Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Dragonbird in the Fern” as Want to Read:
A Dragonbird in the Fern
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Dragonbird in the Fern

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  29 reviews
When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’s older sister Scilla, her vengeful ghost is doomed to walk their city of glittering canals, tormenting loved ones until the murderer is brought to justice. While the entire kingdom mourns, Scilla’s betrothed arrives and requests that seventeen-year-old Jiara take her sister’s place as his bride to confirm the alliance between their co ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by Flux
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Dragonbird in the Fern, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Laura Rueckert This is a standalone - no other books are planned at the moment, but if I decide to write more books in this world, they would be companion books focu…moreThis is a standalone - no other books are planned at the moment, but if I decide to write more books in this world, they would be companion books focusing on other characters.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Dragonbird in the Fern
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was fun to read and I couldn’t put it down. I don’t know if it’s a standalone but the last chapter wrapped up the story. There’s still much to explore in the world Rueckert created. I can easily imagine another story told from a different character’s pov.

After her sister was murdered, princess Jiara decides to do anything to catch her killer. Because you see, ghosts who don’t get a closure, walk earth and haunt their loved ones until they do what’s necessary for their souls to rest. In
Renaissance Kate
Feb 02, 2021 marked it as to-read
ARC received!

So many elements of this book sound so amazing that I can't decide which one I'm the most excited for!

Thank you to Flux/ North Star Editions via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Laura Rueckert
Dec 05, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so excited to announce that my little book is taking its first steps into the world! Book reviewers, bloggers and librarians: eARCs for A DRAGONBIRD IN THE FERN are now available for request at the below links!

A Dragonbird in the Fern is up for preorder! Content warnings can be found on my website.

I should have added this back when I had more cover reveal, but better late than never. I wa
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

This is.... a thing that exists,

It's not a bad book, per se. I would more say that it's a very mediocre book with the bones of what could have been an interesting story buried in there. Many of the concepts sound - and could have been - very interesting, given the right execution.

The political tension? A ghost waiting to be avenged and all the while slowly losing their grip on humani
Millennium Night
Oct 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
Wait, there's a dyslexic princess who wants to avenge the death of her sister by marrying her ex-betrothed in order to find her murderer, and in the process potentially placing herself in danger because of her dyslexia?!! Dude, why haven't we seen more of this kind of stuff?!! ...more
Jan 19, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021aug, arcs
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 12-and-13
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of A Dragonbird in the Fern in exchange for an honest review.

I read a lot of YA fantasy (as in about 200 last year alone) which means I've seen the "princess has a to live up to her duty and enter an arranged marriage with a royal from an enemy kingdom" thing done over and over again so when I say A Dragonbird in the Fern is a unique take on the concept, I mean it's a unique take on the concept.

I loved that language barriers are addressed and have a
Dana Swift
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book yesterday and it was so good! I love what Laura Rueckert did with learning language and dyslexia –so unique. The stakes of this book were so high I read this in two days.
A longer review to come!
Cindy ✩☽♔
Apr 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
Sounds like something I'd enjoy =D ...more
Jacqueline Firkins
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A lovely and unique take on the Stranger in a Strange Land story. While Rueckert employs a number of familiar fantasy tropes--an arranged marriage, a chosen one story, a key political betrayal, a vengeful spirit--the novel has a distinct focus on the nuances of language. As a young princess weds the king of another land, she must rely on translators to help her navigate her new home. But how does she know if a translation is accurate until she learns the language, herself? And what if her dyslex ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Princes Jiara is a family-oriented 17 year-old looking to find her sister’s murderer. After figuring out the killer’s tattoo, she agrees to marry King Raffar, to find the Farnskag killer. However, as she is falling in love with her Raffar, who was her late sister’s fiancé, she realIzes how hard this transition into new territory will be for herself and her learning disability.

This is not my typical genre of choice. I gravitate towards romance, but fantasy and science fiction have never grabbed m
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2021, fantasy, lgbtq
★★★★☆ 4/5

thank you to flux and netgallery for the arc!

this book felt like a breath of fresh air in the YA genre, it was so unique. definitely not what i expected, but it was fantastic nonetheless. maybe it was a little long and dragged on in the middle, but the pacing was better in the beginning and end. this book tackled a lot, but i didn’t feel overwhelmed at all. i definitely recommend this if you love super immersive high fantasy.
thea ♡
Dec 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
HELL YEAH sounds exactly like my type of fantasy
Lori Kaufmann
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sneak Preview. It's AMAZING!! ...more
Jordan Odom
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for sending me an eARC for an honest review.

"A queen who rides a dolphin has no excuse to be afraid of elephant birds."

Wow! Where do I start? I couldn't put A Dragonbird in the Fern down. I had to know what came next at all costs, even if it meant staying up late when I was supposed to be in bed.

