Firelight review

Shapeshifting dragon descendents, forbidden romance and sibling rivalry…

firelightOUPFirelight by Sophie Jordan

2011, OUP

Book jacket blurb:

‘Every moment with Will, I feel at risk, exposed. Danger hangs close, as tangible as the heavy mists I’ve left behind. And I can’t get enough of it. Of him.’

When Jacinda meets Will, she knows she should avoid him at all costs. She is a draki – a descendant of dragons with the power to shift into human form. He is a draki hunter, who could destroy her if he ever finds out the truth.

But Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him. Even if it means risking the draki’s most closely guarded secret – and her life.

Review:

This is one book that I’ve had on my TBR pile for a while but only just got around to reading – when I received the review copy in the summer I had just finished Defiance and didn’t feel up for another dragon-related story right away. But I’m glad that I came back to it.

The story centres around Jacinda, who is a draki – descendents of dragons that can disguise themselves by shifting into human form. She has only ever known the world of the draki and her draki pride, which lives in a remote mountain village shrouded in mist. But then something happens that means Jacinda, her sister Tamra and her mother have to flee. They go to live amongst humans in a desert town, where Jacinda’s mum hopes Jacinda will let her draki nature die and become a ‘normal’ human.

At first I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy the shapeshifting in and out of dragon-like form aspect and thought that it might be a bit… well, naff. But the writer tackles it in a way that makes it feel real and believable within the context of the story. You really get a sense of the excitement and freedom of flight along with Jacinda and understand why she doesn’t want to give that part of herself up.

Jacinda is drawn to Will, who as a hunter of her kind is dangerous and therefore definitely don’t-bring-home-for-dinner material, but it’s actually Cassian, Jacinda’s draki intended, who set the real shivers of fear going for me. The tension created by Jacinda’s mixed feelings about both love interests kept the story on its toes throughout.

But as much as I enjoyed the romance and the fantastical draki theme, it was the relationships between Jacinda and her mother and sister that interested me most. Tamra never ‘manifested’ as a draki, and so within the pride she was the odd one out, looked over while her sister Jacinda took the limelight. At high school in the desert the tables are turned and whilst I felt for Jacinda, being torn away from the world she loved, I couldn’t help but sympathise with Tamra and want her to have a chance at happiness. It’s a really realistic representation of sibling love and the competitiveness that can lurk beneath the surface. Jacinda’s mother, meanwhile, wants for both her daughters to be happy and above all safe, but she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, knowing that one daughter will be miserable whether they choose to stay as draki or as humans, and that very real dangers and difficult sacrifices lie in wait for them whichever option she chooses. It was these very human dilemmas that made Firelight a great read for me, and I’d like to find out what happens to the characters next in Vanish and Hidden at some point. And for fans of the Firelight series, Harper Teen Impulse have just released a standalone digital-only novella called Breathless.

Thank you to OUP for my review copy of Firelight!

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  1. Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Read In 2012 « library4delinquents

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