Reading ‘The Tea Dragon Festival’ by K. O’Neill made me long for my ancestral village, which was filled with a rustic charm that you’d never find in a city. In parts, it also reminded me of the animated series Heidi (based on the book of the same name), which was about a girl living in the untainted Alps with her grandfather.
This book is (sort of) a sequel to “Tea Dragon Society” and was so much more immersive and engaging. K. O’Neill transports readers to a beautiful village cut away from the rest of the world. It’s only accessible by a train that halts at the base of the village once a week. One would have to hike their way up to the settlement. The story follows Rinn, who stumbles upon a dragon called Aedhan, who is supposed to be the ‘guardian’ of her village, but fell into an enchanted asleep for almost a century. Rinn’s uncle and his partner try to hunt the magical creature that can make being fall into a long sleep. Meanwhile, Aedhan tries to adapt to a new life in the village.
Not a lot happens in “Tea Dragon Society” and it essentially serves as an introduction to the concept of tea dragons and what they are. Here the focus is more on the Aedhan and Rinn’s village, which is inhabited by several tiny tea dragons. The author makes the story as inclusive as possible, so there’s a lot of gender fluidity and characters of all colors. There’s a strong sense of community in the village and everybody is always ready to aid each other. I especially loved how almost everybody in the village knows how to speak sign language.
The artwork is colorful and beautiful on most pages. O’Neill uses colors that exude a sense of leisure, peace and make you feel a sense of calm. But just like the first book, I feel like some panels could’ve used more details, some scenes are like a blurry blob; however, the illustrations are definitely more vivid this time around.
This is the kind of book you would want to read on a lazy Sunday with a hot cup of tea. It’s a 4/5 from me.
Subscribe to our podcast on YouTube by the same name – AbstractAF
Ep 64 – 15 Random but Great Book Recommendations