It's a fascinating story about a princess named Jiara who has dyslexia, though she doesn't know it; she tries to find the murderer of her sister, Scilla, that becomes an angry ghos
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I think it is a perfect YA fantasy book. If I were to pick up a book this is what I would be hoping for. I really love the cover too; it is so pretty. I love that Queen Jiara has a reading impediment that is not named but frequently referred to. It comes across as dyslexia. I think that this is a great representation of how to work toward something you want even if it is difficult
Sarah Glenn Marsh
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
"An intoxicating blend of fairytale and ghost story, of romance and sisterhood, A DRAGONBIRD IN THE FERN is a breath of fresh air with clever worldbuilding and a compelling mystery. Don't miss this one!"

A stunning and unique fantasy. Beautiful writing and smart world building. I'm such a fan!
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great YA fantasy novel! I highly recomend it. I can't wait to read more from this author. ...more
ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review

A dyslexic main character, an arranged marriage, a gorgeous cover, and a paranormal mystery? I saw this book, and I was like, "Yes, sign me the heck up!" So I was incredibly pleased when I received a ARC of this book. It absolutely delivers on all of those.

The part I think I enjoyed about this book the most was the mystery behind the murder of Jiara's sister and how that intertwined with the political narrative of Jiara's new home. The tension-build
Gabbey (gabriellelovesbooks)
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I devoured the whole book in a day! I recommend it! 👍🏼

Princess Scilla, elder sister of Princess Jiara, has been murdered, doomed to existence as an earthwalker whilst her murder remains unsolved.

Scilla had been preparing to become the wife of Raffar, King of The Farnskagers. An alliance is needed between Farnskag and Azzaria and Scilla’s death has not changed that. King Raffar suggests Jiara should take her place as his bride, but Jiara can’t speak their language and, more than that, has difficu
Victoria Tilley
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Big thanks to FluxBooks/Netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of this book ❤️

As soon as I saw the cover and read the synopsis of this book I new I had to give it a go. And it definitely did not disappoint. I really really enjoyed reading this!

Firstly wanted to mention, holy damn this book has amazing world building, the detailing in the writing was spot on. You could really imagine how beautiful the world was, especially at certain times

I always found myself super intrigued as to what was going t
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it
I received this e-ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you Flux!

There is so much ground to cover with this novel!

First, this cover is beautiful!

This novel had fabulous world-building, is incredibly plot rich and well-paced.

A huge part of the plot is Scilla, Jiaras older sister and now earth walker. Essentially a ghost ruled by rage that cannot settle into the afterlife without seeing to their justice.

The rage causes them to induce pain and spill even the blood of their
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Free Netgalley book for review! I actually really enjoyed this book. I loved the storyline, it was some clever worldbuilding. I liked Raffa and Ji together, they were cute. Pria is adorable. J’s family is great. The politic bits were fun.

I didn’t like that for so much of the book the main character had nothing to do. (This is the problem when you make your mc a queen.). She can’t really go anywhere and she’s stuck trying to learn the language (with a learning disability to boot!) and her world i
Nicole Monk
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it

I feel like in some ways this book has a little something for everyone. Ghosts, fantasy, travel, politics, a little romance. Plus a dyslexic main character and LGBTQ representation in siblings/side characters!

I really enjoyed this book. It has such an interesting premise - someone who is murdered turns into a vengeful ghost if the murderer is uncaught. I do still have some questions about how the earthwalkers work. However, I think that people in the book don't
❀ Crystal ✿ -  PEACE ☮ LOVE ♥ BOOKS
ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review
Feb 15, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Feb 15, 2021
Guess who just got another ARC! Hopefully, I can read this before it comes out haha... you just never know nowadays with me. You never know.

→? stars
Mary Ann Fraser
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing read that held my interest throughout. Jiara's struggle with dyslexia and the language barrier was something I have not seen before and was well-executed. The ghost story, romance, fantasy, and intrigue elements were all woven together beautifully. Highly recommend! ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to come!!
Jay Will
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'll add the review soon! ...more
Sarah Bellum
rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2020
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rise of the Red Hand (The Mechanists, #1)
  • Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)
  • Daughter of Sparta
  • Many Points of Me
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • Rea and the Blood of the Nectar (The Chronicles of Astranthia, #1)
  • Max and the Spice Thieves
  • Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)
  • Just Right Jillian
  • The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse)
  • The Ghouls of Howlfair
  • The Knockout
  • Of Silver and Shadow
  • Chasing Vermeer (Chasing Vermeer, #1)
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak (Serafina, #1)
  • The Parker Inheritance
  • Summerlost
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)
See similar books…
Laura Rueckert is a card-carrying bookworm who manages projects by day. At night, fueled by European chocolate, she transforms into a writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy novels. Laura grew up in Michigan, USA, but a whirlwind romance after college brought her to Europe. Today, she lives in Germany with her husband, two kids, and one fluffy dog.

News & Interviews

Some interesting news for book nerds: According to recent industry research, book sales spiked dramatically in 2020–otherwise a rather...
29 likes · 12 comments