I read City of Dragons V01 The Awakening Storm by Jaimal Yogis right after finishing Messy Roots. I was afraid that they would be too similar and ruin the experience of this second title. Thankfully, their differences made both a delightful reading experience. Now, Yogis does write for the younger crowd (at least 8-9 but probably more 10 to 14), but that older reader of Messy Roots could get lost in the excitement, magical, and even the silly adventures.
In City of Dragons, we have a young girl, Grace, who moves to Hong Kong to be closer to her stepfather’s work. This is a few years after the death of her father, who was always telling her stories of her Chinese heritage. Allowing her to have pride in herself and ancestors. Grace is biracial and this does cause some issues early in the story (racist wording is used but is done in a way to not be too upsetting, but it is there). When she moves to Hong Kong, this is never really brought up again (I am waiting for it to show up in later volumes).
In Hong Kong, Grace meets and befriends three of her fellow students who represent the variety of this international school. Together they learn that the stories and myths of the land (Oh yes, Dragons are real and like junk food, like swimming in potties, and precious gems) are true and Grace’s connection to that past means she will be able to stop war between humans and Gods. But secrets and lies also mean Grace and her new friends are in danger.
Vivian Troung’s illustrations takes away from the seriousness of certain scenes with the bold, bright color and sweet, expressive artwork. They were the best part for me, and the story was pretty darn special to start with.