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January 04 , 2010

Delroy and the Marog Princess


Delroy and the Marog Princess is a fantasy story for 12 to 15-year-olds. Set in Jamaica, there are echoes of myths and legends, and an aura of romance. It is the sequel to Delroy in the Marog Kingdom, published by Macmillan Caribbean, but can be read as a stand-alone book.
Delroy realizes that life has not returned to normal in his Jamaican village, when he finds Rana, the Marog Princess, transformed into a human girl. Her arrival follows the return of Tevon Gromes, who was thought to have drowned, who claims that a man had held him captive for six years. Delroy knows him better as Gorem, his mentor and guide in the kingdom where they existed as marogs – men turned into frogs. There, Rana was Gorem’s sweetheart. She still loves him, but now he refuses to acknowledge her. Responsibility for her falls on Delroy, resulting in a break-up with his girlfriend Taneisha and countless arguments with Mama. He must find a way of turning her back into a marog without delay.
His attempts end in failure. Then a kiss from Rana transforms his heart. Suppressing feelings of jealousy, he takes her to Gorem who has finally agreed to meet her. Instead of talking, Gorem drags her into the lake. After a desperate struggle, Delroy and Taneisha rescue them.
Rana reveals that her purpose in the human world is to investigate the practicability of all the marogs returning to human form. The potion that turned her into a girl will soon wear off. Delroy is devastated. However, reason prevails. He could never return to the Marog Kingdom, even for love of Rana. Anyway, she is in love with Gorem.
Then a way of speeding up her transformation presents itself. Javan, Delroy’s sworn enemy from the Marog Kingdom, comes for Rana. She, picking up on Gorem’s story, declares that Javan is the man who kidnapped them. Police jail him, but he escapes by turning into a marog. Delroy surmises that the vial of green liquid left in his cell is transforming potion. Delroy mixes it with a drink, but on a walk with Rana to look for a place where the marogs could live as humans, he thinks twice about giving it to her. Then his plan is thwarted by a fight with Javan, once more in human form. Terrified, Rana runs away.
Delroy, distraught, hears she’s been admitted to a girls’ home. He goes there with Gorem and Taneisha to find the building on fire, and Rana not among the escapees. As Gorem is about to risk his life, Delroy recognizes Rana’s voice coming from a noisy frog beside him. Heart-broken, Taneisha is at a loss to understand the boys’ reaction.
Delroy takes charge of Rana, hiding her inside a hamster cage, but when he returns from school the next day, to his chagrin, he finds Rana gone. Gorem is also missing. Delroy concludes that he has taken her. On a hunch, he goes with Taneisha to search for them in the forest. When they find Gorem, he greets Taneisha with a passionate kiss and they head home. Delroy doubles back to say his final goodbye to Rana, the marog princess. He blurts out to Rana that he loves her. He is swept away when she confesses to loving him too. She promises to return as a human girl when all the marogs take on human form. Delroy vows he will wait for her.

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