Written By: Katie O’Neill
Illustrated By: Katie O’Neill
Lettering By: Saida Temofonte
Published By: Oni Press
Release Date: Available Now
Whilst walking about her hometown, the young Blacksmith apprentice Greta comes across a number of starving dogs circling around a tiny dragon. Having saved the small injured creature and leaving her familys’ dinner behind in return, Greta learns that she has just rescued a Tea Dragon. Upon reuniting her new friend with its owner, she is granted the opportunity to learn more about caring for these unique creatures. You are now invited into the exclusive ‘Tea Dragon Society’.
From Greta’s perspective we meet what remains of the Tea Dragon Society, a teacup variety of dragons with zero defenses but all the ego and a shy girl named Minette, who is working through her own problems. A charming story and group of characters that make you feel like this will not be the end of our journey with them. There is also a lot of detail gone into describing these Tea Dragons, how unique they are and the magical properties their tea holds. This is just the first book in the Tea Dragon Society series.
Greta, daughter of the local blacksmith and now an apprentice to her mothers’ highly skilled craft. A young girl with a compassionate heart and a level head, having recognised the condition the small dragons attackers were in, she left behind her familys’ dinner meat supply in order to help them. She quickly forms a friendship with the injured dragon, which is recognised by its owner Hesekiel. A tea shop owner in his own right, living with his wheelchair bound partner Erik. A kind man, with an obvious sense of humor and who also has his own tea dragon by his side. And lastly we have Minetta, a quiet and shy soul, who struggles with human interaction. She reveals a very sad backstory, but has since found a home and friendship with the above characters. She too has her own tea dragon, even though she resembles more of a dragon in human form.
This book goes through quite a few themes, ones that are common throughout the majority of the author’s other works. We have characters working through their own issues, those coming to terms with their failings and others discovering what they truly wish to do in life. We also have another LGBTQ friendy book from Katie O’Neill. It really is a sweet book, probably aimed at the pre-teen bracket, but for someone in their late twenties, I quite enjoyed it nonetheless.
The creator of ‘The Tea Dragon Society’ is New Zealand born author and illustrator – Katie O’Neill, who is also an Eisner award winning author. This award is given to people that have been nominated for their talents and creative achievement in the comic book industry. Ms O’Neill was nominated for this prize just last year for her book ‘Aquicorn Cove’. She also won the award twice back in 2018 for this very book ‘The Tea Dragon Society’, which won both the Best Webcomic & Best Publication for Kids for ages 9-12 categories. Ms O’Neills other works include ‘Princess Princess Ever After’, ‘The Tea Dragon Festival’ and ‘Dewdrop’, all of which have been released by Oni Press. Infact, ‘The Tea Dragon Society’ has also been adapted and released as a Card Game, Pin sets and Plush toys due to its popularity. All of which can be found and bought on the Oni Press website.
‘The Tea Dragon Society’ is a delightful read from cover to cover, with beautiful illustrations on every page. The story is split across four seasons, so there are natural stopping points for those that wish to read this book in more than one sitting. I, on the other hand, could not put it down once I started. There is also a very detailed extract from the Tea Dragon Handbook at the end of the story, that is sure to answer many of your questions on these creatures. This was a delightful first step into the Tea Dragon Society and I can’t wait to visit it again soon.