The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea
This is without question the longest running series that I’ve consistently kept up with since I was about 14. And while a lot of the reviews seem to call for L.A. Meyer to wrap up the series I definitely think otherwise, they can keep coming, I adore every instalment in this series. Admittedly, this had a rough start for me. The Orientalist/White Saviour deal that was happening in the beginning of this book rubbed me the wrong way. The very beginning with the village in which Jacky comes in and saves the day!… I could have done without that because it was unnecessary. It moved past the more problematic elements, though, and even noted them. Jacky thinks on a few different occasions how ridiculous British folk are for wanting to rule everything and changing Chinese names to better sound English. I appreciated that nod to the mentality of the time and how it isn’t a correct way of perceiving the world. So, this book got a star knocked down for the white saviour bit at the beginning and dipping into problematic territory BEFORE approaching it the correct way. HOWEVER, the minute Jacky got out of the East, the story returned to what I love best about it. Jacky getting into trouble, making terrible choices, and being separated from Jaimy once again. The inclusion of one Lord Byron and a look into the higher society was what charmed me about this book. Jacky’s quest to find and rescue Jaimy who has gone mad since she went overboard - thinking her dead. That whole plot with Jaimy as a famous highway robber was delicious. A good bit, I do love how Meyer is able to put these two in the most ridiculous situations and pull them back out again. I’ve enjoyed watching the characters progress throughout the story. I loved that we got to hear more about Higgins’ life before Jacky and we saw old characters from Mississippi Jack. Jacky as a character is one I adore simply because she just knows herself so well and takes no shit from anyone. This was the first time she gets called out on her ways with men and it was interesting to see her reaction to it. She’s just an incredibly interesting character and I love watching her progress (because she really has, and that’s the beauty of the series. There’s been 9 books so far and she’s progressed marvellously through each one). I look forward to the next book because the way this one ended promised for some good adventures to come.