019, own
Okay so I had a friend read this and she didn't end up loving it even though she was so hyped for it. That made me pretty hesitant to pick it up but BOY OH BOY WAS SHE WRONG! I freaking loved this! I think it dragged and I felt bored a few times (also could have done with a bit more world building) but the characters were solid (I adore Min so much) and the mystery kept me guessing. I loved getting Korean mythology interwoven (shout out to the damn prime example of an ally: Rick Riordan) into a ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading this for the Dragons & Tea Book Club!

I had a lot of fun reading this one! It’s definitely one of those scenarios where I think that it’s better suited for the actual target audience, but where I could appreciate the entertainment, mythological/supernatural Korean touches and just the space shenanigans (which are also my fave).
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kitsune
Star Rating: —> 4 Stars

Before I say anything else-

Can. I. Just. SAY!

This book is MG & there happens to be a WONDERFUL non-binary rep! Middle grade!
HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! This is what we need more of! 😊

SO; I may be obsessed with the Japanese mythological magic fox, Kitsune, as I said below.... BUT:
#1 I was mistaken as to the mythological specification of the main character in this book! 13 year old Min is actually a magic fox from KOREAN mythology, a GUMIHO!
#2 I am obsessed with ALL things f
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a delight! I knew about 50 pages in that this was going to be a new favourite. The worldbuilding was phenomenal, and I loved Min as a main character. She's the perfect blend of smart and reckless, and I found myself rooting for her. I loved the twists and turns the book took us on, and the friends Min made along the way. I also thought Yoon Ha Lee touched on some really relevant themes - prejudice, grief, environmentalism - and while of course they weren't explored in-depth gi ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Dragon Pearl" by Yoon Ha Lee (BR) 27 38 Apr 30, 2020 10:55AM  
Floral Tea Cups B...: Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 1 5 Apr 06, 2020 11:50AM  
Books, Drinks & C...: *SPOILERS* Discussion on the completed book 1 7 Jul 05, 2019 06:08PM  

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Yoon Ha Lee is an American science fiction writer born on January 26, 1979 in Houston, Texas. His first published story, “The Hundredth Question,” appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1999; since then, over two dozen further stories have appeared. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Other books in the series

Thousand Worlds (2 books)
  • Tiger Honor (Thousand Worlds #2)

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“Then why did you lead us into a trap?” “I wanted the crew to think I was still one of them, rather than abandoning them for my sister,” Jun said. “I thought it would give me more control of the situation so I could protect you.” Protect you. That sounded like the Jun I knew. “Thank you,” I said softly. “Besides, you did need shelter. Cadet Sujin isn’t looking so great. You don’t want them to come down sick, not on this planet.” I winced, hoping we’d all avoid the plague like, well, the plague. “I was going to help you escape eventually,” Jun went on, “but you did it before I could.” “I didn’t want to stick around to be meat for the captain’s quest,” I retorted. Jun’s rueful smile flickered so quickly I almost wasn’t sure I’d glimpsed it. “If I’d really wanted to hand you over to him,” he said, “I wouldn’t” 0 likes
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