ARC was provided by NetGalley and OniPress in exchange for an honest review.
This review is being published before the release date (September 1st, 2020)
Content/Trigger Warnings: Grief, depictions of depression, and loss of a loved one
“Every Dragon is different, too. And Ginseng Dragons are known to be very loyal.”
Friends, are you really surprised that I fell in love with another book by Katie O’Neill? I loved the first two books and have loved other works by Katie O’Neill. When I found out about The Tea Dragon Tapestry, I instantly knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible. The fact that this is supposed to be a conclusion to this series has me wanting even more from this world. Keeping those fingers crossed for more book featuring Tea Dragons and new characters to fall in love with!
Our story brings all the characters we’ve met from the first two books together, but also introduces us to a new character, a master blacksmith, who comes to seek the work of Greta. Our cast is so delightful, voice their challenges or personal struggles, and wonderfully diverse. And of course, so many important topics are discussed and addressed in this book.
“You feel like you’ve lost your path. It’s natural to be sad. It’s alright to let those feelings wash over you, and give them time to soak into the earth. That’s when things start to grow again.”
I really loved that we get to see more of Minette and her journey. If you remember from the last book, Minette seems to have some memory loss and also the new owner of Chamomile. We see how Minette handles feeling like she’s strayed off her path and how she finds her way back to feeling like herself. Speaking of which, I loved the moment she shared with Eric and gave a bit a wisdom that really had an impact with Minette. And that leads me to believe the first series topic that you can see so much of throughout this book is a feeling of being lost or missing something that was once something that sparked life in your soul.
Of course, I have to talk about grief and loss of a loved one. While it’s a more subtle theme, we see how grief and death impacts someone, and those around them. When Ginseng was first given to Greta in the last book, we learned that Ginseng previous owner had died. We knew Ginseng was grieving, but we never got more insight to it. However, this book shows Ginseng grieving and the depression that can come along with that. So we get to see both sides of the grief that’s taking place in this book. There’s a moment where Greta is trying to get Ginseng to eat something which leads to a moment of both parties feeling emotions of sadness and loss. When Greta’s Papa came into the picture, they spoke a truth that hit so deep within my soul. That very moment is so powerful, so important, and I think one of the best scenes in this entire book.
I also really loved the master blacksmith, Kleitos. I thought they were a fantastic character to introduce into this story. I liked how they’re a character who seems to be around the same age range as Erik and Hesekiel. And I loved how Kleitos talks about how losing the passion and inspiration for their blacksmithing. I loved those scenes where Kleitos is figuring things out and how sometimes you need to take a step back or to take a break from it all. Greta and Kleitos also shared a moment and I quote, “Looking at this work, I see that you have much to learn… but I also see that I do too.” When I read that, my heart filled with so much warmth. Even though Kleitos is a master blacksmith, felt like they lost their passion and love for their work, that single moment shows that you can still learn in your craft, there are still things that can surprise you, and rekindle that flame within you. A fantastic character to add into this book!
“My dear, that is something you cannot control. When someone is grieving, the best thing you can do is let them heal on their own, and show them that you’ll be there for them.”
Overall, this book is soft, filled with many important topics, of course wonderful family dynamics, but fills the soul with so much warmth and wholesomeness. Tea Dragons are probably my favorite dragons now, thanks to Katie O’Neill. And as I mentioned, I truly hope we see more of this series, these characters, and this world. I feel like there’s so much that hasn’t been explored yet. I can’t wait to see what O’Neill comes up with next and hopefully we’ll see more Tea Dragons soon! If you were thinking about picking any of these book, I highly recommend them. They’re soft books laced with important topics that everyone needs to read about. Plus, the illustrations are always stunning!
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.